The Trap Of Inaction Mistaken For Patience

There is a trap we can all easily fall into. It lies in the deceitful difference between inaction and patience. And it can be hard to make a distinction between the two. After all, both might get the same outcome. Yet, there is a big distinction in the decision process.
Source: Lison Mage Youtube Channel

Text from video,

It’s easy to mistake inaction for patience. After all, isn’t it more or less the same thing? 

In both cases, we are not doing. We are not taking action.

But, as the expert in decision making and professional poker player Annie Duke explained, the quality of outcomes is not equal to the quality of decisions. You might have a good outcome from a poor decision due to luck. And as well, you can get a bad outcome from a good decision.

It’s like, sometimes running a red light will not result in an accident. It’s a poor decision with a good outcome. And you could get through the intersection with a green light and be hit by a car running its red light. Good decision and poor outcome. So the differences between inaction and patience do not lie in the outcome. But in the decision process.

And you might ask – why does it matter if, in the end, the result is the same?

Well, when do you know you waited enough? When is it time to take action? 

Are you patiently waiting for the “right moment” to ask for your promotion? 

Are you patiently waiting for the “right moment” to launch your new product?

Or are you hiding behind “patience” because you don’t want to make a decision?

As Humans, we are good at rationalizing, even if it means bending the reality to make it fit with our views, like pushing square pegs in a round hole. And there are ways to catch our mind when it tries to deceive us, pushing for inaction and painting it as patience. The first thing to do is to ask yourself what you feel when you are not taking action. 

Be honest with yourself.

Is it laziness? You know this voice that says it can wait tomorrow. And things get pushed away, again and again.

Is it fear? Maybe the uncertainty of the outcome is paralysing you? 

Or even, could it be denial? Like refusing to see the urgency of a situation and delaying the moment when it needs to be addressed?

So, when we experience these negative feelings, emotions drive us to inaction almost unconsciously. And whatever we feel, putting words on it is the first step to be on top of it.

Patience is a conscious decision not to act. It’s driven by self-discipline. For instance, we follow a method or a process, we don’t “cut corners”.

Patience is a controlled ability to wait because this is what the situation required. Maybe you need more information to form an opinion and decide. Maybe you need to let the heat of the moment defuse and not act on impulse.

Patience is an empowering skill because it helps you decide when to wait, but also when to act.

If you like this video, leave me a comment. And if you want more, follow me on my socials.

See you soon,


Picture of Lison Mage

Lison Mage

I help clever individuals and teams conquer overthinking and perform at their full potential. Together, we can go from a place of uncertainty and being paralyzed by doubt to gaining clarity on your current situation, where you want to go, and how to get you there!


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