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Spring Clean Your Life!

Copyright (c) 2008-2023
(See This Article in its Original Format.)

Spring must have sprung at last as I have found myself engaged in all kinds of spring cleaning over the last few weeks. Actually, it goes beyond spring cleaning. Spring cleaning usually involves some kind of task that needs to be taken care of once a year like raking the lawn or cleaning out closets. My spring cleaning has been more centered on eliminating tolerations.


What are tolerations? Tolerations is a coaching term that refers to anything that you are putting up with and drains your energy or irritates you. Human beings have an amazing capacity for toleration. Tolerations can become so much a part of our life that we come to accept them as normal. Some of the tolerations that I have been dealing with lately are: finally getting the print that has sat in my closet for the last year and a half framed, hemming a pair of pants that have hung in the closet for 4 months, fixing a broken lock, and cleaning out a closet.

I think we all know how it feels when we finally take care of something that has been hanging around the edges of our unconsciousness; it feels great! What a sense of accomplishment, completion, satisfaction, and I admit, unbridled joy, completing a long overdue task can create! I can breathe a deep sigh of relief and exult in how fabulous the closet looks or how nice the framed print looks on the wall. What a sense of freedom and release!

Wow, so if taking care of a few physical tasks that I have procrastinated on can make me feel so good, what would happen if I took care of some more significant tolerations? Tolerations do not just refer to a to-do list or clutter. Tolerations can also be situations, attitudes, and behaviours in myself and others that I am putting up with.

Personal Boundaries and Tolerations

Some examples of these kinds of tolerations are: people who do not treat you well, negative attitudes (from yourself or others), unrealistic expectations (from yourself or others), and people who cross your personal boundaries.

Personal boundaries are the behaviours that you hold others to in your presence. Thomas Leonard had this to say about boundaries: “Boundaries are imaginary lines we establish around ourselves to protect our souls, hearts, and minds from the unhealthy or damaging behaviour of others. It is recommended to extend your boundaries at least two or three times beyond where they are”.

Setting boundaries will dramatically reduce what you are tolerating from other people. We tend to compensate around our boundaries rather than enforce them. It can be so much easier to withdraw or grit your teeth rather than to speak what is true for you. Boundaries are a tool for honouring our physical, emotional, and spiritual integrity. When we allow others to consistently cross our personal boundaries we are tolerating their behaviour.

Obstacles to Success

Tolerations can act as obstacles to our success by draining our energy and attention, leading us to feel stuck, and keeping us from having the space and energy to focus on what is really important to us. When you take steps to remove tolerations you create a reserve of time, space, and energy for what you really want to have in your life.

That is the beauty and power of eliminating tolerations. It is a simple way to get you into action, generate momentum and create energy in your life. It can feel as though a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders. It can give you confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Taking care of even simple tolerations can make you feel better immediately, reduce stress, and increase your security.

Coaching Questions

What are you tolerating in your life right now?

Where are your personal boundaries being crossed?

How are these tolerations impacting you? (Do they make you feel tired, defeated, frustrated, angry, or sad?)

What would change for you if you eliminated these tolerations?


Identify your tolerations

The first step in eliminating tolerations is to identify them. Write down every toleration you can think of on a piece of paper. You may want to keep a sheet of paper on your desk or on the fridge where you can right down tolerations as they occur to you over the next week.

Eliminate your tolerations

1. Do it.

Complete that project, clear that clutter, make that phone call - just do it! Or you may need to set a personal boundary and communicate it. Let people know how they are crossing your boundary and request that they change their behaviour. You may have to tell a friend who calls you three times a day that while you love to hear from her you are only able to speak to her once a day.

2. Dump it/Delegate it.

Ask yourself - How does this serve me? Is this still important to me or has something changed? Does this support my goal? Who else can do this for me? (Remember there is someone out there who loves to do what you hate to do). Can I just let this go? That phone call is a ‘should’ and I have decided that I am not going to make it.

3. Accept it.

Perhaps there is nothing you can do about this particular toleration at this time. If so, you can accept that it is what it is and refuse to give it any more energy. You may also want to consider a new perspective on the toleration. Look for a potential benefit from the toleration. Is there some good that comes from it, is it a means to an end?

4. Talk about it.

If you are stuck for a solution, discuss the toleration with others. Often you will receive new perspectives or new ideas on how to eliminate tolerations from others.

Important Information

Some tolerations can be dealt with immediately and some cannot. Look for commonalities between tolerations. There is often one pivotal resolution that will serve to eliminate a number of tolerations. It is often best to start with a small, easy to handle toleration first so that you can build momentum. Larger tolerations can be broken down into bite size, more manageable pieces.

Start with one small thing that you know you can do and keep moving on from there. Before you know it, you will have eliminated your tolerations and freed up time, space, and energy. Now you only have to decide what you want to do with this new found freedom!

About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Jan Hornford is a Master Certified Retreat Coach who creates inspiring retreats for personal discovery. Her retreats speak to your imaginative, intuitive, and spiritual nature and help you connect with your personal power and wisdom. Visit her site for free resources, self-led retreats and ebooks that will help you live a heart centered life. , 403-852-4304,

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