My last post I talked about having patience with others (namely, grandparents), but in this one I'm going to talk about having patience with that one person few people ever seem to have patience for: yourself.
When I was in dance class yesterday, there were a bunch of girls that were doing these incredible movies and tricks that I would've fallen on my face if I tried to attempt. I was trying, but I just couldn't get them close to what they were supposed to look like, and the few I was able to do did not look nearly as graceful as I would've hoped. I was getting so mad at myself for not being able to do these tricks that I almost wanted to give up... almost, but I didn't.
This doesn't just account for dancing- I'm not very patient with myself in most other areas of life. I get upset at myself for not being a best-selling author yet, for not having astounding acting credits on my resume, and for not being in the shape I want to be in.
I asked some of the girls how long it took them to do certain tricks and moves. Most said it took them about 4 months to get to where they felt they could do them correctly, and about 6 months before they could do them correctly and look graceful doing them. I'm two weeks in, there's no way I'm going to be the same level as them right off the bat.
Gaining and strengthening any ability takes time and nurturing. With my writing, I've noticed I'm improving drastically as time goes on, and that's because I do it EVERY DAY (with very few exceptions). Becoming a pro at something takes time and practice; LOTS of practice- if you want to be able to do something well, you need to practice, practice, practice a little more, practice again, do a bit of practicing, and then practice some more. When you think you're able to do it well, practice again!
Whatever it is, it won't be perfect the first time you do it. Whether it's dancing, writing, acting, or scrapbooking in a zero-gravity atmosphere while making a loaf of bread with your feet, it will take time before you get the results you want. Take classes, learn, develop, and (I'll say it again) practice practice practice! Try doing it a little differently, experiment, and see how you can bring new life to whatever skill it is you're learning (especially if it's in the arts).
But aside from ample practice time, to be able to do something well takes patience with oneself. If I had let my frustration get to me and walked out of class, I'd never improve my skills. No one is born knowing how to do anything. Some things may come easier for certain people and not others, but we can build and improve any skill we so choose.
We may fail from time to time, but the biggest failure comes when we don't even give ourselves the chance to try.
And no matter how well we may do something, we can always get better. Keep learning, keep practicing, keep your patience for yourself, and keep doing what you love.