Don’t say “Be Patient”

There are a few conversations from years ago that hang on as clear memories. In general, I remember life in a fuzzy way and tend to recall generalities rather than specifics. I remember with clarity,however, being told “Be patient” by a supervisor who should’ve been my champion and not my adversary. This bout of weak mentoring, which deflated me at the time, was instrumental in my striking out into the unknown and starting Soldrevet.

Blåfjellet, Kjerringøy, Norway

“But, wait,” you say. “Isn’t being patient a skill and OK advice to give?” Possibly so, but in this case it was an empty phrase and showed me how I wasn’t fitting in the system. I am, in fact, someone who works hard to be patient with myself and my team. Telling me to “be patient” is like saying “do better” or “work harder”. When we hear these instructions, we get stuck because we don’t know how to move beyond the self doubt of wondering what we have been doing poorly. In my case, I felt devalued.

Today’s counter-advice to myself is “celebrate your progress.” The ridge up to Blåfjellet looked so high. My legs were telling me that I’d had a long week. Sun, heat, and still wind were making me feel slow and forget how awesome my journey was. These two words hopped through my head: Be patient. Today, however, they gave me courage. Why? Because I had pre-formulated my counter-advice: celebrate your progress. Here I am climbing a mountain. Here I am in the middle of nowhere. Here we are, brave in stepping into the unknown. Here we are, being patient through life in a pandemic. Here we are, growing into something new.

Perhaps this original bad advice has become a lesson for me: be sure to give a direction on how to move towards a new goal or developing a new mentality.

Adventure on Strava

Published by Soldrevet

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