Are Tolerations Draining Your Energy?

Are Tolerations Draining Your Energy?

Fall is upon us, and with it a change of season. Every transition gives us the opportunity to optimize our daily rituals, systems and way of being. I think that is an exceptional opportunity.

One of my favorite things to do at "transition" time is clear up pesky energy drains and tolerations that zap precious energy. As you free up your energy, it will give you the boost you need to take inventory, re-prioritize and embrace the changes you need to finish your year successfully and peacefully.  With just over three months left in 2014, it is time to focus. What changes are you committed to?

Now is a great time to begin feeling more energized, creative and productive.  Perhaps you wish you could double the amount of energy and time you have in a day.  Or, you may be feeling sluggish and bogged down, finding it difficult keep your sanity and success soaring.  Well, this post will share one of the best-kept secrets to my clients' success because, when they apply it, they radically free up their energy, cluttered mind and stress quotient so that they can maximize their productivity and inner peace.

We have learned to tolerate a lot.  We put up with, accept, take on and are dragged down by people's behavior, situations, unmet needs, crossed boundaries, unfinished business, frustrations, problems and even our own behaviour.  We are all tolerating more than we think.

Every industry has its own jargon and the coaching industry is no different.  If you are not already familiar with the concept of tolerations, I will share why dedicating time each week eliminating tolerations is one of the most life-transforming commitments you can make. 

What are Tolerations?

A toleration is something you have been putting up with, putting off or not dealing with — that drains your energy.  It could be as simple as a button missing off your favorite shirt, a cluttered desk, or thank you cards you have been meaning to send.  When that "something" isn't handled, just thinking about it zaps your already depleted energy.

Some "tolerations" are small and could be handled quickly but get put off because they are not urgent.

Procrastination is the breeding ground of tolerations. There is also a time component to tolerations. The longer a "pesky little task" is not handled, the more energy is drained.

Tolerations come in all shapes and sizes.  Writing them down on a list is the first step in addressing these energy vampires and freeing up precious energy.

Types of Tolerations

I share nine types of tolerations in life so you can start tackling them one at a time and create more energy in your life.  I also included examples to get you thinking.

  1. Clutter, Cleanliness and Organization is a big one.  Take a look at the piles of papers on your desk, overstuffed closets, messy drawers, refrigerator, dirty car (inside or outside), messy garage, etc.
  2. Items needing fixing.  Are your electronics working?  Cell phone, stereo, computer?  Lighting in office? Button missing from favorite shirt? Shoes needing polish?  Scan your office and home environments…is anything broken?
  3. Maintenance Items.   Oil changed in car, teeth cleaned, light bulb replaced, clothes to dry cleaner, AC or heat serviced, battery replaced in phone or clock, schedule haircut, etc.
  4. Unfinished Projects or Lingering To-Do's. Thank you notes to send, a proposal or presentation to prepare, shopping, update resume, register for Toastmasters, etc.
  5. Comfort Items.  What are you tolerating in your environment that is affecting your comfort?  Example: Not having enough heat in the office (solution: new heater, or clothes to dress more warmly), no A/C (Solution: buy one, get a fan, wear shorts), loud working environment (Solution: noise-canceling headphones)
  6. Relationship Tolerations.   Does someone needlessly swearing, gossiping or over-doing sarcasm to the point of annoyance?   Does someone leave socks on ground, toilet seat up or wet towels on the bed?  Is your spouse constantly criticizing, whining or withholding affection?  How do you address relationship tolerations? Make a request. Set a boundary. Shift your mindset. Get support.
  7. Bad Habits.  Yes, sometimes we tolerate our own bad habits, which interferes with productivity and deeper fulfillment.  Examples: Watching too much TV, smoking, caffeine addiction, excessive alcohol, being late to appointments, oversleeping, staying up late, indulging in negative thoughts, etc.
  8. Health Issues. Not attending to your health is another type of toleration. Examples: Healing an injury, losing weight, not exercising, not having the right foods on hand, skipping meals, postponing a mammogram or other important medical exams, etc.
  9. BIGGER Tolerations.  This last category is for those nagging issues that do not quite fit into the others, and generally are not simple fixes.  Examples: A challenging boss, client or co-worker; a chronic injury or illness, losing that last 10 to 20 pounds, cramped office space, not enough closet space, etc.   For BIGGER Tolerations you will need to get more creative, enlist support or think outside the box.  Still recognizing any toleration allows your subconscious to start attracting a solution.

