“What you put up with is what you end up with.” – unknown
People can get used to just about anything, and we quite often do – both good and bad. The bad stuff usually starts as something small; a minor body ache or pain, a few nights of interrupted sleep, unkind remarks from a co-worker or friend that are left unchallenged, and before you know it we’re in the middle of full blown toleration.
There is so much in life that we tolerate, and part of this is just survival and comes from living in an imperfect world. We accept bad weather, our spouse’s weird friends or annoying habits, tax or healthcare systems that we disagree with, but it’s all in the name of a greater good. We put up with some things we don’t like because it’s part of something much bigger that we do.
But just as easily, we can become accustomed to painful situations, unkind or disrespectful behavior and conditions that are detrimental to our self-esteem or overall well-being. Sometimes this involves external conditions and other people. And sometimes it can be purely of our own making.
I’ve often said that as human beings one of our greatest strengths is that we are highly adaptable. And as human beings, one of our greatest weaknesses is that we are highly adaptable. (Tweetable via @Hunter_Phoenix)
So what are you tolerating? What in your life is less than optimal or even detrimental that you know you should put a stop to, fix, do something about or have taken steps to change long ago?
1. Begin by making a list of at least 5-10 things that you have been tolerating.
Here are some examples to get you started:
- crossed boundaries
- incomplete tasks
- ongoing frustrations
- chronic problems
- unhealthy habits
- never-ending to-do list with no plan to complete
- constant overwhelm
- unmet needs
- outdated wardrobe
- unresolved issues or guilt
- ongoing negativity from yourself or others
- lack of physical exercise
- financial problems and instability
- constant procrastination
- perpetual lack of sleep
- lack of adequate leisure activities
- poor diet
- no plan for the future
- a long commute that drains your energy
- a job that you hate
2. Once you have your list, write beside each item it’s cost to your life. Is there a short term cost? And what about in the long term? Is there financial impact, on-going stress, and impact to your health or loss of self-esteem?
3. Next, put a star beside the biggest offenders, 2 stars beside the real biggies, and 3 stars beside the top 3 life draining issues right now.
4. Now, what are you prepared to do about it? What steps could you begin to take within the next week to stop tolerating those things that are dragging your life down and keeping you from living your happiest, healthiest most fulfilled life?
Sometimes just the realization that we are tolerating poor behavior from ourselves or the world around us is enough to shift things for the better, and sometimes we need to role up our sleeves and do a little heavy lifting. Either way, when we make a commitment to stop “tolerating” our lives can only change for the better.