Dictionary.com defines the term ‘tolerate’ as ”to endure without repugnance; put up with.”
For me, when I stop to think about the things in my life that I simply “tolerate”, I find I’m allowing so much to get in my way. When I say this I don’t mean physically, although that giant pile of unfolded laundry does block the pathway from my living room to the kitchen. What I mean by this is, I allow things I can change or control to continue to exist and get in my way emotionally and mentally.
The problem with tolerations is that, by allowing them, we begin to believe they are problems we’re stuck with. We think they’re keeping us down and are insurmountable.
They are not.
Here is my urge to you …
Quit Tolerating and Take Action!
Here we are – Halfway through March already! Time is flying, and we’re starting to emerge from our winter haze. (The warmth of the sun has started to lift my spirits, even in cold, windy Chicago!). While the thoughts of spring weather and fun weekend getaways begin to surface, this time of year also tends to give way to a feeling of disappointment in ourselves or confusion about our direction.
This time of year, clients come to me feeling torn. The excitement of the new year has waned, many of the goals they set are sitting on an untouched to-do list. (Side note: this is why setting the right goals is so important!).
It’s not uncommon to feel disappointed at this stage.
Many of these feelings stem from the knowledge that no one else is to blame for a lack of focus. Oh sure, we can blame outside factors until we turn blue in the face, but we alone bare responsibility for our growth or lack thereof – – and we know it!
What can you do to get you out of your funk and into action?
Start by taking a look at what you’re tolerating.
Now’s the time to reflect inward and be honest!
Ask yourself – – What’s happening in my life?
- Where do I feel exacerbated, frustrated, discouraged or stuck?
- What is taking up valuable brain space?
- Where has your energy gone – if not directly towards your goal-oriented priorities?
All too often, we allow the day-to-day routine to take over. This “taking over” is almost done without thought or concern. It’s a habit, and we often don’t even realize it’s happening until we are seeing undesirable results.
We all lead full lives. Sometimes that fullness feels exciting, but often, it feels busy. Busy is such a nasty word. Allowing yourself to feel “busy” sucks the life out of most things. I love this TEDx Talk from Sara Cameron called “How To Turn Busy Into Balance.”
There is a lot happening in our lives, so it isn’t hard to get caught up in the mix. Removing unnecessary tolerations in our lives is a key factor in creating a healthy work-life balance or harmony.
When I take the time to identify my tolerations, I am almost always shocked to discover that much of the list can be cleared up in a matter of hours, or even minutes. You already heard about the pile of unfolded laundry. Then there’s the dishwasher that needs to be emptied, the blog post I have been putting off writing (oh yes, there was a fair amount of toleration happening with this post!), the video to create, website updates, social media content to look over … The list seems never-ending. However, when you break it down, each of these tasks is super manageable and, likely, much easier to accomplish than you have built up in your mind. You simply have to start at the top of the list and do the thing.
Yes. It really is as simple as that.
Stop making excuses and do the damned thing. One thing at a time, with intention.
The intention is to start feeling good about your days rather than believing you are underwater.
So, what are you putting up with? What tasks, ideas, or conversations are hanging over your head? This constant list of to-dos will weigh you down if you continue to avoid taking action.
What would your life look like if you decided to make progress on one of these things this week?
You may be wondering – – why do we put up with the shit that is weighing us down? Why do we tolerate things which can, fairly easily, be dealt with? Oftentimes, it’s because we’re afraid … afraid to face the tough things head on. We’re too “busy” to do the simple household chores or office tasks, and they feel like little gnats we’re constantly swatting at. There’s hesitant to address long-standing issues we have allowed to be swept under the rug.
Take a moment and think about what your life might feel like if you stopped tolerating these things.
Identifying Your Tolerations
Let’s get to it, shall we? What are you tolerating?
Tolerations can be anything from a cluttered desk to a conversation with your partner you’ve been avoiding. Regardless of the magnitude, these tolerations add up and hang heavy on your shoulders. They prevent you from doing your most excellent work.
Tolerations keep you from living your best life. Trust me!
Consider starting here:
- Make a list of the things you are simply tolerating – unfinished tasks, unorganized workspace, un-had conversations, exercise habits, etc. Dig deep here! List everything on your mind. If it’s taking up space, it’s worth noting. You can use this handy little resource to help you work through this.
- Look at the list and decide which tolerations you can quickly address. Many tolerations are not difficult to deal with; act on those simple things first and build up your momentum!
As a guide through the process of identifying tolerations, I’ve created this worksheet to get you started. Use it as a template to make real change. I challenge you to make this list of tolerations and to pick one thing to instantly take action on.
You are not stuck unless you want to be!
And remember, I am here to support you! Have questions or need some assistance identifying what tolerations are getting in the way? Reach out! You can schedule a Virtual Coffee Date and get 15-minutes of dedicated time as my personal gift to you.