When we become impatient, how do we feel? Do we feel anxious? Do we begin to doubt? Do we rationalize why our goals will never be achieved? Do these feelings serve us in accomplishment? Or, do they slow us down? How does our energy and focus flow? When we begin to lack impatience, it is necessary step back and refocus.
A great way to refocus is to reassess the goal and progress. Sit for a moment and reflect on the last time you felt impatient. Maybe you felt irritated by the promotion that wasn’t happening. Maybe you were working to lose weight that didn’t seem to come off quickly enough. Your work was diligent and steadfast. But, you weren’t seeing the results. You became impatient and threw out the idea altogether. But, what would have happened had you worked against these feelings? Where would you be today? Next time impatience creeps into your life, ask yourself the following:
- What is the big picture?
- What have I already achieved?
- What are my next steps to get to my goal?
- What isn’t working?
- How can I modify my plan to create success?
- What actions could originate from my impatience that would negatively affect the achievement of my goals?
- Am I focusing on what I lack? What am I grateful for?
Discipline provides us with a sturdy and consistent work ethic towards the successful completion of our goals. It provides forward movement in the face of adversity. It allows us to remain steadfast with a continual stream of energy towards completion.
When we lack discipline, we give up easily when the going gets tough. Our goals are cast to the sidelines and move on to something else. We begin to excuse our way out of it and belittle our goals to silly, fairytale dreams that didn’t really matter anyways. However, if we want to accomplish our goals, we need discipline to keep us on the straight and narrow.
To become more disciplined, we need to practice it. An easy instrument could be to create three monthly achievable, yet challenging goals. For example, you may challenge yourself to wash the dishes every night before going to bed or read three books that you put aside for the past few months. They are achievable, but they can be challenging.
There are a few rules to this game.
- Write your goals for the upcoming month a few days prior to the 1st of that month.
- Create a plan to accomplish the goals and set up structures to support accomplishment of your goals.
- Place these goals somewhere you will see them every day.
- At the end of the month, reflect on your progress. What did you do well? Where did you struggle? What helped you succeed? If you failed, what influenced the failure? What learning can you use going forward?
- What is the difference between hope and despair?
- How has hope and despair affected the achievement of your goals?
- What role do patience and discipline play when living in a place of hope?
Hope is defined as to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. Despair is defined as to lose, give up, or be without hope. In reading both definitions, which words or phrases empower and which dishearten you? Desire. Confidence. Lose. Give up. As coaches, it is our goal to support the client towards success. Success is achieved when the client has forward momentum towards their goal(s). To drive a client forward, it is necessary to bring the client into a place of hope.
To assess if the client is in hope or despair, we can use the following exercise. Complete the checklist with the client and coach the client around the items in which “Yes” was selected.
To move the client into hope, we can ask the following questions:
- What does despair feel like to you? What does hope feel like to you? How does your body language differ in both situations?
- What makes your goal impossible? What makes your goal possible?
- How can you remove any barriers or obstacles?
- What information or skills can you gather to support the actualization of your goal?
- Who can support you during your journey towards your goal?
- What are behaviors, tones or words by your client that would alert you of his or her despair?
- What are other powerful questions you could ask your client to shift him or her into hope?
- What can you do when your client is resistant to shifting to hope?