A friend of mine told me that she was working on becoming more patient. That it was felt, by her mentor, that her impatience was a weakness. I found this interesting, because this person has accomplished a lot in their life. So I had to stop and think if impatience can ever be a strength instead of a weakness.
Where we focus our attention, that then leads to impatience, will decide whether impatience is a weakness or a strength. Let me explain. When impatience is directed at not achieving a specific end result or when a person does not behave in the way that we specifically want them to then impatience is a weakness.
We want to get to the “end” so quickly and we don’t, our emotions flare up, we become more irritable, and are not very understanding. This type of impatience will not get you any closer to the end result desired. In fact, it most likely will push you further away (especially when working with others).
When you become impatient with the way things are or when you see no movement and it transcends into a restlessness with frustration for the status quo, impatience can begin to transform into a strength.
Not by demanding change but rather by exploring possibilities and inching your way towards a new or different direction. By trying this or that. By researching here or there and then trying something. In this case, you are not sure what the end result will be but you know you can’t stay where you are.
You see this in people who are constantly learning, asking questions, and trying different things (even when things look to be ok). They have an inherent restlessness that serves them well.
When you are impatient to get to a specific end result, your performance will degrade and your impatience becomes a huge weakness.
When you are not sure of the end result and instead wait to see if the direction you are testing is helpful and begins to improve your situation, you should continue to leverage your impatience to move further. When used in this way, your impatience can become one of your greatest strengths.