Why Am I So Impatient?


Ever wonder, ‘Why am I so impatient?’

Today’s big idea is that understanding the sources underneath your impatience is an important piece of learning to work with it more skillfully. I’m sharing five possible sources with you today. And I’ll cover one more, which is kind of a biggie, tomorrow. 

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Feeling Some Internal Frustration?

Something we don’t often consider as one of the possible source of impatience is anger at yourself. Say, for example, that you’re running late to an appointment. And the car in front of you is driving too slow for your taste. Are you frustrated with that driver? Or could it be that if you dug a little deeper that you’re frustrated with yourself for leaving a little bit too late… again?! It’s easier to point the finger at someone else than it is to own up to your own shortcomings. 

Related to this is that often times impatience is a subtle way of judging yourself. Like, you should be farther along than you are. If this resonates with you, I just want to remind you that timing is not your business. And go back and listen to episode 313 for more information on that. 

The sources of your impatience could also be something physiological

For example, hormones. I’m over the menopause hump now. Try going through menopause in 2020 and see how you like it! Ha! but I swear I was a different parent in the 24-48 hours before my period started. During normal times I’d say, “Time to brush your teeth kids!” And whenever they’d squeal and run away and try to engage me in a game of chase, as kids are likely to do, I could shift into playful mode pretty easily and shepherd them back into the bathroom shortly thereafter and everyone was all smiles.

But if that happened the day before my period started, they’d say no and squeal and I would go straight into white hot rage and start yelling. So maybe you’re a male and monthly hormonal swings aren’t a part of your reality. But for all genders, other physical factors play into patience, including tiredness, hunger, hungoverness. So the question to ask yourself here is, is your self-care, or lack thereof, showing up in your impatience levels? 

Impatience with others could be an unfulfilled and unexpressed need for solitude

I feel this one very hard, as an introvert who needs time alone to re-charge. Things are way better now that the kids are back in school (knock wood) but in the spring my irritability knob was definitely turned higher simply because we are all always together and there was no such thing as solitude in my life. So every little interaction with other people could be pulling you out of a state of being contained in your own embodiment when that’s exactly where you need to be in that moment because it’s restoring you. 

Another possible trigger of frequent impatience is that you identify with being an efficient person who expects things to run on a predictable schedule. I appreciate timeliness, I really do, but if it’s leading to you feeling irritated and impatience on a pretty regular basis, I would only ask, how’s that working out for you? 

Embrace Downtime

And finally, it could be, like Kelli said in yesterday’s interview (that’s episode 314 if you want to go back and listen), that you’re a high achiever who’s trying to pack as much as you can into your time, so any waste of it feels like an affront.Or just a legitimately busy person, taking care of kids, parents, a job, yourself, a dog. I mean, I certainly identify with this. If you do too, hear me when I say this: the busier you are, the more you need downtime. Which means the more you need to wean yourself off the subconscious idea that you need to fill every moment with getting something done. Give yourself more space in your internal expectations, and your reaction to external delays will cool off, too. 

Daily Tiny Assignment

Your tiny assignment is to give these possible sources of impatience a quick mulling over–which ones do you think might be in play for you? The more you know about the sources, the more adeptly you’re thinking about solutions will be. 


Come back tomorrow, when I’m talking about when impatience is a very good thing indeed.


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