There is so much in life that we just tolerate. Some of it we have to deal with (taxes, bad weather, traffic). But there’s a good portion of stuff that we tolerate even when we don’t have to. We step around things, overlook irritations, and mindlessly accept energy drains. Perhaps we’ve become so immune to these tolerations that we don’t recognize the negative impact they have on us.
Sometimes just recognizing the things we are tolerating in life gives us a renewed sense of hope and energy. If you don’t know what’s pulling you down, it feels impossible to make your life better. Even small changes and shifts with these life tolerations can result in dramatic improvement in your outlook and mood.
However, when you address some of your bigger tolerations, you can completely change the course of your life and open doors to a world of happiness and inner peace that you didn’t know existed.
Think about the poorest of the poor, living in squalor and despair without the hope of a better future. When they are lucky enough to see the connection between education and life success, they have found a portal to escape poverty and misery. It’s a huge shift.
In the same way, we must search for these portals that will allow us to move to the next level of powerful living. Our tolerations are the brambles and vines growing over the portal doorway. We must clear them away to be able to open the door and walk through.
Do you want to walk through the portal to a happier life? If so, here are 12 situations that you should never tolerate if you want to live joyfully. See if you recognize yourself in any of these tolerations. If so, now is the time to clear them away.
1. Unhappiness at work.
You spend nearly half of your life at your job. If you are unhappy, do you really want to give away that much of your life? Think of the impact it has on your emotional well-being, your health, and your relationships. Think of the opportunities missed for doing something that you love, that is fulfilling. Don’t settle for living this way forever. Find a job that you love. Get more education if necessary. At the least, make changes within your current job to lessen your unhappiness.
2. A Long Commute.
A long commute to work by car or public transportation is stressful and empty. Hours in a vehicle adds up to days, months, years wasted in traveling when you could be doing and living. Find a job closer to home, or move closer to your job. Whatever your reason is for this commute, is it really worth the lost time?
3. An Unhealthy Lifestyle.
Are you overweight? Do you smoke? Are you sedentary? Do you eat junk? Do you abuse alcohol or other substances? An unhealthy lifestyle leads to an unhappy life. If you feel bad and look bad, you can’t enjoy life. This is your one and only life, and your body is your sacred garment. Take care of it now.
4. Draining Relationships.
If there are people in your life who are abusive, demeaning, angry, hurtful, not supportive, unethical, or crazy, it is time to let them go. You may have your reasons for hanging on, but do these reasons really outweigh the negative impact they have on your life? At the very least, find ways to cut back on interactions with these people.
5. A Disordered Living Space.
How you live is a reflection of who you are. You don’t need to live in a mansion with lots of stuff, but your living space should reflect the joy, order, and peace you want in your life. It should be clean, orderly, and have some expressions of beauty and warmth. It should feel welcoming to you and to guests in your home.
It is around us all the time, invading our minds like termites. We hear and see negative ideas and images on the news. Our friends and associates share their negative stories or reactions to life events. We hear negative lyrics in songs or watch violence and abuse in movies or on TV. Before we know it, we feel negative and depressed about our lives. Turn it off. Walk away. Stop listening. Instead watch, read, and listen to uplifting and positive ideas and information.
7. Too Much Stuff.
Over the years, we accumulate. We like to buy things. We like to have things. But these things require our time, energy, money, and effort. They lose their shine and we lose our interest. They become a burden — something we have to dust rather than enjoy. Get rid of this stuff and free up time and energy in your life.
8. Financial Problems.
The stress and emotional pain caused by financial problems steals your joy and peace in life. Whatever you are doing now or did in the past to cause the problem, do something about it now. Yes, some financial difficulties are unavoidable, but do whatever you can to lessen the stress, even if it means delivering pizzas for a while. If you are over-spending, stop. Sell some things. Very few “things” are worth the stress of money worries.
9. Living Out of Your Integrity.
Are you living in alignment with your values? Are you being true to yourself? Do you need to apologize for something or ask for forgiveness? When you are living outside of your integrity, it causes a disruption in your soul and your psyche. It drains your energy, fosters guilt, and saps your self-esteem. Get right with yourself and with others.
10. Living Without Fun.
If you life is all duty and work (even if the work is enjoyable), you are living out-of-balance. Fun and relaxation are necessary ingredients for a full and joyful life. By removing some of the other stresses from your life, you can make room for pleasurable activities, travel, and entertainment. The world is your beautiful oyster meant to be enjoyed.
11. Accepting Ignorance and Inertia.
We use both of these as excuses not to do something. We talk ourselves into our own inability to accomplish or change because we are afraid. We are afraid it will be hard, we are afraid we might fail, we are afraid it won’t work. You and everyone else knows these are just excuses to avoid. Don’t accept them anymore. Stretch yourself.
12. Lack of Communication.
In every single relationship you have, especially your primary relationship, healthy communication is essential to your life happiness. We you aren’t communicating properly with someone, you feel anxious, angry, frustrated, and helpless. Open, honest, loving communication is the number one ingredient for successful relationships. If you don’t know how to communicate in a healthy way, then learn how to and begin to implement these skills.
Use the next few minutes to think about one area in your life you are just tolerating. How does this toleration impact your sense of well-being and joy? What is one action you could take today to begin to eliminate this toleration? Even a small change can make a huge shift for the better in your life.
Barrie Davenport is a personal and career coach and the founder of Live Bold and Bloom, a blog about bold and fearless living. She is also editor-in- chief of The Daily Brainstorm and author of Discover Your Passion: A Step-by-Step Course for Creating the Life of Your Dreams.
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How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.