There are things, habits, attitudes and people we accept or keep in our lives, even though it really doesn’t serve our best interests.

Often we treat these things, habits, attitudes and people as if ‘they’re not that bad’, acting as if there are more important things we need to address.

However, it takes energy to try to not be affected by something that really does bother you.

What often happens is that these things, habits or people distract, delay or keep us from achieving what we’re capable of achieving.

Coaches call these tolerations.

Tolerations can include:

  • Something or someone that uses or steals your time, attention or money but doesn’t give you anything truly valuable back in return
  • Bad or disrespectful behavior towards you from another, including physical, emotional or verbal abuse
  • Your own bad behavior towards someone else
  • A habit that used to work for you but doesn’t anymore
  • An attitude towards life that keeps you in victim mentality (“Things never work out for me”)
  • Something you used to love but you’ve outgrown that you keep out of undue sentimentality or downright apathy

Tolerations can include things you want to do or have, but you haven’t been able to get to:

  • Establishing a healthy habit (like flossing every day)
  • Fixing broken items (like reattaching a button on your favorite shirt)
  • Finding a new job or career when you’re dissatisfied with the current one

How to eliminate tolerations

Make a list of everything you’re tolerating that you want to let go of or change.  It can include the tiny pesky things (reattaching that button) to larger challenges (fixing or leaving a job or relationship, creating a new job or relationship).

If you’re having trouble coming up with a list, ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I tolerating that keeps me from achieving my goals?
  • Who am I putting up with that keeps me from self-respect or happiness?
  • What weighs me down mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually and prevents me from doing what I most want to do or from achieving what I most want to achieve?
  • What keeps me from achieving something more easily?

Now pick off and address the tolerations one by one.  Don’t start with the most challenging ones.  Start with the ones you can do today, right now.

Notice if you feel more energy every time you address something you’ve been putting off.

May we pursue our paths, with a lack of tolerance for the things, attitudes and habits that diminish us,

Best wishes,


P.S. I wish everyone reading this the happiest of holidays.  A couple of times a year I share poems instead of columns.  Next week I’ll be sharing the poem “Kindness”.  The regular column will start up again in January.