Patience: The Journey of Waiting

Patience often seems like a rare gem in a world that values instant gratification and swift outcomes. While waiting is an undeniable facet of life, it stands out as one of the most formidable challenges.

This blog delves into:

  • The Challenges of Waiting
  • Fall-Out from Impatience
  • Impatience through the IFS Lens
  • Importance of Flexibility
  • Strategies that help
  • Why is practicing patience worth it

Let’s get started!

The Challenge of Waiting:

The Instant Gratification Culture defines a societal norm where immediacy is not merely preferred but demanded.


This cultural shift from fast-food services to on-demand entertainment platforms is observable daily. Individuals are conditioned to expect swift outcomes, making waiting counterintuitive in a world that values speed and efficiency.

This clash of timelines fosters impatience and frustration, challenging individuals to balance the desire for instant results with the inherent nature of specific processes.

Addressing this cultural aspect involves a conscious recalibration of expectations, fostering a mindset that appreciates the value of patience and understanding that some meaningful outcomes inherently take time.

The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a potent catalyst for impatience, fueled by anxiety about missed opportunities or experiences.

In today’s hyper-connected world, where individuals routinely showcase their achievements, the pressure to keep pace intensifies, magnifying the desire for swift progress.

The constant exposure to others’ success stories through various channels contributes to an accelerated sense of urgency and impatience in one’s personal journey.



Waiting is intricately connected with uncertainty, creating a complex dynamic. Whether it involves awaiting a job offer, test results, or significant life changes, the inherent lack of control over the outcome significantly contributes to feelings of anxiety and impatience.

Humans have an intrinsic tendency to strive for power and predictability. The uncertainty associated with waiting introduces a layer of unpredictability, making it challenging for individuals to anticipate events. This lack of control can trigger anxiety as people grapple with the unknown, contemplating various possible outcomes.

The desire for a sense of power over one’s circumstances and the ability to predict the future are deeply rooted in the human psyche, and waiting often confronts individuals with the uncomfortable reality of relinquishing control temporarily.

The Discomfort of Impatience


1. Increased Stress Levels: Impatience is closely linked to heightened stress levels. The constant desire for things to move faster can trigger a stress response, negatively impacting mental and physical well-being. (Check out my previous blogs for stress-reduction support here.)

2. Impact on Decision-Making: Impatience can cloud judgment and influence decision-making. Individuals in a state of impatience may make hasty choices to expedite a situation, potentially leading to unfavourable outcomes.

3. Strained Relationships: The discomfort of waiting can spill over into relationships. Impatience may manifest as irritability, frustration, or a lack of empathy, straining connections with others on a different timeline.



The Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapeutic approach conceptualizes the mind as a complex system composed of distinct parts or sub-personalities, each with different characteristics and functions. In IFS, impatience may be described as a manifestation of the protective parts of the inner system. These protective parts, often referred to as “managers” in IFS terminology, aim to control and manage various aspects of a person’s experience to shield them from perceived threats or discomfort.

Here’s how IFS might describe impatience:

  1. Protector Role: Impatience is seen as a protector part that emerges to manage challenging feelings or situations. It may arise as a way for the system to cope with discomfort, uncertainty, or vulnerability.
  2. Immediate Relief: Impatience might be characterized as a strategy employed by certain parts of the internal system to seek immediate relief. These parts may believe that by accelerating the pace or outcome, they can alleviate distress or avoid potential negative consequences.
  3. Avoidance of Vulnerability: In IFS, impatience could be a means for certain protective parts to avoid facing deeper emotions or vulnerabilities. Rather than sitting with discomfort, impatience acts as a diversionary tactic to redirect attention away from underlying, more sensitive feelings.
  4. Fear of Losing Control: Impatience may stem from a fear of losing control over a situation or an outcome. Certain internal system parts may engage impatiently to regain power and predictability.
  5. Disconnected Parts: IFS recognizes that these parts, including the impatient one, might be disconnected from the individual’s core or true self. The goal of IFS therapy is to assist individuals in cultivating a more harmonious relationship between these internal parts and their authentic selves, promoting internal balance and deeper understanding.

In IFS therapy, exploring impatience involves acknowledging and understanding the protective roles of the impatient parts, working towards unburdening them, and facilitating a more compassionate and cooperative relationship within the internal system. The therapeutic process aims to help individuals develop self-awareness and harmony among their internal parts.

Importance of Flexibility in Expectations:

Setting realistic expectations is fundamental, but flexibility is crucial in navigating life’s uncertainties. Embracing flexibility means acknowledging that life can take unexpected turns despite our best planning. By remaining adaptable, individuals can alleviate the pressure tied to rigid timelines and cultivate resilience during waiting periods.

Flexibility allows for adjustments when faced with unforeseen circumstances, turning detours and delays into potential avenues for growth. Embracing the unknown eases the discomfort of waiting and opens the door to unexpected opportunities and valuable insights that may not have been apparent in a strictly predetermined path. It’s a mindset that transforms waiting periods from mere pauses to dynamic periods of exploration and adaptation.

Strategies for Handling Impatience


1. Cultivate Mindfulness:

Mindfulness involves being fully present in the current moment without judgment. Cultivating mindfulness can help individuals shift their focus from the future (what they’re waiting for) to the present, reducing the discomfort associated with impatience.

