We bought a stand up paddle board last week. We live across the street from the beach right now so it’s easy to pop over, get on the Mediterranean, and get a full body workout in an incredibly beautiful setting. We love it. I took our 5 year old out for his first ride yesterday. We had so much fun. I took him around this rocky reef to the next beach over and it was going smoothly, even with the increasing choppiness of the water. But on the way back around the reef, we were going into the wind, with a current of waves pushing us back as well. We stopped making any progress despite my constant paddling. One of the waves knocked me off balance and I fell off the board. The board was drifting toward the rocks. This is where Marcus began to grow impatient and was also quite nervous. For me it was a different story. These waves were more-than-managable in my eyes. I knew I could swim right to the board, hop on, and get paddling again. I knew I could kneel to get a little more leverage on my strokes. I knew if the waves still held us back we could go back around the reef and walk back to our beach carrying the board. I really didn’t get nervous or impatient. I was quite enjoying myself actually. Marcus didn’t know these things and was doubtful. I reassured him with our abilities and options. He started feeling better. Turns out that I kneeled down and we sailed on back to our beach no problem.
I’ve struggled a lot with self-doubt and getting very impatient with myself. We all do. Very successful people deal with it too. Brooke Castillo says that impatience arises as a result of self-doubt. As I’ve thought about this, I think it’s true. Some of my common self-doubt thoughts are I’m not good enough for that or I’m not worthy of that, I won’t be able to do that. I end up feeling discouraged, self-loathing, impatient, and not taking action on my goals. But I was able to do some effective thought-work on this after setting some new goals recently. Through some brain modeling and self-coaching, one of the thoughts that I was able to get to and have been practicing is I can love and accept myself completely, 100%, and unconditionally. It has been so powerful as I’ve practiced letting go of the doubtful thoughts and focusing on this new thought. Our brains like to find evidence to support our beliefs. The brain does this naturally and actively. It has been amazing to me to experience the difference in the way I feel. And my brain has been finding all sorts of evidence to tell me that I am a complete person, worthy of unconditional love. And I’ve been able to take action on things I was getting hung up on before. The results are evidence of my thoughts.
Most of the definitions of patience that I found while googling talk about obstacles and the lack of annoyance or anger. One even mentions an ability to suppress those feelings in those circumstances. I thought that was funny and unhealthy sounding. My favorite definition I found was the third definition on dictionary.com because it mentions ways to be active in patience: “quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.”
So the question is do you need to be patient with yourself so you can overcome self-doubt? Or do you need to overcome self-doubt so you can be patient with yourself? I would say the latter is true. When I want a certain result but it isn’t here yet, it is easier to be patient if I believe. If I believe completely, my patience is complete. When was the last time you got impatient about the sun coming up in the morning? We believe that so hard that we just know it’ll come up when it’s time for sunrise.
So next time you feel impatient with yourself, just ask yourself what you are doubting about yourself. (This middle ground is where coaching comes in) Then find out what it is and believe even harder. The results will speak for themselves.
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