15 Examples of Patience (A to Z List)

a patient person standing on a mountain

Examples of patience include waiting in line for your turn, exercising daily to achieve long-term results, waiting for retirement, and waiting for a pie to cool before eating it.

Patience is the ability to wait for results that aren’t going to come immediately. It is a personal quality that gives you excellent self-control, delayed gratification, and determination.

Below are 15 great examples of patience to give you an idea of what it is so you can demonstrate this skill to an employer in a job interview or in a resume.

Examples of Patience

1. Waiting in Line for your Turn

You need to be patient when waiting in line for your turn.

When someone steps out of line and tries to go in front of other people who are waiting patiently, they are considered to be rude.

By contrast, people who wait in line for their turn are not only patient, but also respectful of others around them. It is good manners to exercise patience when waiting for your turn.

2. Exercising Daily to Achieve Long-Term Results

Exercising just once won’t deliver the results that you desire. If you want to lose weight or build muscle, you need to exercise daily or at least several times a week for a long period of time.

It might even take six to eight weeks of persistent, tough exercise before you start seeing results.

Many people stop exercising because they don’t have the patience to wait for results.

When you exercise daily, you don’t just show patience, but you also show determination and self-control.

3. Going on a Diet

Just like exercise, dieting can’t be done overnight. When you go on a diet, you have to have self-control for several weeks or months before you start seeing results.

You have to patiently wait to achieve delayed gratification. You won’t see the results until well after you started putting in the hard work of dieting and changing eating habits.

4. Waiting for a Pie to Cool

Have you ever cooked a pie in an oven and taken it out of the oven, excited to eat it, but then you bit into the pie and burnt the top of your mouth?

Many children learn patience for the first time in situations like this. They’re very excited to eat the pie they made, but they have to learn to wait so they don’t burn their mouth.

5. Reading a Difficult Novel

Sometimes when we read a novel, the gratification from reading doesn’t come until the end of the book.

Sometimes you need to read through the boring parts in order to get to the good, exciting parts at the end.

This example fits for movies as well.

Sometimes the first half of the movie can be slow and difficult to get excited about. But if you wait and are patient, you can get the gratification at the end, when things get more exciting.

6. Teaching a Child to Ride a Bike

Teaching is one profession that requires a lot of patience. People often don’t learn things the first time they’re taught them.

Learning often requires a lot of patience, resilience, and practice. People have to be taught things over and over again for them to have a “light bulb moment” in their head. A light bulb moment is that moment when someone finally understands something.

For riding a bike, this is often when a child realizes that they can balance on two wheels on a bike without falling. However, they needed to develop confidence in order to reach that point.

7. Waiting for a Garden to Grow

Gardening is the hobby of patient people. You put in a seed, you water, the seed, the seed becomes a budding new plant, and slowly over time, it grows to maturity.

The gardener needs to sit and wait for the plant to soaks up sun and water. It takes weeks and months to slowly grow.

However, the gardener will be rewarded for their patience. If they religiously tend to the garden every day, their reward will be a beautiful flower in the spring or some delicious vegetables to cook.

8. Learning a Language

Language learning doesn’t happen overnight, especially for adults who learn a second language more slowly than children.

The learner needs to put in a lot of time and effort in order to learn a language.

Sometimes, we need long exposure to the language and we will struggle with words, phrases, and vocabulary from time to time.

The reward from learning a language will come well after someone begins learning the language. The reward might come two to three years later, after hours and hours of learning, when they go to a new country and realize they are able to talk to someone in the native language

9. Putting Up with Someone you Don’t Like at Work

Everyone has worked with or gone to school with someone they don’t like. Sometimes we need patience with these people.

We need to listen to what they say, even though we often disagree with their points. But a patient person gives even people they don’t like respect and listens to them.

In fact, you may even learn something from someone you strongly disagree with!

10. Working on a Difficult Problem

In workplaces, we often have to work on a difficult problem in a team. The problem won’t be solved overnight.

Team members will have to go away and do research or build products in order to address the problem. It may take weeks or months for you and your team to solve the problem that you’ve been assigned to work on.

This is a great example of patience that you can show in a resume. You could show times when you’ve managed to work in a team patiently over time, by putting in a lot of work day after day, in order to solve the problem.

11 Doing a Jigsaw Puzzle

A 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle will probably take you several days to complete.

During the jigsaw puzzle, you will have times when you are stuck and you don’t know how to proceed. You might have trouble finding the piece that you need for 10 or 15 minutes!

But persevering at the jigsaw puzzle over time will lead to – finally at the end – seeing the completed picture.

12. Waiting for Retirement

Many people work 40 to 50 years in a job before they can retire.

By the time they reached year 20 or 25, they probably feel like they are ready to retire, but they have to keep working for another 15 to 20 years before they can finally take that retirement money that they are building up.

Waiting for retirement might be the greatest test of a person’s patience in their whole life!

13. Waiting for your Phone to Charge Fully

Everyone has had the experience of wanting to use their phone, even though it is out of battery and on charge.

You might check it regularly as it’s plugged into a charger, only to see that it has charged an extra 3% or 5%.

Waiting for it to get to 100% when you really want the phone to make a phone call or play a game on the phone can be very frustrating.

14. Doing Things the Right Way (Not the Fast Way)

This is another great example of patience for a resume. Employers like employees who don’t cut corners and take pride in quality work, even if it requires patience to achieve perfection.

Sometimes a shortcut might help you overcome your impatience but can also lead to a lower quality product at the end.

Think about writing an essay at university.

You could do things the right way by doing deep research on the topic and writing an excellent essay. Or, you can do it the fast way by just copying a friend’s essay. At the end of the day, the essay that you write the right way (not the fast way) will be better because it’s based off your own deep knowledge.

15. Waiting for a Parcel to Arrive in the Post

Have you ever been excited about a parcel coming in the post? You might have ordered something online five or seven days.

It can be a long, slow, frustrating process waiting for that parcel to finally arrive at your front door.

This is another example of one of the earliest times children learn that they need to exercise patience in their lives.

Related Required Skills For Students And Employees

Here are some other skills you might need to be able to demonstrate as a successful employee or college student:


Everyone needs to exercise patience in their life. If you need to give an example of patience for a resume, job interview, or even just a school assignment, then the above 15 examples can get your brain ticking.

But remember, make sure it’s an example that is fitting for the situation. Waiting for a pie to cool is an example of patience, but it’s probably not the best example to include in a resume. A better example might be patience that you experienced while teaching someone a lesson or while working within a team on a difficult problem in the workplace.

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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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