Create a Toleration-Free Zone

Create a Toleration-Free Zone

Summer 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.  We are halfway through 2016, which makes it at great 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.  Have you ever wondered why you are not getting the results you desire even though you are putting in tremendous effort? Are you sometimes wondering if a new strategy will even make a difference?

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 zapping at least one toleration each week.  Soon it will become a life habit.

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. Rachel, you’ve been reading my mail. I have a handful of pesky things that need fixing, and I keep putting off. I know, nuts. But as you say, they’re not crisis material, so . . .
    But they are weighing on me now. Gonna hit that to-do list!
    Thank you for a kick in the pants 🙂
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  2. We just started addressing our tolerations (mostly in grouping #1) about two weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised at how I invigorated I felt by simply taking care of several small things! We’ve now worked time into our schedule to accomplish a few things in small chunks of time, which decreases overwhelm and helps us maintain our sanity. Loved this topic.

  3. Rachel – This is a great article. While I accomplish a LOT – I tolerate way, way too much. You were right to dedicate a blog post to this subject – it is so prevalent and I feel that we women tolerate a lot of nonsense (sometimes self-inflicted) in the name of keeping the peace. Eventually, it kind of becomes a way of life. I have an entire basement of crap that I should be selling on e-bay, craigslist, etc., but have been tolerating it for far too long. Thanks for the nudge to get off my duff and stop feeling bad overtime I go downstairs!

  4. I was just having one of those “how am I going to get everything done?” conversations with myself when I started reading this, Rachel. I truly do wish I had double the energy and time but your tips to remove tolerations has me thinking more creatively now. I’m so glad you mentioned dealing with one a week as a good way to start instead of trying to deal with them all at once, creating yet another energy draining block on the list.
    Tamuria recently posted…THIS IS THE EASIEST DOLL YOU’LL EVER MAKEMy Profile

  5. Super list Rachel and it’s always a great reminder to get out shit squared away so we can be the most efficient for our business… I think this is so much more needed for us entrepreneurs, for sure. Great tips
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…Create & CRUSH it on Facebook DIY StyleMy Profile

  6. Wonderful list, Rachel, and a great reminder not to put things off and to look after them when they present themselves. I am generally proactive when it comes to things that need to be fixed. I am continuing to de-clutter all the papers in my house, as somehow they seem to increase radically in volume just in a week. I know that spring and fall are the perfect times to “cleanse” ourselves of the ‘tolerances’ in our lives, so that when we arrive in summer, we are free, unencumbered and can enjoy the expansiveness that summer brings. Appreciate your tips and the reminder. I just called my repair person who left for a 5-week trip in the middle of doing some work around my house. Time to get that completed too!

  7. Many articles and blogs & challenges to help us declutter, but you have offered us a different way of looking at it. Fantastic concept- tolerations. All the extras I have in my home or basement, have its place, so they don’t bother me, but the longer unused items hang around, it will become an intolerance. I never thought of weight gain as an intolerance & it is. Oh, the list I didn’t think I had just got started.

  8. Hi Rachel

    Interesting concept. There are so many tolerations to get rid off. I have so many that are piled up in my list. As you shared, I will work on them each week so as not to be overwhelmed.

    Thanks for sharing this post. Take Care
    ikechi recently posted…3 Emotions that Decide Your Life Long DecisionsMy Profile

  9. Tolerations, love that word. It is so true, we tolerate so much. Ok I am off to straighten my desk I have been tolerating the mess for a few weeks. I will be done by the end of the day. Thanks.

  10. Great post, Rachel. I am a palm reader and find that older people’s hands are very lined, this is because they are much more sensitive to things than we are when we are younger. I guess we tolerate stuff and it builds up in our hand lines.

    Enjoy the journey!
    Mandy Allen recently posted…Ebook Profit Academy Product ReviewMy Profile

  11. Thank you Rachel for sharing your wonderful ideas on how to deal with our “tolerances” that we have in our lives 🙂 I agree that once you let go of each of them one by one, it becomes so much easier to move on 🙂 Releasing that negativity and bringing more positivity is what we all should be doing 🙂 Great share!

  12. Most people don’t ever realize they are tolerating things, or that those things are sapping their energy. Great post – will help people get more conscious about the things that rob them of energy!

  13. Oh yes…tolerations. Once we get rid of them in our lives (bit by bit), our experiences become so much fuller and rewarding. Now you’ll have to excuse me…I have to pick up that frigging piece of paper that’s been on the floor for the last 2 days. 😉

  14. Wow! One toleration resolved per week equals 52 per year! That puts things into perspective. Love the idea of choosing just one to five per week. Makes the process more manageable. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Nice post; love how you call distractions “tolerances,” since we seem to tolerate that which distracts us from our purpose. 🙂 Love your ideas: thank you for sharing so many of them, and then reminding us not to try them all at once!

  16. thank rachel i just love your ideas thank you for sharing so many good things keep up the good work love you.

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