When I decided to start a blog  I never imagined that the first few months would bring me face to face with myself and my own insecurities and habits in such a brutal way. I realized I needed to start over again and change my approach. First of all, I needed to work on myself and clear away some of the fear-based bad habits that were holding me back. Then I needed to put new systems in place and learn how to work smarter and more strategically.  In this blog, I would like to share some of the lessons I learned. Procrastination and Toleration are like two cousins. They are both fear based.  And they are both about deferred decisions – Until you become aware of how they operate they can play havoc with your plans for starting a blog and business. Much of the work I found most helpful and useful has involved identifying why I was stuck in Procrastination mode and why I Tolerated so many big and small things that had been holding me back for years. 

LESSON 1 TOLERATIONS

THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING RID OF ALL ENERGY DRAINERS. Starting a blog is rather like building a house on a new plot of land. One must first clear the land and prepared it. We need to declutter our minds and the way we operate. Out with the old to make way for the new may seem a little tough, but it is really important to set the scene. Then we can go on and work in toleration free zones in which we are not held back by a multitude of old ways which are stifling us. Thomas Leonard the father of personal coaching was the first to coin this word. TOLERATIONS ARE ALL THE THINGS THAT BUG US, SAP OUR ENERGY AND COULD SO EASILY BE ELIMINATED. Many people spend a large part of their lives carrying tolerations around and feeling a constant sense of gently simmering irritation, resentment, even anger! Living with this day after day might sometimes make them feel virtuous, BUT the truth is, beyond a certain point, they (and you) are simply tolerating too much.
TOLERATIONS ARE HOLES IN YOUR PERSONAL SUCCESS CUP; THEY DRAIN AWAY YOUR CONTENTMENT AND YOUR GOOD FORTUNE. THEY DRAIN YOU! They make you feel less attractive to yourself. They may even reflect deeper problems, involving self-esteem. You are probably tolerating not just dozens but literally hundreds of things right now. No matter how deeply entrenched your tolerations are, you can start performing laser surgery on them. Take heart! Great progress is possible both short-term and long-term TOLERATIONS OFTEN REPRESENT COMPROMISES YOU’VE TALKED YOURSELF INTO. They cover a whole spectrum from the mundane to the soul destroying. Maybe its disrespect from a co-worker. Maybe some parts of your role in a relationship that is distasteful to you. Maybe something in your physical surroundings dampens your spirits. Such as the shabby old sofa, the broken lawn mower, or the dripping tap. Maybe it’s the repetitious thoughtlessness of your teenagers or roommates.
The list is endless. The point is they are usually all  “FIXABLE “ if you are brave enough to tackle them. When you were a kid you didn’t tolerate much. You announced your displeasure with a scream or a cry. Later, you got socialized. You got directed to stifle your feelings because screaming and crying isn’t good behavior to carry into adulthood. On the other hand, neither is self-negation. There are ways to unlearn tolerating and there are skills that will let you signal your preferences in smooth, effective nondisruptive ways. Tolerating is essentially about desensitizing yourself. If you put some beautiful music on and suddenly a lot of racket fills the air, you will strain to tune out those unwanted noises, but they will still interfere with your enjoyment of the music. In the same way, you block out a lot of life’s happiness, just because you are trying not to be affected by what annoys you. Because gaining the kind of life you really want means becoming more sensitive, not less, tolerations have to go!  Only then will you have maximum energy on tap whatever’s most important to you. WHEN YOU TOLERATE:  YOU AND YOUR WORK BECOME MEDIOCRE. Your natural creativity is squelched. You are too often tired. WHEN YOU STOP: YOU’LL BE HAPPIER, MORE FUN TO BE AROUND! You won’t be busy tending to ego-bruises, so you’ll have extra energy to express your values. You’ll have the edge: You’ll waste no energy stepping over or around things. If you proceed intelligently, with a plan, you can reduce and eliminate the drag of tolerations. This is particularly relevant as far as building a successful blog is concerned. For some people blowing at frustrations is a good first step. But go beyond simply being angry. Don’t let  yourself get looped into the “No More Mr Nice Guy” syndrome. Venting spending emotions, then going back into the same patterns.(ouch, I am definitely guilty of this! )
Deal with your tolerations in four steps.  First Recognize the many actual benefits of tolerating. What payoff  are you getting ? Is it  really something substantial ? Or is it simply that you get to avoid standing up for yourself and /or your values ? Second  Develop a goal or raise a standard that doesn’t permit you to tolerate in that area. Maybe it can be expressed in numbers: how many seconds you’ll allow someone to be boring before you redirect, or stop, their routine; How many hours or days you’ll invest in a thorny project before you tell yourself, “Enough. Too expensive. Move on.” Third, Reduce and /or eliminate whatever consequence you fear or whatever risk you run in ridding yourself of the toleration. Would super-reserves of time, money, space, help? Very probably. But sometimes all it takes is a RESOLVE notot be pushed around by fear. Fourth, Develop a healthy respect for your tolerations. They might signal an area that needs strengthening; Let them be your  “seeing -eye dog” Before you eradicate you tolerations, learn from them.
10 steps to a toleration free life:

  1. Understand that putting up with things is good for no one.
  2. Make a list of 10 things you are tolerating at home.
  3. Make the request, and /or take the actions to eliminate those items.
  4. Make a list of things you are tolerating at work.
  5. Make a request and/ or take action to eliminate them.
  6. Understand that you are getting payoffs by tolerating these things!
  7. Be willing and committed to being toleration free.
  8. STOP complaining; instead, make a strong request.
  9. Invest $1000 as soon as possible to handle the tasks and chores that pain you.
  10. After doing steps 1 – 9 above, do them again!

