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Several years ago when I went to coaching school, part of the process of learning to help others was to first work on fixing the things in my life that weren’t quite right.
You know, the things that bug you, sap the energy from you, keep you from living your best life.
In one of our classes, we were asked to write down all the things we were tolerating in our lives.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to write down. But before too long, the pen was gliding on the paper like a figure skater on the ice. The tolerations were pouring out of me faster than I could write them down. After a mere 15 minutes, I had over 100 tolerations down on paper.
Now none of them were earth-shattering — but all together they were just the type of annoyances that bogged me down and stopped my creative energy from flowing. I spent the next several years working on removing the tolerations in my life.
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HOW TO STOP TOLERATING CRAP IN YOUR LIFE
As a result of that exercise, I became acutely aware if a toleration was sneaking back into my life. Even today, I continue to work diligently to remove tolerations as soon as I possibly can. I often can completely sidestep a toleration by not allowing certain events, people or circumstances into my life at all.
Yes, people can be a source of tolerations; sometimes the biggest source. You know the kind of people I’m talking about here – the drama queens, the people who monopolize your time, the chronic complainers, people you don’t like but feel you have to put up with because they are part of your family.
To highlight this point, I want to share with you a conversation that took place a few weeks ago.
I was at my friend’s flower shop helping him with some marketing issues and one of his floral designers who knows me pretty well asked me why I wasn’t married or in a relationship.
I immediately started to laugh because honestly, I get asked this question A LOT!
But I knew instantly what my reply would be.
I told her, “If I could find a man who ADDED something to my life I’d be in a relationship. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a man who does that and although I could be in a relationship with just anyone, I would more than likely be tolerating things I don’t want to tolerate. So, it’s better for me to remain single.”
WHAT ARE TOLERATIONS?
It’s important to first understand what a toleration is and why you allow yourself to put up with them.
What is a toleration? It’s the clutter you have to navigate just to get out the door, the room you cringe as you walk by because it needs to be painted, the walking program you know you should start, but just don’t.
“A toleration is something that is put up with or endured; it is a burden and eats up time, money, and mental space,” The Coach U Personal and Corporate Coach Training Handbook, By Coach U, Inc.
Other examples of tolerations include:
– A messy desk stacked with paper
– A co-worker who spends all day complaining
– Limited space in your home because it’s so cluttered
– A lack of savings because you spend more than you make
Related: 11 Ways To Embrace Simplicity
These tolerations typically hold you back from reaching your goals. They stand in your way of you achieving everything you want in your life. When you handle the toleration, you make room to achieve your goals, and you free up time and energy to devote to creating a higher quality of life.
Can tolerations be eliminated? YES!
The desk full of paper can be organized, you can stop listening to your co-worker complain, you can clean out your trunk, and you can find ways to get yourself to work out.
It is important to note that one person’s toleration is another person’s way of life. A messy desk may bother me and not bother you in the least. Basically, it’s a toleration for you if it creates frustration, drains your energy, or distracts you from what is really important.
Related: 6 Ways To Be More Content
It’s vital to living your best life to rid yourself of tolerations.
HOW TO RID YOURSELF OF TOLERATIONS
DEVELOP YOUR TOLERATIONS LIST
When making your Tolerations List, try to shoot for at least 30 tolerations. But if you’re anything like me, once you get going you’ll probably have no problem jotting down 30 or more tolerations. Areas of your life to examine for tolerations include:
– Work: environment, co-workers, equipment, procedures, tasks, your boss
– Other People: your friends, your neighbors, your spouse, your children, relatives, clergy, your doctor
– Yourself: self-criticism, unproductive behaviors, your appearance, your health
– Your Home Environment: your house, your car, your neighborhood
1. WRITE IT OUT
Grab a piece of paper and write out all of your tolerations.
You can keep adding to the list if you need be. Even if you don’t know how to resolve the toleration, put it down on the list anyways. Putting it down on paper is a worthwhile activity. The solution will come.
2. ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
- How do my tolerations work for me?
- Why do I have tolerations in my life?
- Am I ready to find a solution?
- What are alternative sources of positive energy?
- What would life look life without tolerations?
Related: The Power of Gratitude In Our Lives
3. EXAMINE THE LIST and PRIORITIZE
First is to prioritize your list. Here are a few ways you can accomplish this:
– Start with the 3 easiest tolerations
– Pick the 3 tolerations that impact your life the most
– Rank them by urgency
– Group them in categories (e.g., work, home, people, family) and focus on one category at a time
Grouping tolerations can help you get rid of them because often eliminating one “pivotal” toleration will eliminate another toleration.
For example, if I clean out the clutter in my cabinets I have room for the things I want to keep. If I start exercising regularly I will lose weight and my back will hurt less.
Another reason to group tolerations is that sometimes there is a single cause for multiple tolerations.
4. HANDLE THE TOLERATION AT THE SOURCE
It’s not good enough to just handle the toleration. You must dig deep and get to the source of the issue, or the problem will reappear, sometimes in a different form.
Ways in which you can handle the source is to set up an automatic system (if you’re chronically late paying bills), resolving the problem, telling the truth, etc.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING TOLERATIONS FREE?
– Reduced frustration and anxiety
– More energy
– An uncluttered perception of life and the beauty in it
– More freedom
People who clear up tolerations often find that it opens up space for their creativity and intuition.
Just creating awareness of your tolerations can start to melt them away.
Being toleration free is like removing a huge weight off your shoulder. You’ve probably felt that kind of relief before. Now it’s time to do it again and again and again until you’ve resolved and removed all the tolerations in your life.
When you’re free of tolerations, you stop trying to manage the very situations that drain your energy. They’re gone and instead you’re left with the energy to create your life they way you want it.
You grow more quickly as a person when you remove the tolerations. Removing tolerations in your life is a huge personal growth exercise. Lot’s of people will struggle with this, but if you can move past your fear and start eliminating them, you’ll soon find you’re a happier, more content person.
You become a model for others on how to live a toleration free life. You’re in a position to show others they don’t have to tolerate crap either. You can share this valuable lesson with your children early on in their development. You can show other’s what’s possible for them too.
Putting up with things isn’t useful for anyone.
Understand that putting up with tolerations, you’re stunting your personal growth and development.
Be willing to commit to ridding yourself of tolerating crap in your life and living a toleration free lifestyle.
In the end, you’ll be a happier more content person, free to put your energy into doing the things that fill your soul.