Needless tolerations can bleed you dry of energy and make it impossible for you to function effectively. You can’t live a happy, successful, fulfilling life if you’re spending all your energy tolerating things that shouldn’t be tolerated. Sometimes you need to put your foot down.
In our line of work, Angel and I hear from hundreds of coaching clients, book readers and blog subscribers every month who have been tolerating the wrong things for too long. If you feel like you have been too, here are some things to stop tolerating in your life:
- The decision to settle for mediocrity. – It’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken. Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something better. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly. Sometimes growing up means growing apart from old habits, relationships, and situations, and finding something new that truly moves you – something that gets you so excited you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. That’s what life is all about. Don’t settle.
- Your own negative thinking. – Your mind is your sacred space. You can close the windows and darken your space, or you can open the windows and let light in. It’s your choice. The sun is always shining on some part of your life. What do you typically think about? How far you’ve come, or how far you have to go? Your strengths, or your weaknesses? The best that could happen, or the worst that might come to be? Pay attention to your self-talk. Because maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more success, is your way of thinking. (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- Other people’s negativity. – If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. You do not have control over what others say and do; but you do have control over whether or not you will allow them to say and do these things to you. You alone can deny their poisonous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. Remember, if you do not respect your sacred inner space, no one else will either.
- Unhealthy relationships. – Choose your relationships wisely. Being alone will never cause as much loneliness as the wrong relationships. Be with people who know your worth. You don’t need lots of friends to be happy; just a few real ones who appreciate you for who you are. Oftentimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth, but because we finally realize our own worth.
- Dishonesty. – Inner peace is being able to rest at night knowing you haven’t used or taken advantage of anyone to get to where you are in life. Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless. Period. Don’t be dishonest and don’t put up with people who are.
- A work environment or career field you hate. – If it doesn’t feel right, don’t settle on the first or second career field you dabble in. Keep searching. Eventually you will find work you love to do. If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop. You’re on to something big. Because hard work isn’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.
- Being disorganized and unprepared. – Get up 30 minutes earlier so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man. That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches. Clear the clutter. Get rid of stuff you don’t use. Read David Allen’s book Getting Things Done for some practical organizational guidance.
- Inaction. – The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing; growing happens when what you know changes how you live. You can’t change anything or make any sort of progress by sitting back and thinking about it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. The best time to start is now.
- The lingering of unfinished business. – There’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of unfinished business. Stop procrastinating. Start taking action to tie loose ends. Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier.
- The choice to mull over past mistakes and regrets. – If you feel like your ship is sinking, it might be a good time to throw out the stuff that’s been weighing it down. The next time you decide to unclutter your life and clean up your space, start with the things that are truly useless, like old regrets, shame, and anger. Let it go. You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading your previous one.
- A mounting pile of personal debt. – Financial debt causes stress and heartache. Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one. Do not buy stuff you do not need. Do not spend to impress others. Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects. Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you. Always live well below your means. (Read The Millionaire Next Door).
- Your reluctance to say what you need to say. – Everyone has this little watchdog inside their head. It’s always there watching you. It was born and raised by your family, friends, coworkers and society at large, and its sole purpose is to watch you and make sure you stay in line. And once you become accustomed to the watchdog’s presence, you begin to think it’s opinion of what’s acceptable and unacceptable are absolute truths. But they’re not truths; they’re just other people’s opinions. Remember, the watchdog is just a watchdog, he just watches. He can’t actually control you. He can’t do anything about it if you decide to rise up and go against the grain. No, you shouldn’t start shouting obscenities and acting like a fool. But you must say what you need to say, when you need to say it. It may be your only chance to do so. Don’t censor yourself. Speak the truth – your truth – always.
Photo by: White Ribbons
Dear Marc and Angel,
Beautiful Beautiful site. I want to thank you people so much for taking the time to write these, and more importantly, for sharing these with us. For some of us, who find life very very hard to live at this moment, your words are a source of hope, and optimism, and confidence. That is what we need the most. Thank you.
Marion at Liss Hants UK says
Thank you so much for your site and wisdom. Believe it or not, at age 68 I still need to be reminded of all this.
So inspiring! im glad i found your page. it really helps!
I stumbled upon your site in a time of need… You’ve cleared my thoughts and put my mind at ease today. This was exactly what i needed – just a little support and positive feed back without judgement. So grateful for what you do, please don’t ever stop. You have no idea how much you’ve helped me.
I love this!
Tony H says
This is going to be required reading for all my Coaching Clients from now on! Awesome stuff! I really appreciate that you cover several different areas of stress, rather than all just one topic like Money, or Relationships.
San G. says
My daughter Nikki emailed me the link to this article; I am so thankful to her for it, this is going to be my “go to” website for research into self-help. These step-by-step’s are very easy that anyone can follow. So user friendly. Thanks!
Number 12 is absolutely integral and very well explained in metaphor. Thank you for always hitting the nail just right, on the head.
Eileen Marymosey says
Thank you for this advice. I really needed it today. Also, I just purchased your book and I’m looking forward to reading a little bit of it each day to keep myself on track.