When I was 4 my grandmother took me along to drop off my older sister for her first day of kindergarten, and I desperately wanted to be able to stay and go to school too. When I was 13, I met a boy whom I was certain would be my future husband, and we had an almost 5-year relationship. When I was 17 I decided that I needed to see more of the world, so I started applying to colleges out of state. When I was 18 I told my parents that I loved Boston so much, I was going to stay there and get a full-time job rather than going home to Maine to catch up with my high school friends and enjoy a lazy summer. When I was 23 I met a man named William Hill and fell in love. Nine months later I asked him to marry me, and five months after that I became Mrs. Hill. As you can probably tell by now, patience is not exactly my strong suit. When I know what I want, I go get it instead of waiting for someone else to hand it to me. While that sounds great in theory, it also presents a big problem when I can’t just go out and get whatever it is that I want. Some things – the best things, in fact – usually require hard work and a fair amount of patience.
Patience (or my lack thereof) seems to be my downfall more often than anything else. The only times I have ever quit anything in my life, it was a direct result of lacking patience. When I switched from pre-med to business in college, it was because I realized just how long the road to becoming a doctor was and that realization scared me right onto a new path. When I lived in Paris during college, my school couldn’t solidify an internship for me by the start date but instead of giving them a couple more weeks to find something, I got on a plane and came home. I still remember feeling like I missed out when I heard my friends talk about their internships and when I saw their pictures from the trip to Nice that I missed due to my early departure. Every single time I tried and failed to lose weight, it was because I gave up when the pounds weren’t coming off fast enough. I would lose five pounds and instead of stopping to celebrate that very celebration-worthy accomplishment, I would instead think of how 5 pounds is just the tip of the iceberg when you have 70 more to go.
Today is one of those days that I’m writing for myself as much as I am for my readers. I know I usually sound like I have things all figured out by the time I actually publish a post and share it, but trust me when I say that I sometimes struggle to practice what I preach. Some of my posts are inspired by others and their issues, but quite a few of them are derived from my own life and my own struggles. Right now patience is a big problem for me in a few different aspects of my life. I’m grateful to know what it is that I want, because sometimes just figuring that out can be a battle. But I get frustrated when I can see so clearly what I want and I don’t know exactly how to make it happen or how long it might take. Here are three things I do in order to stay focused:
- Think about the thing that I want, WHY I want it, and how I will feel when I get it. I try to do this every single day because I know that the minute I lose my focus on the end goal, I may start to stray from it.
- Learn to be okay with where I am right now. Yes, I want more and I realize that I’m the kind of person who will ALWAYS want more because I have confidence in my ability to do great things. But if I am constantly setting the bar higher, I can easily start to feel like I’ll never be “good enough” since there is always a next level. This is when a little positive reinforcement comes in handy. This is when I turn my gaze to the past so I can see how far I have come and be proud, rather than looking at how far I have to go and feeling stuck.
- Have a little faith. I hear so many people talk about how they have faith, but then all they do is worry. If you’re worrying about something, you’re not calm and assured that it will work out. The definition of faith is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” If you are spiritual or religious, have faith that God will take you where you need to go. If you don’t, have faith in yourself and believe wholeheartedly that you can do what you have set out to do. Negativity and doubt will only set you back.
And no matter what, remember: