Most People Are Too Impatient For Long-Term Success

As long as you want everything all at once, you will never meet your true potential.

Shannon Ashley
Sep 24, 2019 · 5 min read
Photo by Tomas Yates on Unsplash

Time waits for no one, yet everyone must learn how to wait. This is perhaps one of the most inconvenient truths of all.

You set a goal for yourself and made a plan. You were really fucking determined to succeed. But then something happened. You lost your mojo.

And now everything is taking longer than you thought it ever would.

People aren’t responding to your best ideas like they were supposed to. You’re working your ass off but realizing that nobody cares.

What the actual fuck?

And now you’re getting very tired. You don’t want to work for peanuts or disappointment. You sure as hell don’t want to see other people ride in and take all of your success.

That’s what it feels like they’re doing. It pains your heart to feel like success is so easy for others when it’s such a damn struggle for you.

Frustration is a human thing.

It’s okay to admit that you’re weary. It’s alright to be honest when you have doubts about your future.

But you have to recognize that your impatience gets you nowhere.

The people you envy, and those whom you idolize, they’ve all been through the same feelings as you. The same doubt and frustration.

The overwhelm.

Most of us are never as patient as we think we are.

As much as we know that we’re working for our tomorrows, we still complain about today. It’s silly and shortsighted but we do it anyway.

We chase shiny ideas like passive income and anything else that makes it sound like we might only need to work just a little bit right now, and then reap the exponential rewards later.

But that’s not how it works.

Successful people know that you reap what you sow. Which means that now is the time for sowing and investing in your vision.

We all like to think that we’re so damn patient, but look what happens when it’s time to do the work today with no guarantee of success tomorrow. Most people will never do it.

Most people will only dream.

Some folks will take a bit of action, but suffer from a lack of follow through. They think they’ve waited long enough. And who are we kidding?

Most of us think so too.

Impatience makes us play it safe.

Certain kinds of work takes risk. Whether you’re trying to build a career as a creative or you simply want to take your business further, there is almost always a great risk to be had for any lasting reward.

The time we put into our goals is a risk. That’s not a bad thing, but it does mean that our impatience gets in the way.

Living with risk, and working through any form of uncertainty requires a great deal of patience that most people don’t want to muster.

As a result, most will avoid risk at all costs and instead opt for the work that feels safe and easy.

A steady paycheck. Employee perks and benefits. A sense of job security.

Why risk it all on something that might just be a pipe dream?

You’re not lazy, but you hate feeling uncomfortable.

If you’re honest with yourself, I think you already know this. You might need to work harder. Or longer. Definitely longer.

It might not be your time, because you haven’t worked long and hard enough to meet your next opportunity. Successful people never know what’s around the corner, but they are successful because they are ready for what comes next.

In fact, that’s what you’re working for-- whatever comes next.

There are things about success that suck. Like the fact that you’re not in control of most of it.

You don’t control your opportunities. You only control your preparation. According to the Roman philosopher Seneca, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

But the same can be said of success. And maybe that’s why other successful people often seem so lucky, right?

Preparation for the future is uncomfortable, and humans hate discomfort. Very few people are willing to prepare for success that might never even happen.

Instead, we want to go after sure things.

You can beat your impatience by leaning into discomfort.

Brené Brown has said, “It’s he or she who’s willing to be the most uncomfortable [that] can rise strong.” Or, “He or she who has the greatest capacity for discomfort rises fastest.”

Her point is simple. Our discomfort is a blessing in disguise. We can lean into our pain and accomplish far more than we could ever could by looking for relief.

Most people look for an escape from their discomfort when the work gets really tough. They give themselves an out by saying that things should have been easier or they should have already seen more success.

They make excuses. Decide the odds are stacked against them. Eventually, they give up in a huff and decide that nothing was fair.

But successful people have already made peace with an unfair world. They handle their discomfort head on and take each defeat as an opportunity to prove everybody wrong.

They don’t care if the odds are stacked against them. Rather, they know their ability to get through each challenge will only make them stronger.

And there’s no reason why you can’t choose to get stronger too.

True success means flow, not coasting.

This is where most of us get it wrong. We’re impatient because we hate discomfort. But we hate discomfort partly because we believe real success is about coasting.

This is a myth.

Becoming successful doesn’t mean that you finally reach some level of ease.

You don’t get to the top and then suddenly rest because it’s over. You’re not done.

Instead of waiting for some level of success that comes easy, you ought to look for moments of flow. Flow is amazing. We all love being “in the zone.”

If you commit to doing your work, and approach it with tenacity and perseverance, you will enjoy plenty of flow states. But that flow will never be coasting and you will never be done doing the work if you want to enjoy lasting success.

The work may change. Perhaps some spots will become easier. But other parts will also become hard.

Welcome to life.

This is where you have a choice. In fact, we all have the same choice. Choose impatience or choose success.

But you can’t choose both.

So, what will it be?

Join my email list to keep in touch and I’ll send you my 12 tips to crush it as a blogger. Or, check me out on Write Already for a behind-the-scenes look at two female writers who are making it work.

Mind Cafe

Relaxed, inspiring essays about happiness.

Shannon Ashley

Written by

Single mama, fulltime writer, exvangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Top Writer. shannon.ashley.medium@gmail.com

Mind Cafe

Mind Cafe

Relaxed, inspiring essays about happiness.

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