The Interplay of Impatience and Unrealistic Expectations

I found myself feeling frustrated this morning, so I made a conscious effort to switch my focus from that frustrated state to one of curiosity about why I was feeling this way. What I found was that my frustration was rooted in not knowing why I was feeling out of sorts.  One of those weird catch 22 situation I thought.

Like with most things persistence played its part, and after sticking with it for a while I found that I was just being impatient about the results of the actions I had taken.

In any attempt to progress and achieve goals your journey is often going to be marred by this invisible adversary: frustration. This is because it’s an emotional response, that frequently stems from a source closer to home than you might suspect—your own impatience and the unrealistic timelines you and I both impose upon ourselves for achieving our goals, solving problems, and realising our dreams.

At the heart of this issue lies a fundamental misalignment between expectation and reality. Most of us, at least those that are focused on growth and development are driven by a fast-paced mentality that is seeking quick wins and gratification, you and I set ambitious timelines without accounting for the unpredictable nature of life’s challenges. We dream of immediate success, not realising that meaningful accomplishments often require time, persistence, and the ability to navigate setbacks.

I’m reminded of one of my favourite quotes “the easy path will never make you proud” along with remembering that most of us overestimate what we can get done in 90 days or a year and underestimate massively what we can accomplish in 5 years.

Some of the cause is the fact that while we can set ambitious goals and we can take the actions we cannot control everything, and yet we expect things to go the way we planned, we expect people to act as we predicted (or more often hoped they would) we expect the government to play ball, the competition, even our clients ,friends and family, and yet this is not always true and we cannot control it.

It is this dissonance between our desired timelines and the actual pace of progress that leads to frustration, that feeling of being stuck or thwarted by invisible forces. It’s a productivity paradox; in our rush to achieve, we become our own obstacles, undermining our efforts through impatience and misplaced urgency. This cycle is not just counterproductive it can also be self-defeating, it can sap motivation, cloud judgment, and divert your focus from constructive problem-solving to a mire of self-criticism and doubt.

The antidote to this cycle is not to double down on our efforts or to berate ourselves for perceived failures it is to adopt a philosophy of acceptance and appreciation. The phrase “it is what it is” encapsulates this mindset, urging us to recognise the present moment and our current circumstances without judgment or resistance. It’s a call to accept that some factors are beyond our control and to appreciate that your power lies not in dictating the pace of progress but in adapting your strategies, mindset, and actions to the reality of the situation.

Embracing this philosophy means acknowledging that while we may not control everything, we can control your emotions, your reactions, and the steps you take towards your goals. Frustration, then, becomes not a signal to give up but a cue to reassess and realign your mindset and actions with your objectives. If a particular approach doesn’t yield the desired outcome, it’s an opportunity to learn, adjust, and try again with a renewed perspective, appreciate this opportunity to learn.

This approach is both a liberation and a strategy. By freeing yourself from the shackles of expectations and the tyranny of impatience, you open up a space for growth, resilience, and eventually, success. It requires patience, yes, as well as a deep-seated belief in your own ability to overcome obstacles, learn from your experiences, and persist in the face of adversity.

The journey towards your goals is seldom a straight line. It’s a winding path fraught with challenges, setbacks, and learning opportunities. Frustration, born from the gap between expectation and reality, offers a choice: to succumb to it or to rise with resilience. By accepting “it is what it is” and appreciating that you are in control of you—your actions and your mindset you can navigate the tides of frustration, turn setbacks into progress, and ultimately, chart a course towards fulfilling your deepest aspirations.

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