If you’re craving a sense of closure and conclusion as we await the results of the US election, you’re not alone. One strategy that can help us be more patient, even when the “waiting game” feels difficult, is to shift our perspective by turning to an inspiring quote or mantra. Relying on words of wisdom can help us practice positive reframing and find a sense of calm. 

We asked our Thrive community to share with us the quotes and mantras that are helping them stay patient right now. Which of these will you try repeating when you feel anxious?

“Slow and steady wins the race”

“A quote that I have never forgotten comes from an episode of the ‘Care Bears’ that I watched when I was a child. Lotsa Heart, the elephant care bear, was in a race against the other bears and kept repeating ‘Slow and steady wins the race.’ I’ve repeated this mantra to myself on countless occasions and it has helped me slow my pace, and remember the value of being careful and deliberate with my work. These words help me take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at the bigger picture.”

—Angela Moore, mindset educator, British Columbia, Canada

“Good things take time”

“I was almost ready to record and release an online course just before the pandemic, and then lockdown began. I was very anxious to release the course, and to manage my anxiety, I printed a quote and hung it on my wall to remind me to stay calm. The quote reads, ‘Good things take time.’ During the lockdown, I ended up getting an opportunity to review my work and also receive feedback. When I launched it in September, it was in a completely different shape because I took the time to slow down and continue working on it. It was the perfect reminder that good things do take time.”

—Furkan Karayel, inclusive leadership advisor, Dublin, Ireland

“Chance and choice converge to make us who we are”

“I like Maria Popova’s writing and thought leadership blog, Brain Pickings. Here’s an example of a quote from Maria that I try to tap into during uncertain times: ‘Chance and choice converge to make us who we are, and although we may mistake chance for choice, our choices are the cobblestones, hard and uneven, that pave our destiny.’”

—Joanne Gouaux, Social Entrepreneur, Walnut Creek, CA

“Only I have the power to make my life marvelous”

“‘Only I have the power and the responsibility to make my life marvelous. No one else can do that for me.’ I wrote down this quote to remind me that when I start worrying, I need to bring myself back to this moment. In uncertain times, it helps to remind myself to focus on what I can control right now.”

—Laurie Jonas, blogger, Red Wing, MN

“It just is”

“The mantra that continues to keep me sane through everything that’s going on is “it just is.” This line always reminds me that no matter the situation, it’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s no one’s fault. It’s not in my control. It just is.

—Jacqui Flavell, coach and founder of 2nd cup of tea, London, UK

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” 

“Whenever I feel discouraged or lost in times of uncertainty, I focus on the things I’m certain of: that justice is a process and love is a choice. The decisions that we make, including how we wait, can help advance our values. As Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ We just need to remember that the arc doesn’t bend on its own. It requires persistence, patience, and people who are willing to do the work.”

—Simon Tam, author and musician, Cincinnati, OH

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places”

“When things are uncertain, I love to remind myself of a quote that Ernest Hemingway said: ‘The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.’ The election is causing so many of us to feel anxious, depressed, impatient, and even tempted to indulge in healthy behaviors. Right now, we need to focus on resilience, confidence and empathy. These values are more needed than ever before, and this quote helps to remind me of their importance.”

—Michele Puchall, chief of talent and inspiration, Fort Lee, NJ

“We do not fear the unknown. We fear the loss of the known.”

“This quote from Anthony De Mello provides a lot of perspective and inner calm because it reminds me that the real anxiety comes from losing what is familiar. It reminds me that I need to focus on the elements in my life that I can control and not give my energy to the things I cannot influence. Sometimes, the only thing I can control in the moment is my breath, and that’s enough to provide that calm and patience I need in the moment.”

—Lori Milner, speaker, trainer, coach, Johannesburg, South Africa

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

No matter what is happening on the global political stage, with lockdowns and reopenings, with job losses alongside budding millionaires, finding a sense of internal place of peace and observation helps me stay aligned with my core. This Rumi quote reminds me to do just that. It allows a bigger and more expansive perspective to be revealed — one that is based in universal truth that is empowering for all.

—Heather McGregor, soul life coach, BC, Canada

“Whatever happens is meant to happen.”

“Over the last few years, and especially over this unprecedented year, I have found myself saying ,’Whatever happens is meant to happen.’ While I’m a firm believer that we are the co-creators of our lives and how we choose to show up and participate certainly matters, I also believe there’s a certain energy that helps guide us along our paths.”

—Heather Reinhardt, writer, Los Angeles, CA  

“Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.”

“When I’m in the middle of something that isn’t easy, I remind myself that everything has a beginning, a middle and an end. This Montaigne quote helps to put things into perspective. Maybe I’m at the beginning and I can see what’s coming and I know that I will have to strap in and get prepared for what’s ahead.  When I’m in the messy middle, I know that the only way through is through, that I’ll need all of my coping and self-care skills and that it won’t last forever.  It calms me to remember that the situation I’m in or the feelings I’m having won’t always be the way things are and it gives me a sense of control when everything else can feel out of control.”

—Kay Julian, executive coach, Kansas City, MO

“Infinite goodness has such wide arms.”

“A former mentor of mine bought me a bracelet that read, ‘Infinite goodness has such wide arms,’ which comes from a Dante Alighieri quote. I was an Italian Studies major at the time and now I’ve been living in Italy for six years, so it was a fitting gift.  When things get tough, this mantra stays in my mind. I remind myself that there is always space for kindness, goodness, and gratitude in this world.”

—Henna Garrison, life coach, Sicily, Italy 

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”  

“This quote, which was said by the poet Rumi, encourages me to prioritize my inner strengths over external circumstances. It helps me think clearly about any problem’s solution and see my own growth opportunities within before focusing on my external environment. In difficult moments, it always helps me cultivate patience.”

—Guru Das, wellness coach, India

What quote or mantra is helping you stay patient and resilient right now? Share your favorite with us in the comments.

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  • Marina Khidekel

    Chief Content Officer at Thrive

    Marina leads strategy, ideation and execution of Thrive's content company-wide, including cross-platform brand partnership and content marketing campaigns, curricula, and the voice of the Thrive platform. She's the author of Thrive's first book, Your Time to Thrive. In her role, Marina brings Thrive's audience actionable, science-backed tips for reducing stress and improving their physical and mental well-being, and shares those insights on panels and in national outlets like NBC's TODAY. Previously, Marina held senior editorial roles at Women's Health, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour, where she edited award-winning health and mental health features and spearheaded the campaigns and partnerships around them.