Because I bleed excellence, expedited eminence is always at the forefront of my mind. More often than not, I focus so much on attaining my aspirations that I don’t always appreciate where I am in life. My impatience often obscures my view of what it means to patiently wait. The truth is most people want change but don’t possess the endurance to see it manifest. I am learning that this “enduring” process, however, is key to all my consummation.

Two years ago I decided that I was ready to transition out of the classroom and into a leadership role in education. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do! But after 12 years of service, I ultimately desired to lead on a larger platform. When I was finally able to secure an interview with the district I work in, I was floored! I diligently prepared and believed that my interview went off without a hitch. Needless to say, I was very discouraged when I wasn’t granted the position. For weeks I replayed the interview over and over in my mind trying to figure out what I had done wrong and what I could have done differently. And while I did return to the classroom, I can honestly say that my fervor and zeal slowly slipped away. I despised where I was in life, at that point, and allowed that to spill over into other facets of my life.

By the end of the school year I was determined to find my place in leadership and, once again, began applying for various leadership positions in the district. My attitude about having to return to the classroom was mediocre at best but I knew that change would eventually come. After a couple of months of school had gone by, the same position resurfaced. I was convinced that IT WAS MY TIME!!! I KNEW that this was the second chance that I was being given to redeem myself. So, imagine how devastated I was when, after a second attempt, I didn’t get the position.

Instead of dealing with my defeat the way I did the first time around, I deflected the negative thinking and employed positive action and daily affirmations. I began to go above and beyond in the classroom and extended myself to the school in numerous ways. I decided at that very moment to become an effective change agent. I silenced my complaints and embraced who I was and where I was at this point in life. My focus shifted from urgency to acceptancy and then true leadership manifested within me.

Ironically, two weeks ago, the position became available again and completing the interview for the third time was eye opening. During my time of acceptancy, I realized that I had garnered more leadership skills while enhancing my level of expertise. I felt different about this interview and knew that, regardless of the outcome, I had to comply with the current conditions of my life. I’m glad to say that, upon exhibiting true patience and persistence, I was finally offered the position!

Having patience while sharpening your gifts is NOT the same thing as settling. Yes, you might be waiting – but only waiting your turn. Patience and waiting must simultaneously work together to produce effective results. “Patiently waiting” means to steadily persevere and eagerly looking forward…while embracing your existing circumstance.

By Dr. Avis Foley

Co-Publisher, Purpose Weekly

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