Patience, or lack thereof, used to be my go to weakness when I was asked in job interviews. That and perfectionism. Why employers insist on asking candidates what their strengths and weaknesses are I’ll never know. Thankfully I don’t get asked these questions anymore, and if I did patience wouldn’t be my weakness, it would be one of my strengths.
When I started out in the freelancing business I read widely on helpful tips, tricks, and qualities I’d need to be successful and really make a go of it. Three qualities came up every time: leadership, persistence and flexible. But no one ever said patience.
I believe that patience is the most valuable skill a person could have.
If you Google the definition of patience here’s what you’d find:
“The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.”
“An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.”
“Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.”
Every day I’m faced with problems, changes and delays. If I got annoyed each time an invoice wasn’t paid, a client cancelled a meeting or asked me how to do something for the second time, I’d be the worst person to work with and pretty damn miserable.
I know this because these types of issues used to drive me crazy when I was working in an office. Probably because I didn’t feel like I had control over my day. When plans change now I use it as an opportunity to get on with what I want to do – reading, writing and baking – and tell myself if it’s meant to happen it will.
[Tweet “Patience teaches us to have a good attitude while we’re waiting.”]
While I know it might be easier for someone in my position to just get on with things because I’m not confined by the structures of a desk job, I still think everyone can practice patience. Getting shit done seems to be the default setting for most of us and often we charge forward and expect the world to catch up. And get annoyed when it doesn’t.
However, the world doesn’t work that way. Patience teaches us that we have to wait, and more importantly we have to have a good attitude while we’re waiting. So don’t sweat the little things, be more accommodating, and take your time.
Who’d have thought the ever changing world of freelancing would teach me an important lesson in patience? Certainly not me. Now I finally get the saying: “Patience is a virtue.”
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Featured image from Google.