What Are You Tolerating in Your Life?
As a coach, one of the processes that I use with clients is an exercise called What Are You Tolerating. This means, what is there in your life that you are putting up with, settling for or procrastinating about? It can be something as simple as a leaky faucet, half completed work or home project, cluttered and disorganized space or be a larger toleration such as a dead end job, rocky relationship or unwanted weight gain.
Whatever it is, tolerations are something we rarely give any thought as to what effect they are having in our lives. Tolerations, big or small, are huge energy drains.
Every time you go to the kitchen sink and see that leaky faucet, it is taking up space in your mind because it is something that you are putting up with. If you were to get it fixed as soon as the leak starts it would be dealt with and no longer an energy drain every time you looked at it. Now, if you’re the type that could care less if you ever got it fixed then that particular situation would not be a toleration for you.
When people identify their tolerations and then make progress towards eliminating them from their list, they immediately feel a sense of freedom and increase in energy. For example, have you ever cleaned out your closet and felt really energized after or finally made a big decision such as changing jobs and immediately felt a weight being lifted off your shoulders. Well that’s because you have just eliminated a toleration from your life.
Tolerations weigh us down; they keep us stuck and prevent us from getting on with our life and moving forward. Tolerations can take the joy out of our day and deny us peace of mind. Our minds are racing some days with things we don’t want in our lives. The good news is, we can take control and do something about it.
What can you do to free yourself from the weight of these energy drains? First, you can’t fix what you don’t recognize so start with making a list. Write down 10 items that you are putting up with that are causing you stress or frustration. It could be related to home or work and may even be in the area of relationships. The simple step of writing down these things on paper and acknowledging them can alone bring you a sense of relief.
Next, make a commitment to working on eliminating each and every one in whatever way that might be. Keep in mind that depending on the nature or complexity of the toleration some will be easier and quicker to strike off your list. For example, if your junk drawer is overflowing, obviously that will take much less time and effort than leaving a job you hate or ending a loveless relationship.
I suggest to my clients that they start with the simple things. It is important to make progress initially so that it increases the chances of continuing to address areas in life that is dragging you down. Think of yourself moving through life and these tolerations as weights on your legs. It takes longer and more effort to go through it however each weight can make you stronger as long as they don’t pile up and prevent you from making any progress. The more tolerations you have, the heavier the load and the more exhausted you feel.
Life is meant to be lived, not tolerated. If you have things in your life that are preventing you from engaging and receiving the gifts that it has to offer, take some time and look for what’s holding you back. Then, take one step at a time, ask for help when needed and feel the spring in your step as you continue on this wonderful journey, without the weights!!!!