Patience in the Absence of Insight
by Dr. Elliott Kronenfeld

If only I could get my Zen self plugged in more! The truth is I am deeply impatient. I want everything now. I want answers now. I want resolution now. I want my partner and family to give me what I want now. I want to achieve everything now. It has been a struggle my whole life.

This impatience has served me well in many ways. It has helped me to charge into life and accomplish amazing things. I am known as a person who grabs the golden ring and does not let go. I make things happen. All this is beneficial and good; however, there is also a challenging aspect to it.

When I need to be patient because I am not working on my own timeframe, when I need others to arrive at an insight to move with me, and/or I need prioritize multiple high value/high desire things against each other and cannot have them all at once I am deeply troubled. Not being able to white-knuckle outcomes is deeply frustrating.

What I have been meditating on lately is why patience is so deeply challenging for me. What I have come up with is that patience in the absence of insight is dysregulating. Patience when I do not understand why I must be patient, or I do not have insight on why other external aspects that impact my forward movement cannot just be in place the way I want them to be is trying.

Patience in the absence of insight requires me to be active – not just sit back and wait. When patience is challenged, I must act. But what to do? This is when going inside of yourself and asking hard questions is critical. What is driving impatience? What are the values that are pushing me forward? How do I take time to gain perspective and context so that my need to achieve can be supported but does not override good decision making?

What I am finding is that actively taking time to reflect on the drive of impatience makes me more patient. The additional benefit of doing this work also means that I am taking more time to account for the other aspects that are happening around me that I previously ignored or undervalued. In other words, being patient has grown my personal insights and allowed me to be a more active participant in my own life and surroundings.

What would it take for you to not impulsively give in to impatience but rather to sit with it, explore it, and put it into context so that you can decide if pushing through or reframing is the better choice? This is not easy work. But, you have time to work it out so be patient with yourself

Struggling with impatience and want to manage it better? Contact Elliott at or check out his book Couples by Intention: Creating and cultivating relationships that matter! At or on Insta at @drelliottk.

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