Before you pull out your sheet of paper and start writing, here is another secret:

It is not about handling ALL of your tolerations at once–that would be overwhelming.  Just focus on one to  five  tolerations to handle each week.  Progress happens over time.  Your Tolerations List should free you up–not bog you down.  Just handling one per week for a year is 52 energy-draining tolerations done!

Often tolerations start getting handled almost automatically once they are identified.  My clients who consistently commit to handling a few tolerations weekly, quickly discover how simple it is to free up energy.

Commit to eliminating tolerations each week.  Soon it will become a life habit.

You can thank me later.


About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. Hello Rachel, When I first seen your title I had no idea what the word tolerations meant. But you my friend have done such a great job explaining this, that I get it LOL

    Tolerations, HUM? I do try not to put things off and I do get up every morning and write out my to do list but yet there are days when I cannot get ti together. I really did get some great tips from this article.

    Yes it is the last quarter to 2014 and it is time to get focused..Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

  2. Hi Rachel,

    I love the way you use the term “Tolerations” You have given me a good idea to put those little ones I have down on paper. I usually do that, but this gave me a good reminder. I’ve been so focused on business that I have left those little things undone.

    I have to get out my warmer clothes…put away those flip flops because it’s autumn now! A task I have been procrastinating on.
    I do have to hire my “Fall Clean Up” guy before he is booked and I’m cluttered with too many leaves around my home.
    Get in touch with my heating company to do that fall thing they do to clean out the vents.
    OMG…I’m writing a list! OK Now I’ll write it down on my own paper and pen lol.

    Thanks so much for the push…I feel better already!

    donna merrill recently posted…Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  3. Great points and some of these I admit I am facing too lol, however I am getting better with kicking tolerations away. It’s all stemming from that comfort zone which is when you think about, anything but comfortable in the long run.
    Miriam Slozberg recently posted…How you Can Turn a Competitor into a Potential ClientMy Profile

  4. What a great subject Rachel! I’ve always been pretty good about such things as keeping clutter under control, and if I don’t use something for 6 months it’s off to the Goodwill. Where I falter is relationships – I tend to hang on way too long. I have a feeling that’s the good Catholic girl in me. 🙂 That aside you’ve provided a great list here so thanks for reminder!
    Marquita Herald recently posted…What Have You Learned Today?My Profile

  5. Totally awesome post post Rachel!

    As usual! Anyway, the word of the day is definitely “tolerations!”LOL! So where the heck do I begin already! You
    did such a fabulous job defining the term and then offering several effective ways of dealing with it! Thank you1

    But your one really big take away for me is; where you advise not to try and accomplish everything all at once! because as you wisely pointed out.

    That more than likely, would simply lead to frustration and overload! great post! And thanks for sharing it! I’ll definitely gladly share this one!
    Mark recently posted…What To Do Even When Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies Still Leave A Really Bad Taste In Your Mouth!My Profile

  6. Hi Rachel! That was a really inspiring article and a good reminder. I find it’s so easy to put up with stupid little things that annoy you every time you see them for ages … and then it takes hardly any time at all to sort it and you can’t believe how long you let it drag on.