Realize what tolerations do and why you have so many Tolerations are like brakes slowing your naturally rapid personal development and evolution process. Rapid personal development sounds like a wonderful thing, (and it is) but it can also be scary. When there’s a wished-for change, we enjoy the exhilaration for a while and then suddenly realize how attached we have been to both the good and the bad of the old situation. Like falling in love, for example, and then later starting to wonder if this is the right person or if it would have been better to stay unattached. In other words, FEAR  leads us to install tolerations. Tolerations are anything that slows things down enough to let us feel a bit safer. Consciously or unconsciously we hook up with tolerations in order to feel more secure, especially in key relationships, where the thought of a failure is extremely scary. BUT when we link a toleration to a relationship, it’s like tying a small weight around the neck of a bird. In other words, tolerations hold down our potential and the potential in our relationships. In reality, the less you tolerate, the better you’ll be at saying no to anything that would slow you down  You are probably thinking it’s impossible to eliminate tolerations and fulfill all your roles: Parent, wage earner, artist, etc at the same time.  BUT YOU CAN ! it just means responding to things differently. I DARE YOU TO GIVE ELIMINATING TOLERATIONS A TRY Make a list of 50 things you are tolerating in your life.

YES, You DO have at least 50  things, and it should take you less than twenty minutes to write them down. Writing them down is very important. Instead of just having your mind think about them, let you eyes see them. In particular, write down the tolerations that seem impossible to solve. The big, confrontative ones. It’s essential that these are included because most of your smaller tolerations will usually hinge somehow on big ones. Include tolerations from the following categories or areas in your list: Work/ job /business/  your habits and behavior/ equipment / car / office/ other people’s attitudes or communication styles. Last but NOT LEAST,the unfair treatment you have been putting up with for years. This is a biggy !  Identify the benefits of having and maintaining your tolerations. This may sound a bit odd, because most people do not like their tolerations. Nevertheless, your tolerations are working for you, otherwise, they would not exist. They work in much the same way whiskey “works” for the alcoholic, eliminating present-moment pain and /or fear while causing unseen cumulative damage. It’s important to recognize and admit, very specifically, just how your tolerations are paying off for you. Note at least one BENEFIT for each of the tolerations on your list. Next try to weigh the cost against benefit, using both your mind and your gut feelings. Which are the most expensive tolerations in your life? The answers will come along with the power to act on what you’ve realized. In doing this exercise you have probably come to understand yourself a little better. And also to understand the dynamics both positive and negative of tolerations.    At some point in this process, you can choose to become a toleration-free zone or  “TFZ” for short. Basically what happens is an internal change or shift. Tolerations are not longer acceptable to you. So you identify and eliminate them (and their sources) This does not mean that you will not tolerate things in the future or that you become intolerant. What it signifies is that you realize the hard and soft costs and are ready to stop paying. From then on whenever you encounter tolerations, you will move quickly to take care of them, before they can become long-standing habits. Tell the people closest to you about this new track you are starting. Say it in terms they can relate to. But basically, let them know that you aspire to be a toleration-free zone Along with a fair warning be gracious about not accepting things that others have seen you accept in the past. Do not get righteous. Be Kind. it’s only fair, because you “educated them” them previously to think that you were okay with some of what you’re no longer going to accept.

TIP

You might even want to invite them to get rid of their own tolerations. This is usually the easiest way to include people in the process.  Some last thoughts on tolerations.   Tolerations are the tail; your life is the dog: meaning that you begin to identify and eliminate tolerations is going to cause some unexpected changes. The existing symbiosis, balance, and harmony of your life will be upset by your evolution. There will be fallout. Waves of some sort or another will be made. If this were not true you would not have tolerated so much for so long.

HOMEWORK

Put yourself on a  30 or 90-day track and focus on handling thirty or ninety tolerations in that time frame. You will find the momentum this creates makes the process occur faster and with less effort. Why? Because you’ll experience more than enough immediate gratification and encouragement to offset any fear. Make some important Infrastructure /Goal changes  to support your progress. As you identify and eliminate tolerations, you’ll  find the need to to install some new infrastructure in your life.  For two reasons.   Because you are changing, some people will gradually (or perhaps abruptly ) leave your circle. You in turn will attract new folks with better attitudes. Your goals will change either subtly or radically. One thing I can promise is that you will be amazed at the changes  you will see ! Try it and let me know what you have eliminated, and how you are feeling A PS. Before closing : You will need to install people, projects,routines, and new behaviors that will create a full and reliable system of support.  (More about this in a future post about automating and putting systems in place )