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Messy Desk ALCNWhat do desktop clutter, inadequate tools for the job, a too-chatty co-worker and a troublesome relationship with the boss have in common?

They’re all tolerations, the little and big things we and our coaching clients put up with—often without realizing it—that sap our energy and drain our life force. Every time we tolerate something, we deplete the energy we could be using to grow our business or make desired changes or to simply experience joy. It’s like living with a low-grade fever or pain that somehow dulls our experience and zaps our full vitality.

When am I going to get to all that paperwork?
Zap! Ughhh. I wish he would just be quiet.
Zap! My computer just froze again—the third time today. Zap!

At the root of our tolerations are a variety of limiting beliefs that immobilize us. For example: “I can’t take the time.” “That’s just the way it is.” “Don’t rock the boat—play it safe.” “Don’t complain or be too demanding.” “It’s not that important.” “I have no control.”

There are countless limiting beliefs, yet they all serve to dampen our life force and keep us playing small. And, boy, are they exhausting!

If we are committed to creating work and personal life that is balanced and fulfilling, if we want to fully express our unique gifts and be of service, it is necessary to consciously evaluate and eliminate the tolerations standing in our way. Here are some ideas on how to do that:

Appraise. Make an honest appraisal of what you are tolerating in each of the areas of your life: environment, health, work, money, relationship and so on. Write down everything that annoys you or that you feel you are putting up with. You will likely come up with more than 100 of these tolerations!

Choose. Based on your values and goals, you get to choose. What will you say “no” to? “Yes?” Make sure the “yeses” really excite you. Commit to making them real!

Plan. With the support of your coach, friends or family, develop a strategy for eliminating these tolerations. You don’t have to do it alone—in fact, it’s more fun to partner up or create a support team.

Verify. Create accountability around your goals, with specific deadlines for eliminating tolerations. How many and which ones will you eliminate each day?

Evaluate. Examine each underlying limited belief that has kept you putting up with these things. Again, get support to help you break through them. You may be so close to some of these beliefs that you can’t fully recognize them for what they are.

Appreciate. Take an honest look at what you are getting out of keeping things as they are. There is always some kind of payoff for whatever is going on in your life. Who in your life—or what part of you—does not want things to change? Appreciate that person or part, and look for ways for it to be win-win for all concerned.

Request. Remember that complaints are usually unspoken requests. What requests do you need to make?

As you eliminate tolerations, you will feel the joy of being at choice, an increase in your vitality and a sense of empowerment. And then YOU will be in the driver’s seat, and won’t that be a beautiful and worthwhile ride!

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