Patience is such a key element on your journey to finding and creating a career that truly fulfills you. Most of us have experienced frustrating results with rushed decisions. Yet, releasing your sense of urgency, when you are feeling a strong need for positive changes, can be so challenging. That’s why I am excited to share a playful approach to cultivating patience on your courageous journey.
Grow Your Awareness
My client, let’s call her Tina, shared her desire to learn how to cultivate patience with herself. She explained: “I’ve been there before and wanted to get on with it. That’s why I ‘settled’ for accounting. Because I didn’t know what else to do. Now I really want to find a career that energizes me. But I find myself getting impatient. I am scared that, once again, I will make a rushed decision that won’t satisfy me.”
I thanked Tina for bringing this very important topic to her coaching session and acknowledged her self-awareness of this tendency to “get on with it” quickly. Then I asked if she would be open to a playful experiment. Tina affirmed and I invited her to notice how she experienced impatience in her daily life. “Usually, it starts with an anxious feeling, so many thoughts rush through my head. I feel scattered. Then I find myself scrolling through job postings. That usually leaves me feeling even more desperate, because I know none of these jobs would actually be good for me.” Tina explained. Once again, I affirmed Tina’s tremendous self-awareness.
Before you read on take a moment to notice how impatience colours your life and work experience. What kind of thoughts, feelings and actions do you notice in yourself? Jot down your insights.
Imagine Impatience as a Movie Character
I asked Tina: “How much of your daily life do you think you spend feeling impatient with yourself?” While some days were worse than others, Tina’s guessed that on average she was feeling impatient at least half of her waking hours. How about YOU? What’s your guess?
“While impatience is taking up a lot of space in your life right now, it’s not all of you, Tina.” I suggested. “Would it be alright to imagine impatience as movie character that visits you a lot?” I asked. Tina was open to play with this idea. As she imagined Impatience as a separate character, I asked Tina to pay close attention to how Impatience appeared and where. Tina saw Impatience as a short woman with frizzy hair who was moving very fast. She described her as jumpy and wound up and noticed that Impatience didn’t even complete her sentences. When I asked Tina where she felt Impatience’s presence, she responded: “Impatience sneaks up from behind, jumps right in and takes over.”
Before you continue reading, I encourage you imagine your impatience as a movie character in the story of your life. Where do you feel your Impatience’s presence? What does your Impatience look like?
How does s/he behave and what does Impatience usually say? Allow yourself to play with these questions. Let Impatience come alive on your imagined movie screen. Then jot down your insights from this experiment or even draw a sketch that represents your Impatience character.
Inhabit Your Movie Director Role
“How do you feel, when Impatience runs the show in your life, Tina?” I asked. “What do you notice about your posture and your sense of confidence?” I inquired. Tina noticed that she was all slumped over, holding her head in her hands. She realized that she was feeling pretty low on confidence. From previous coaching sessions I knew that Tina is passionate about karate and quite good at it. I invited Tina to stand up and step into her karate posture. When Tina had arrived in her karate stance, I could feel more confidence and strength in her voice right away.
I suggested that Tina had just stepped into the role of the movie director. From this place of being the director of the movie of her life, I encouraged her to turn around and face the character Impatience. “What do you want to say to her as the director of your movie?” I asked. Tina confidently said “calm down” several times to her Impatience character. After a few moments of silence, I asked what Tina was noticing about the character now.
To her surprise, Tina noticed that the character had shrunk to half the size and was now looking away. “What do you make of that, Tina?” I asked. “I think she is beginning to understand.” Tina responded. Then Tina carried on explaining to Impatience: “All this rushing isn’t getting us to a good place. It hasn’t worked well for us in the past and it’s not going to work this time either.”
I congratulated Tina on her break-through with her Impatience character and how she inhabited the movie director role with such calm and confidence. Tina was even beginning to speak from the perspective of her inner team using ‘we’ and ‘us’.
Before you read any further, I encourage you to step into your power pose and inhabit the role of your movie director. Then address your Impatience character. Trust that when you are truly inhabiting your power, the right message will naturally come through. Notice any shifts in your Impatience character and let yourself feel the shift in you as you stand in your power.
Playfully Cultivate Patience
Before we ended the coaching call, Tina committed to continue cultivating patience in this playful way. Tina realized that it would take some diligence to stay the course. Together we explored that as soon as Tina noticed the earliest warning signals of her impatience character’s presence, she would step into her movie director stance.
Because it wasn’t always possible for her to stand up while at work, Tina found a way to modify her stance to an empowered seated position. During her next coaching session, Tina shared that she had felt much calmer and confident throughout the week. She had even declined a job offer with ease. “In the past I would have jumped on that kind of opportunity even though it really didn’t align with my values.” Tina said. Together we celebrated Tina’s success.
Just like Tina, I encourage you to commit to cultivating patience in this playful way. If impatience has been getting lots of screen time in your daily life, it will take time, commitment, and perseverance to consciously choose the movie director role in your life. You and your fulfilling life and career are well worth the effort! Of course, just like Tina, you don’t have to travel alone on your courageous quest. Book your free career clarity consultation NOW!