The Bull 3Right now, you are probably walking around unaware of how much crap you are tolerating in your life.  By crap, I am talking about things that you actually hate tolerating, but have come to make excuses about, in order to sleepwalk into believing you have to tolerate them.  And you wonder why you are sick and tired!

The BustAt a recent intensive with my business mentor, we were given a really simple exercise that blew my mind.  The instructions were:

  1. Write down 50 things you are tolerating right now. (e.g. a bad haircut, cracked dishes, a shitty boss, being overweight, clutter….)
  2. Write down your top business goals
  3. Figure out what you are tolerating that is holding you back from accomplishing these goals

bladderI went through the exercise, and part way through, realized I was tolerating a full bladder.  “Hahahaaaaaaaaaaa,” I thought that was so funny.  I didn’t want to leave the room out of fear of missing important information, or being rude.  Then I got emotional.  I also got up and emptied my bladder.  On the way there and back, I realized how often I tolerate a full bladder.  I make my biological needs secondary to friends’ conversations because I don’t want to interrupt them.  To speakers because I don’t want them to think I’m rude leaving the room.  To turbulence because my seatbelt should be fastened…then I thought about other ways I tolerate behavior that makes me feel secondary, unseen, unheard, and BOY did I get mad!

In fact, I was staying at a hotel, and the night before we did this exercise, my neighbors came back after midnight, made TONS of noise, blasted the TV, banged their furniture, and I thought, “They’ll be quiet eventually, I know they will.  I don’t want to make them mad by calling security.”  Well, the second night, when they repeated their actions, I picked up the damn phone, and called security, and they finally piped down, and it made me realize I don’t actually have to tolerate most of the bullshit I’ve put up with in my life.

tolerateNow, this exercise is not easy.  Well, actually, it’s fairly easy to make a list of the things you are tolerating.  The hard part is doing something to change those tolerations.  And, what if some of those tolerations are in your spouse, or your kids?  How do you navigate toleration versus compromise, because you can’t compromise your tolerances.  You may have to move away from people or places that behave in ways you do not tolerate – you cannot change them, you can only change yourself.

At the very least, I highly recommend you do this exercise to get an idea of what you are tolerating.  From that awareness, you can make a plan to change, and those changes will radically impact your life and your business.

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