Patience Practice.

We live in a world where fast isn’t fast enough. We get annoyed when we choose the “slow lane” at the grocery store, bank, or on the highway. We get impatient when the drive thru takes more than two minutes. We can order our meals, groceries, prescriptions, and therapy all on-line. When we call someone, we expect them to pick up. Social media allows us instant access to other people’s lives and sharing our lives with others.

All this said, it’s no surprise that we expect instant gratification in most everything we do. We’ve been conditioned to expect it easy, and to expect it now. Too many of us give up when the going gets tough instead of plowing through and sitting in the space of struggle. Why?

We have medicine and psychology giving us two vastly different messages. One-take this pill to help you feel better, sleep better, be better, focus better, eat better; and the other go to therapy, meditate, be mindful, try essential oils, be more self-aware, do yoga. The first is the quick fix, the second is the slow and practiced.

I’ll be the first to admit when I try something new, I want it to be easy, and to work right away. When it doesn’t happen, I feel frustrated or embarrassed. I don’t want to spend all of that time immersed in feelings of angst or frustration. I want to take the detour around all of the feelings and be happy with the end product. Like…a magic wand…Taadaaaa! Where’s my fairy godmother?

But, alas, this is not how life works. Sure, some are gifted with extraordinary talent, but most of us (and even those with gifts) must practice in order to facilitate growth. The pacing, roadblocks, struggle, and backwards steps can be torturous to our ego and our sense of control. The most important thing to remember when we find ourselves in those situations is to be mindful of the present. Take note of where you began, and where you are now, the progress might be slow, but there is progress-even if it’s difficult to notice at first. Perhaps you need to reassess or change your approach, but giving up is backwards movement. Failure and struggle lead to learning, and are important for building new connections in your brain that facilitate success.

Want to be better organized? Practice. Want to feel more confident? Practice. Want to be a better public speaker? Practice. Want to be a better listener? Practice. Want to ace that interview? Practice. Want to be a better reader? Practice. I think you get the point.

Eliminate these words from your vocabulary, “but I’m no good at…”, “I’ve never been…”, and “I can’t…”, or “It’s too hard..” Truth is, if you really want it, you’ll find a way. You’ll figure it out, and if you can’t, seek someone who can. Here’s the bottom line, when in pursuit of passion, goals, dreams…you’re bound to encounter challenge, struggle, or failure. You have two choices, you can avoid the challenge, back down, claim defeat, wave the white flag! OR, you can look challenge in the eye and embrace the strugs, show gratitude, acceptance, and see it for what it is… learning, growth, and process.