    I’ve never thought of bad habits in this way but you’re right, they are things that we tolerate in ourselves but drain so much energy. Hmmm, time for a little introspection I think!
    Lucy recently posted…Tips For Using Pinterest For Business [The Saturday Infographic]My Profile

  7. Rachel,
    This made me laugh … I always used the word ” irritations”, but tolerance, is a great word to use …. I have a pretty high tolerance for a lot of things. Maybe the one that rubs me the wrong way is gossip. It really bugs me when someone is talking about someone else and they don’t really know them or their situation. That’s when I say, ever so sweetly, I really don’t care to hear that… 🙂
    Nice reflective post … and welcome back to PAC!
    Lesly T. Federici recently posted…Think Design When Using VMFXMy Profile

  8. Rachel, I had no idea what tolerations were until I read your article! I think you have a great idea to make a list and use each new season to deal with these issues and move on so you can stop having them drain your energy and make you feel stressed out. I also believe in doing a physical detox and mental cleanse every season to help you free up energy and feel great so you can keep moving forward feeling rejuvenated and stronger. Thanks for sharing this concept with all of us!
    Shelley Alexander recently posted…5 Important Reasons Why a Seasonal Detox Keeps You Energized and HealthyMy Profile

  9. Clutter is a big one for me! I try to weekly clean up my office and desk area. It really is amazing how much can accumulate over a week or so. I work from home full-time, running several businesses so it can be pretty difficult keeping organize but when i am i can vouch that it helps me so much! Having clutter truly drains my energy. I thought it was just me but looks like lot of people deal with it too. Thanks for this great list and I am going through it to see how i can increase energy 🙂
    Kyle Nelson recently posted…10 Ways To Get More Followers On InstagramMy Profile

  10. HI Rachel, I’ve never thought about tolerations in this way before, and now that I see them, I have to get rid of them. Thank you for opening my eyes to them x

  11. Kyle Holcomb

    I like this post! People do not know how much time they are wasting each and every day with these tolerations. If they would learn to simply fix the issues that they are having and optimize their business time to be as efficient as possible, then their productivity and profits would increase accordingly. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Yeah they can definitely be exhausting with all the work arounds that we have to set up
    regards Dexter

  13. Hi Rachel ,
    wow, you taught me a new word 🙂
    its nice to call this tolerations .
    I have some of them ,like everybody it seems.
    You gave us a great list to look at and get it done .
    I like it ,thank you for this 🙂
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted…We Are What We Think – Ways Of ThinkingMy Profile

  14. Hi Rachel,
    I felt like you were talking directly to me in this post. Unfortunately, I have a lot of the same items on my “toleration” list that I need to clear up and get out of the way. True, most will only take a few minutes but putting them off is getting out of hand. Thanks for the nudge to get moving on them again.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted…Getting Classes Ready For Book PublishingMy Profile

  15. Hi Rachel!

    Some great points here! I have many ‘tolerations’ that are needing attention and I am paying attention to your advise to not try to tackle them all at once – overwhelm!

    I have ‘I can’t be bothered’ days and I really need to stop having them as they waste time that I could be spending on more productive activities. Changing the mindset to more of I’m having a ‘me day’ might be a better strategy but to focus on things that do improve myself rather than just doing nothing 🙂

    Thank you! Your whole site is packed with valuable content. I’ll be back to read more very soon!
    Sonia recently posted…Affiliate Marketing with PinterestMy Profile

  16. Oh my! Yes, it would indeed be overwhelming if I were to try eliminating or changing all of my tolerations at once — I didn’t realize I had so many!! Your list is very revealing. I see some key things on there that I hadn’t really paid attention to before — but I know it will make a big difference when they are dealt with.
    Willena Flewelling recently posted…Believe You Can 100 Day ChallengeMy Profile

  17. Being able to carry out necessary tasks and cut ties when they need cutting – that sounds like a recipe for success.

    At the same time, we all have to be fools for something – not be perfect and not carry the weight of everything – or there is a risk we will break. So a little bit of untidiness keeps us sane.

    If not perfect, we are ‘good enough’.
    David Bennett recently posted…Greeting Card: Onwards and UpwardsMy Profile

  18. It’s funny, as since August, I’ve been cleaning up my own toleration list. As I’ve done each one, I’ve had less worries. I’m down to the last one finally!
    Nile recently posted…Popularity And Being Influential Are Not Always The SameMy Profile

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