When is Patience a Bad Thing?

Most of us realize that patience is a good thing. It is not a good idea or a sign of maturity to be impatient. Children are often impatient and we understand their behavior. But when adults are impatient it is not as acceptable. However, there are times when being patient can be a bad thing. So, when is patience not a virtue and may actually be procrastination?

Being patient is often confused with procrastination. Some people say they are patient with something like setting a goal or working on a task when in reality they are procrastinating. We have seen people like this all around us, and maybe you are one of them.

We just wait and wait patiently until someone else makes a move or the task goes away. Or, we claim we are waiting until something better comes along. Instead of working on that project to beat the deadline, we work on it to meet the deadline or maybe even make sure we finish it up a couple of days after the deadline because we think it will not hurt anything being a couple of days late.

Maybe we hesitate to make a move or say something because we patiently wait for the other person to make the move. In the end, we lose out or mess up the relationship because we chose to wait. Instead of jumping at an opportunity that presents itself, we are scared to make a decision or are unsure, and we wait. The question is not are we being patient but are we procrastinating. Many times we will use the excuse of patience when we are really putting it off and refusing to make a decision or move forward.

Another problem with procrastination is that we may make a poor decision, similar to when we are being impatient. Since we have put something off for so long when we finally do make a decision, it is often a hasty one done at the last minute. We missed one opportunity because we procrastinated, so when the next opportunity comes around we jump at it without thinking it through. Just like everything else, patience needs to be balanced. We cannot wait too long and lose out, nor can we allow ourselves to be impatient and lose out.