Life is to be enjoyed and appreciated, not endured and tolerated.
In life, unnecessary tolerations can bleed you of energy and make it impossible for you to function effectively. You can’t live a happy, successful, fulfilling life when 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 (subscribe here) every month who have been tolerating the wrong things for far too long. If you feel like you have been too, here are some things to stop tolerating in your life:
- A negative attitude – Choose to be unhappy and you will find a million reasons to complain and frown. Choose to be happy and you will find a million reasons to smile.
- Drama circles – Don’t get caught up in judging and gossiping. Don’t give in to the negativity and drama around you. Be positive. Give people a piece of your heart rather than a piece of your mind. Life is too short to be spent talking about people and stirring up trouble that has no substance. Instead, get caught up in being thankful and being way nicer than necessary.
- That nagging thought that you could have been kinder – The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. How you make others feel about themselves, says a whole lot about you. So treat people right. Kindness IS a gift you can afford to give. Be the sweetness in someone’s bitterness and the light in someone’s darkness. Always be kinder than you feel.
- Self-deprecating thoughts – If you feel like others aren’t treating you with love and respect, check your price tag. Perhaps you subconsciously marked yourself down. Because it’s YOU who tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you are willing to accept for your time and attention. So get off the clearance rack. If you don’t value and respect yourself, wholeheartedly, no one else will either.
- A present preoccupied with a painful past – The first step to living the life you want is leaving behind the life you don’t want. Letting go of the past is your first step towards happiness. You are here for a special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your present. Learn from your regrets, but do not punish yourself with them. Live beyond your scars and focus on the profound possibilities that await your immediate attention.
- Being too busy and scattered-brained to appreciate life’s sweetness – It’s so hard to forget pain, but sometimes it’s even harder to remember the sweetness of life. We have no scar to show for happiness. And times of blissful peace are rarely impactful, unless we are mindfully present. Surround yourself with beautiful things, by noticing them. Life has a lot of grey and sadness – you really have to look for that rainbow and frame it. There is beauty in everything; sometimes you just have to look a little harder to see it. (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Happiness” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- Expectations of perfection – Life will never be perfect, no matter how hard you try. Even if you pour your heart and soul into it, you will never achieve a state of absolute perfection. There will always be moments of uncertainty; there will always be days where nothing goes right. But as time rolls on you will learn that even the most imperfect situations can be made better with a little love and laughter.
- A lack of personal responsibility – In every situation you have ever been in, positive or negative, the one common thread is you. Responsibility means recognizing that regardless of what has happened up to this point in your life, you are capable of making choices to change your situation, or to change the way you think about it.
- An obsession with control – When you’re younger, you exhaust yourself trying to take charge of everything in your life, other people, and all situations. Then one day it dawns on you that you will never gain control until you lose the need to have it – until you can simply let it be OK, to not be perfectly OK. When you’re wearing yourself ragged trying to juggle the outcome of everything happening around you, it’s time to stop, take a breath, and remind yourself that the only things you can truly control, are what choices you will make, and how much control you will give to the fear that you’re feeling.
- Feeling guilty for not being able to do it all – How freeing would it be to not feel guilty about the things you “should” be doing every single second? Yes, it’s healthy to work diligently on meaningful goals, but don’t berate yourself for not doing more than you’re able to. Find your balance between activity and recovery. Learn to let go and relax when you need a break.
- The idea that happiness can only be found in the future – If you’re smiling right now, you’re doing it right. The future is being born every second in your thoughts and actions. Choose to make it the best it can possibly be. Stop waiting for “if only” and start living “no matter what.”
- Not appreciating what you have while you have it – Sometimes we end up cheating on others and ourselves simply because we pay more attention to what we’re missing, rather than what we have. When you get something small, you want more. When you get more, you desire even more. But when you lose everything, you realize the small things were really the big things. So don’t go looking for something better every second. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, think about what you have that so many others are missing.
- A worry list that’s longer than your gratitude list – What worries you, masters you. Stress thrives when your worry list is longer than your gratitude list. Happiness thrives when your gratitude list is longer than your worry list. So find something to be thankful for. And remember, pretending to be happy when you’re struggling is just a small example of how strong you are as a person.
- Inner resistance to what is – In this moment, surrender to what is, and love it. Know that what is meant to be is already happening – even if it feels difficult or awkward. Experience a miracle simply by shifting your perspective. And know that like all things, this too shall pass. (Read Loving What Is.)
- Letting the situations that didn’t work out define you – Sometimes transitions in life are the perfect opportunity to let go of one situation to embrace something better coming your way. Please don’t ever let life’s uncontrollable circumstances define you or give you an excuse to be nasty. Life is designed to test your commitment to who you say you are. Stand strong. Define yourself. Keep going. Keep growing.
- Social conditioning – Knowing who you are is one thing, but truly believing and living as yourself is another. With all the social conditioning in our society we sometimes forget to stay true to ourselves. Don’t lose yourself out there. You can’t attract the right people into your life when you’re pretending to be someone else. So be yourself, and if you can’t find a group whose values and consciousness matches your own, be the source of one. Others with like values and consciousness will be drawn to you.
- Focusing too much on the wrong people – Wrong things happen when you trust and worry about the wrong people. Embrace this fact. Don’t let the people who do so little for you, control so much of your feelings and emotions. Don’t make too much time for people who rarely make time for you, or who only make time for you when it’s convenient for them. Know your worth. Know the difference between what you’re getting from people and what you deserve, and stand your ground. It’s better to let them walk away from you, rather than all over you.
- Dishonesty – In life and business, our reputation is always more important than our next paycheck, and our integrity is worth more than our next thrill. A cheater’s punishment is to live a life of mistrust and uncertainty. They live in constant fear that the people they cheated on will also cheat on them.
- Insincere apologies – You can’t just say it; you have to show it – you actually have to make a change. Don’t make insincere apologies, and don’t put up with those who do.
- Excessive anger – The one that angers you, controls you. Know this. We sometimes think that hating is a weapon that attacks people we don’t like, but hatred is a curved blade, and the harm we do, we do to ourselves.
- Arguments with antagonistic people – When we slum it around low vibrational, negative people, we’re pulled down. Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all. Learning to ignore certain people is one of the great paths to inner peace.
- Grudges and resentments – Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. Free yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim, and move forward with or without them.
- Old, inefficient habits – Just because you’ve always done it, doesn’t mean you have to continue. Just because you’ve never done it, doesn’t mean you can’t start now.
- Empty complaints – Being annoyed never helps. Letting it go does. Doing something about it does. But just sitting around today complaining about yesterday, won’t make tomorrow any brighter. (Read The How of Happiness.)
- Lingering excuses – It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one over and over again. So forget what you can’t do. Focus on what you will do. Make the commitment to move forward no matter what, and honor this commitment every day.
- A stagnant routine – Remember, the most important currency in life is experience. Money comes and goes, but your experiences stay with you until your very last breath. So don’t be afraid to mix things up and challenge yourself with new life experiences. Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.
- Too much needless excess – When things aren’t adding up in your life, start subtracting. Life gets easier when you delete the things and people that make it difficult. Get rid of some of life’s complexities so you can spend more time with people you love and do more of the things you love. This means getting rid of the mental and physical clutter, and eliminating all but the essential, so you are left with only that which gives you value.
And remember, life is change, but growth is optional. So choose wisely, starting now. Stop tolerating what shouldn’t be tolerated. Let today be the first day of the rest of your new life.
What do you tolerate too often? Which of the points in this article do you sometimes struggle with? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Photo by: Sara V.