Patience: Six Reasons Why People Struggle

Patience: Introduction

The alarm fails to go off, so you oversleep. Now you are late, and you have a flat tire to make things worse. You know that if one more thing happens, you might explode with some expletives that would make a sailor blush.

Every day, we fight to maintain a sense of calm as the world around us pushes our patience buttons. We may have heard that patience is a virtue, but why is it so hard to be patient? What factors play into our ability to let go of our frustrations and let things roll off our backs?

My recent experience with a canceled flight, rebooking, and not having the luggage arrive with my rescheduled flight certainly tested my patience. 

That goodness for all my daily practice. It helped me separate the parts of the situation I could control and the parts I could. That way I only focused on getting my flight rebooked and finding a hotel. 

I first got a rebooked flight, and then by reaching out to my sister, she booked a hotel room for me. 

All the long lines for customer service and again at the hotel were not things I could control.

Following are 6 reasons we struggle with staying patient. 

Now before I go on you might be interested in my Be Inspired page where you will find my Sunday Affirmations each week. Click on the button below and give us a thumbs up to join other Be-Inspired Enthusiasts.

Six Reasons Why People Stuggle with Patience.

Our fast-paced society has us frustrated over small things. Even though we know we need to learn how to be patient, we all still struggle, and here’s why:

Our Habits

  1. Our habits are disrupted. Habits offer comfort. They give us a sense of calm in a chaotic world. We become impatient when something comes along and disrupts our typically scheduled patterns. 

My example at the airport when we were canceled due to weather broke my perfect flight record. Can you think of a similar disruption to a habit or routine you experienced?

Time Disruptions

2. Things are important, but time is running out. You have an important meeting. While you left with plenty of time to get there, delays occurred. You may have a flat tire, or there is an accident on the highway. As the clock hands move closer to the appointment time, your patience grows thinner and thinner.

Have you ever honked your horn in a traffic jam in frustration, even though you know the guy in front of you is in the same situation as you?

The Comparison Trap

3. Other people succeed, and we don’t. The comparison trap can cause much upheaval in your life. Seeing others succeed in pursuing their goals while you are stuck in a rut is bound to cause jealousy and some impatience on your part.

Frustration and impatience are very closely aligned. I remember being so impatient with a situation at work that I spent a lot of energy complaining about the situation. 

Ironically the situation solved itself without me having to do anything but continue to work and perform at my best.

What about you. Does my example ring any bells for you?


4. We feel overwhelmed. Having too much to do leaves many of us feeling overwhelmed. So we move from task to task, working fast and efficiently until someone comes along and tips the apple cart. Now things are stalled, and patience is lost.

This is so common in our work lives at least that people have literally left their jobs.

Confessions of a Corporate Talent Acquisition Leader: The Great Job Exodus of 2021

How often do you feel that sense of overload that leads to impatience with outer people?


The I Need a Faster Microwave Syndrom

5. We don’t see results as fast as we think we should. Let’s say you want to lose weight. You research methods and choose to eat healthier and exercise. You start out great and drop seven pounds your first month. Then you lose two; then none for several weeks. When progress stalls, it is easy to grow impatient.

Confession Time. Have you ever found yourselves cursing the microwave for taking too long to heat your soup?

Tired and Hungry Growlers

6. We are tired and hungry. Anytime you are tired, you are likely to lose your patience with others fast. Being hungry has the same effect.

This used to be a biggie for me. If I didn’t eat on time I became a snarling mess. Even when nobody was to blame I hit out at everything. Not any of my brighter moments.

What are you like when you are tired and hungry?

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

Practical Solution for the Impatient Mind

Photo for article on Patience 1. Stop and take a breath before acting from impatience.

2. Recognize the triggers that cause you to be impatient.  Use 6 tips above.


Awareness is the first step to success.

Create a list of your triggers even takes a moment to journal about them.

3. Ask yourself what about the situation can you control and what can’t you control?


If it helps list them out on paper. I always have a small notebook I carry with me. 

Once you understand what you can control start to find solutions, confidently and calmly. 

4. Waiting in lines strategy.

Start listing all the things you are grateful for.

5. Adopt a positive affirmation to switch your negative thinking about the situation to a positive one. 

I am patient and calm. I am taking action on the things I can control and I am letting go of anything else.

Patient Next Steps

Recognizing why we become impatient is the first step in pursuing a happier life filled with patience.

Consider which of these reasons play the most significant factors for you, and then learn how to combat impatience.

After reading the article, share with us, in the comment section, your biggest impatience trigger

Further Resources

My name is Nick Grimshawe. I help people seeking to live extraordinary lives to use the tools of affirmations, gratitude, mindfulness, and Meditation to live the life they envision.

Each week I include a free piece of content either a check sheet, cheat sheet, or resource to help you move forward with your adventure. You can connect to me on social media through the links below.

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