What Are You Tolerating?
I was at a workshop and my mentor left us with this question.
“What are you tolerating in your life?”
The first thing I thought was, I’ve heard this before. (Like, if I heard it before then I wouldn’t have to pay attention to the question.)
Then I thought that question must be for the other people in the room…
After I was done with all my little defensive maneuvers, I asked myself, what am I tolerating?
Nothing big popped up, but lots of little things.
- The five pounds that I keep saying I’m going to lose.
- The cabinet in the bathroom.
- The old desk top computer that doesn’t work.
- The clutter of lotion bottles on my chest of drawers.
- The basket in the kitchen filled with papers and who knows what.
- Books on my shelves that I don’t even like.
- Watching some no brainer show on Netflix that keeps me up too late.
The little things are actually a good place to start.
You really have control over many things you tolerate, especially the little things.
I understand what my mentor was getting at.
The more things you tolerate, the less joyful or happy you are going to be.
To tolerate often means you are living under your ideal standard. You are falling short.
Now this doesn’t mean you go to the opposite extreme and try to be perfect in everything.
In fact, I think you shouldn’t tolerate the tyranny of perfectionism.
What are you tolerating?
See, often life is screaming at us and the big drama items get our attention and we ignore more and more and end up tolerating things that actually drain us.
This is very different than loving, enjoying and feeling energized by every aspect of our life.
When you tolerate things you are letting your joy leak out. It’s subtle, but the little things you tolerate effect how you feel, especially about yourself. It gives you an opportunity to beat yourself up.
For example every time I reach into the messy bathroom cabinet, I think, that’s disgusting and I have this yucky feeling. And in an unconscious way I associate myself with that messy out of order cabinet. (FYI–my daughter is cleaning the cabinet as I write this. 🙂
But when I walk in the bathroom and my cabinet is in order, I can lift my head up high. I feel good about myself. It feels good, looking in the cabinet, and I’m not going to give myself any backtalk. It gives me a peaceful and happy feeling.
7 Guidelines That Will Help You Be Intolerant
- Pay attention
What are you tolerating in your home, office, car, clothes, and hair? Notice what bothers you as you walk through your life.
It’s easy to blame things on everyone in your life. “I can’t have my home the way I want it because of my family.” Start with yourself. I’m giving you permission to not tolerate anything that has to do with you.
- The Small Things Matter
You want to start with the small things. They really make a difference. Once they get on your radar, you can take care of them easily.
Now that I have let the world know about the basket of junk in my kitchen, I can clean that out in about 10 minutes. (I commit to doing it today) That one small task will make me happy every time I walk in the kitchen, and it only took 10 minutes.
There’s another benefit from cleaning out the basket in my kitchen, I can complete the task. You actually get a little dopamine (happy brain chemical) lift from completing things. You want to define things so you can complete them. If your office is trashed then spends fifteen minutes working on one part of the office. You may not have cleaned the whole office but you completed your fifteen minutes.
Completions make you happy!
- Give Yourself Credit
Completions make you happy because you give yourself credit. You did something right. You are improving your life fifteen minutes at a time. You are creating forward movement.
Here is the difference in perfectionism. The only way you get credit in perfectionism is if you are perfect in every area–and that’s not going to happen.
So you can give yourself credit for completing one 10 minutes task.
(Believe me I’m giving myself credit for cleaning the basket.)
We all need support and encouragement. This article came about because I have a mentor and she challenged me. Sometimes it is too overwhelming. You can invite your friend over, or hire someone who is good at organizing. If you don’t have time, hire a personal assistant to help you, or pay your daughter. 🙂
- Build on Your Small Successes
Once you see your success in the small things, you can start taking on the bigger challenges.
What are you tolerating with your relationship with your daughter?
What are you tolerating with your partner?
What are you tolerating at work, or your volunteer activities?
Remember its ok to get support and help. That’s the secret behind all those happy, successful women you are jealous of. They learned that it’s good for everyone in their life if they invest in themselves and get the help they need.
Don’t just tolerate your relationship with your daughter; you can have a great relationship with her. Let me know if I can help.