  • Practice Mindful Breathing: Engage in deep, intentional breaths to anchor yourself in the present moment.
  • Body Scan Meditation: Scan your body for tension and consciously release it, promoting relaxation and a sense of ease.

2. Set Realistic Expectations:

Establishing realistic expectations is crucial in managing impatience. Recognize that some things take time, and nothing can or should happen instantly.

  • Break Down Goals: Divide larger goals into smaller, achievable steps. Celebrate incremental progress rather than focusing solely on the end result.
  • Acknowledge the Process: Embrace the journey rather than fixating on the destination. Find value in the lessons and experiences along the way.

3. Develop a Patience Mantra: 

Create a patience mantra or affirmation to reinforce a positive mindset during impatience. Repeat this mantra to yourself when the discomfort becomes overwhelming.

  • Examples: “I trust in the timing of my life” or “I am learning and growing in the process.”

4. Indulge in Purposeful Diversions: 

Immerse yourself in activities that bring joy and fulfillment. Whether it’s pursuing hobbies, spending quality time with loved ones, or getting lost in a captivating book, these meaningful distractions can effectively redirect your attention from impatience.

  • Stay Present: Ensure that your chosen distractions align with being present and don’t become an escape from the discomfort.

5. Practice Self-Compassion:

Be kind to yourself during periods of impatience. Understand that feeling uneasy is okay, and everyone experiences waiting moments.

  • Positive Self-Talk: Replace negative thoughts with affirmations that promote self-compassion. Remind yourself that waiting is a normal part of life.
  • Gratitude: Take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate small victories throughout your journey. Embracing progress, even in its most miniature form, can uplift spirits and motivate them to persist on the path ahead.


Shared Experience

Acknowledging that waiting is a universal human experience offers comfort and fosters connection during impatience. In moments of anticipation, admitting that others have navigated the complexities of waiting fosters a sense of commonality. This shared thread of human experience reminds us that the challenges and uncertainties associated with waiting are not isolated to individuals but are very much part of our collective journey.

Through this recognition, we may find empathy, understanding, and a shared resilience that transcends the individualized aspects of our waiting experiences.

Why is practicing patience worth it


Practicing patience can have several positive effects on mental and emotional health:

  • Stress Reduction: Patience allows individuals to navigate challenges calmly and composedly. Instead of reacting impulsively to stressors, patients are more likely to approach difficulties with a level-headed perspective, reducing overall stress levels.
  • Improved Emotional Regulation: Patience contributes to better emotional regulation. When faced with frustrating situations, patient individuals are more likely to manage their emotions effectively, preventing impulsive reactions or outbursts.
  • Enhanced Resilience: Cultivating patience fosters resilience by promoting the ability to endure and persevere in adversity. Individuals who practice patience are more adept at recovering from setbacks and perceive challenges as chances for personal growth.
  • Increased Empathy: Patience allows individuals to be more empathetic towards others. Patient individuals can build stronger, more compassionate relationships by taking the time to understand different perspectives and appreciate the challenges others may face.
  • Improved Decision-Making: Patience contributes to better decision-making. Patients are more likely to weigh pros and cons, consider various options, and make informed choices. This deliberative approach reduces the likelihood of impulsive decisions with potential negative consequences.
  • Enhanced Interpersonal Relationships: Patience is vital to building and maintaining healthy relationships. Patient individuals are more tolerant of others’ imperfections, better able to communicate effectively, and less prone to conflicts arising from impatience.
  • Reduced Anxiety: Impatience often fuels anxiety as individuals become restless and agitated, waiting for desired outcomes. Practicing patience helps alleviate this anxiety by fostering a more accepting and adaptive mindset towards waiting.
  • Increased Mindfulness: Patience is closely linked to mindfulness, the practice of being fully present in the current moment. Patients are more likely to embrace the present rather than constantly yearning for future results, leading to greater mindfulness and well-being.
  • Positive Outlook: Patience contributes to a more positive outlook on life. Patients tend to focus on the process rather than immediate results, leading to a more optimistic and grateful perspective.


Overall, practicing patience is a valuable skill that improves mental and emotional health and enhances the quality of relationships and daily life experiences. It allows individuals to approach challenges gracefully, maintain a positive mindset, and build resilience in life’s uncertainties.




The art of waiting is a profound journey that challenges our instant gratification culture and invites us to embrace the discomfort of uncertainty. By understanding why waiting is difficult, acknowledging the pain of impatience, and implementing practical strategies to navigate these feelings, individuals can cultivate patience as a valuable skill.

In between anticipation and fulfillment, patience emerges as a guiding force, allowing us to savour the journey and appreciate the beauty of unfolding moments. As we learn to wait with grace and resilience, we discover that the art of patience transforms waiting from a source of discomfort into an opportunity for growth, self-discovery, and a deeper appreciation of life’s unfolding tapestry.

Welcoming the unpredictability of waiting can result in individual growth and a heightened awareness of one’s capacity to adapt and discover resilience amid uncertainties.

xx Allison

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek your physician’s advice or other qualified health providers with any questions regarding a medical condition.

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Allison Lund is board certified with the American Association for Drugless Practitioners
as a Personal Empowerment Coach, Gentle Trauma Release Practitioner, and Reiki Master.