Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ending 2013 by eliminating "tolerations"

Tolerations. I type in the word and it immediately gets tagged by the online spell checker as not a real word. It isn't, but I'm still going to use it. What are "tolerations"?

Well over a decade ago, I worked with a brilliant coach, Kimberly Bryant, who helped me sort through all the crap getting in the way of me moving forward in my life.

More accurately: she helped me sort through how I was getting in the way of moving forward with my life.

A certified coach with Coach University (the Gold standard!), Kimberly got me looking closely and carefully at how I was gutting my energy, undermining my creativity, and staying stuck in life-and-soul-sucking situations (e.g., jobs, relationships). Our work has had staying power over the years, both in terms of insights gained and practical techniques learned.

Finding and eliminating tolerations is one of those practical techniques, and what I'm doing as 2013 comes to a close.

Tolerations are all the things that we "tolerate" and, as a result of doing so, leech energy from our life. It's the chipped paint or wall ding we notice every time we pass it, but have yet to fix. It's the box of baking soda lurking in the back of the refrigerator that has lost it's efficacy as a deodorizer, but has yet to be replaced. It's the plant that needs re-potting, but there's not enough potting soil left in the bag.

You get the point, right? Tolerations are all those things that occupy the "I should get to that" zone of the brain and pop into consciousnesses over and over and over again. What happens when they're eliminated? More space, more energy, less stress, which is why I'm ending this year by eliminating tolerations.

Fortunately (and because) I put myself through this drill every three months, the list is short and do-able. It includes hanging the candle holder (a HomeGoods find!) that has been leaning against a wall for two months, calling the plumber to re-install grab bars that are now dripping rust onto the shower stall tile, re-painting the kitchen because the color irks me every time I'm in it, and finish the closet clothes hook repair job I started last month.

Gotta get going!


  1. This is excellent! I always list my "things to do" because I do better with lists but I don't always complete them. I like your idea of a tolerations list that is compiled and completed every three months. What a sense of accomplishment when the list is completed and those things no longer nag at you. I'll add it to my "to do" list. :)

  2. I am the queen of toleration, a skill well honed in the alcoholic family. That said, I cannot and do not blame them, because what I tolerate or not is up to me. Thanks for the reminder.

    BTW, I am a certified coach with no enthusiasm for coaching... go figure. I'm glad you had a great one, because they can change lives!

  3. Fran: Certified with Coach University? While Thomas Leonard was still alive? Have a good laugh: For a while I ghosted daily "nuggets" he sent out via email.

  4. No, I went through the NY Open Center, from 2006-2007, through Coaching for Transformation. It was serendipitous at the time, but that is $5000 that I'll always wonder about. It costs much more now! See here. One of those instructors was once my classmate. Not all of us carried through on our coaching careers.


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