Patience is Overrated

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it”. ~ Ann Landers.

Patience is a virtue, right? That’s what we are taught as wee babes. Less than stellar advice also includes, “Someday your ship will come in”. When exactly is someday? Last time I checked, there is a Monday, Tuesday…Friday, no someday. According to the Mayan calendar, there wasn’t even a tomorrow after 12/21/12! But the truth is, “Tomorrow is promised to no one”. Here’s what I’ve witnessed over the years, we as women are too patient when it comes to making a soul-saving change. Can I get an, “Amen Sister”? You know exactly what I’m talking about.

Definition of a Soul-saving change: A necessary course of action to stop the life being sucked out of you from an energy-draining and spirit-crushing person or job.

We tend to stay in toxic situations longer than any able-bodied and intelligent woman should. Be honest; nod in agreement. Why you ask? You know why. We patiently wait for the situation to improve. We talk ourselves into thinking that if we hang on long enough; (it) will miraculously change for the better. Our advisors may even encourage us to have some patience. So we trick ourselves into believing that patience is the magic cure. Really? More times than not that strategy is simply a mask for fear.

Fear is that awful thing that sits on our shoulder and convinces us that we aren’t good enough. We aren’t smart enough. How could we possibly survive alone? We don’t deserve happiness. Fear tells us our dreams are silly. We should be happy with our mediocre life and career. We should be grateful for a job, any job in this economy. Fear whispers we aren’t worthy of respect, love or passion. Ugly fear and it is downright ugly, enjoys seeing us struggle and suffer.

So how do you know when you have been patient long enough? When it’s actually time to kick fear to the curb and stop waiting on a someday that may never come? Grab a pen because it’s time to get real. Underline the words below if any of this sounds familiar:

1. People: You find yourself making excuses for an abusive bully in your life. The boss, friend or family member that takes advantage of you; demeans and belittles you? Go ahead keep feeling sorry for them because they are unhappy, miserable, unemployed, on the verge of bankruptcy, battling an illness or addiction. Please know none of these excuses justify lashing out at you, the one person who is probably the best thing that ever happened to them. Stop the drama, stop enabling, and stop excusing. In this case, it is THEM, not YOU. However, you may actually be your own bully with self-defeating habits. Stop giving in, stop giving up. Frankly, stop settling for less than you deserve.

2. Job: You dread getting out of bed to face yet another day on the job. Most likely, it’s not the actual job responsibilities; it’s the negative, hostile people you work with that chew away at your spirit. The stress of it all is destroying your confidence, health, relationships and emotional well-being. You stay because you need the benefits so you can pay for your anti-depressants, right? Continuing to hold out for the boss to retire, a job transfer or promotion may not be the best plan at this point. How about finding your dream career or a place that appreciates your talents in the form of praise and increased compensation?

If any part of this resonates with you, it just may be time to put your foot down, set boundaries and make an action plan. How many months or years do you want to continue struggling and suffering? Haven’t you punished yourself enough? Perhaps this is the year to declare you’ve been far too patient. Make this the year that you take action, one action to save your life, restore your dignity and self-confidence. Girlfriend, haven’t you been patient long enough?

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