I am so tired of this confusion between these two words ‘Waiting’ and ‘Patience’ . I am actually frustrated by it. My ability not to wait for anyone or anything shouldn’t be considered a lack of patience on my side. I am patient but waiting has never been my strong hold, it nags me, frustrates, creates anxieties in me. I can’t simply hang around for things to just happen yet I have my two feet and hands, a mind and a heart to actually do them and get them out of the way.

So in line with underlying focus of this article, let me quickly share with you what the scholars at Oxford have to say about the two words.

“patience” – noun [U]

1 ~ (with somebody/something) the ability to stay calm and accept a delay or something annoying without complaining:

2 ~ the ability to spend a lot of time doing something difficult that needs a lot of attention and effort

“waiting” – noun [U]

1 ~ the fact of staying where you are or delaying doing something until somebody/something comes or something happens:

Now that that’s done, I shall, however, point out that; ‘the human ability to wait for something is a necessary strength. As individuals, we are always waiting for something or the other to happen to us, eventually, as it would happen to us only if we waited,’ but till when?

Here is an example; when engaging in a conversation with some of my friends I tend to take the less passive role – you’re just speaking. It’s the person on the receiving end that has to do the work, understanding what you’re on about. But in my head I am building debates and finishing sentences for everyone who is slowing down my mind and focus.

My problem is that I can’t immerse myself in the present even though it is the foundation of the future. Please don’t confuse this with patience, see the examples below;


  • “I’ll start eating next year, once I find enough food.”
  • “I’ll eat later.”
  • “I’ll date when I am ready.”
  • “I’ll be charitable when I become wealthy.”


  • “I’ll eat what I can find.”
  • “I’ll share what I can now.”
  • “I’ll buy clothes that I can afford without a store credit card.”
  • “I’ll go on vacation when I can pre-fund it.”

Do you see it? The difference between the two words? Yes, that one. You see all this is about attitudes. Waiting never gets you anywhere. Waiting for time to pass yet it will actually pass makes no sense. Do you see it yet?

Stop waiting and Stop making others wait. Life is a beautiful thing to miss out on, all the while waiting for something to happen. If that doesn’t help get the picture, then I hope this quote (by someone whom I cannot recall right now) will help paint a certain picture;

“There are three kinds of people in this world. The ones that make things happen; those that watch things happen; and then there are those who are wondering what just happened.”

There is a difference between patience and waiting

Patricia Kahill

Patricia Kahill is a multipotentialite Christian entrepreneur, Content Marketing Coach and founder of the Content Marketing agency, Kahill Insights that helps business owners create engaging and interactive content items for digital platforms with a focus on returning a desired outcome. Patricia was the producer of SlamDunk Basketball Talk a show on House of Talent online TV, a former fellow at Harvest Institute for leadership and now an assessor there, and an alumnus of the YELP class of 2017. A member of the BNI Integrity chapter and African Women Entrepreneur Cooperative. She is driven by passion and curiosity, been taking every opportunity that has been given to her with an ambition of stamping her footprint on the world.

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