One of the first things you are taught when you become a coach is about “Tolerations” and it’s a great place to start the conversation with any personal development or coaching client – be it about life, business, money or relationships.
It’s also a great place to start if you are feeling a bit like you are not getting on as fast as you could, as an Entrepreneur.
Tolerations are “energy sucks” that can really slow you down. They are the little nagging needling things that you put up with on a day to day basis, but which prick and niggle away in the back of your mind.
For example, imagine for a second walking around your house and noticing everything. Yes, everything, including the things your mind usually shies away from.
Is that a frayed bit of carpet? A cobweb in the corner, a bit of paintwork that has got scuffed by a skateboard (you can tell I have teenagers!)
With your working life, there are always things you are tolerating. Maybe your desk is in a spare room full of junk boxes, or you are having to work from the kitchen table and you have stopped clearing up completely at dinner time, just pushing things to one side.
Maybe you have out of date software, or your computer is dead slow. Perhaps you have one bit of software that doesn’t work properly and it’s fine most of the time but niggles you occasionally (like the way my Camtasia will record external sound via the mic but not internal sound from the computer, it crashes every time).
One of the best things you can do about tolerations is to get them OUT Of your head and onto a bit of paper, or onto your blog or into your Trello or Basecamp or other project management software and then, do you know what happens?
Something magical happens! Once you start sharing your tolerations with your team – or even just the universe – something magical happens.
Your team and/or your subconscious get to work and your tolerations start to get fixed, fix themselves or just go away!
Creating A Habit Of Achievement
The other thing that writing down, then zapping all your tolerations does is to make you feel like you are achieving something. Then you go on to achieve more, so it’s a virtuous circle. When I get a bit overwhelmed with all I have to do (all self imposed as I don’t have a boss), I’ll do something simple like polish my desk, put some books in a bag for the charity shop or activate my Marks & Spencer loyalty card online.
Don’t laugh, it gives me a glow of self-righteousness which carries me on to achieve something else!
When I originally wrote this blog post back in 2010 (so please don’t comment suggesting better solutions!), I was using a PC and as I sat down to write this ezine and before I did (classic avoidance technique!), I noticed that my backup wasn’t working. Further investigation revealed that it couldn’t launch because I didn’t have the right Java exe file installed (although the Java site said I did).
This Java issue has been a toleration for a while now, resulting in my not being able to see the drop down date box in my Google Analytics (which is impacting my ability to create meaningful conversion statistics).
So I called up ClunkClick and the ever-patient Edward talked me through fixing the Clunk Click and the Java issue.
This inspired me to try downloading a new version of GoodSync in an attempt to fix the RoboForm Online / Goodsync issue that’s been nagging – and lo and behold, both work perfectly now!
Then I logged into my Google Account in a hopeful manner, to find…………..nope! Still no dates to click on the drop down box. Darn it!
The toleration continued for a while until the pain got so bad, I had to devote time to sort it. Then the relief, while fleeting, was so great that I wondered why I had allowed myself to put up with that toleration for so long!
Nowadays, I have a team and anything I can’t do / fix myself in a nanosecond, goes onto the Trello board for one of my team to fix. Bliss!
I want to encourage you to make a list of your current Tolerations – even if you don’t how how in hell you are going to be able to zap each of them….you will amaze yourself. Either you, or someone you know will fix them or they will resolve themselves somehow. Just the very act of getting them out of your head will free up space to solve other more pressing problems, or get more creative somehow. Try it….
We then moved onto fixing the bathroom door which the two boys had managed to bust – this took some major effort on our part as it involved walking to B&Q (neither of us having a car at the moment which is a MAJOR toleration in itself, having been trying to manage without one, living in a town center and all) and buying TOOLS.
Sarah already has a toolbox (which was at her friend Michelle’s) and I have a toolbox too but it’s in my ex-husband’s garage along with all my art, and Christmas Decorations – don’t ask!
So paying for MORE tools was a bit painful – but easier than getting the toolboxes – so we pushed through it, along with the pain of choosing just the right length and width of screw – and came home with enough tools to be able to fix the door in a very “DIY SOS” style.
One more toleration zapped.
Then I moved onto to try and work out why anything to do with Facebook was showing in French as I’ve been tolerating that for a while and while looking around to find out how to change my preferred Facebook language, I was mighty cheered up by the discovery that you can now choose “English – Pirate” as your default FB language.
And very funny it is too. Your “single” status becomes “sailing solo” and it works outside FB too! So when you are reading someone else’s blog, the “like” button becomes “Arrr! Nicola Cairncross is viewin’ this with pleasure!”
Well, it made me laugh a LOT!
On the week that my very favourite TV show “The X-Factor” returns to our screens (yes I actually started to feel a bit happier about the end of the summer when I heard that news) I have to mention that my singing sister Heather has had some amazing success with her brand new blog at http://HeatherCairncross.com
She wrote about singing backing vocals on the new Susan Boyle album, and overnight her blog was shared on the Susan Boyle Fan Club Forum and she enjoyed hundreds – yes! hundreds of visitors, each day, over the next few days. A follow up blog post, some strategic tweets from Abbey Road Studios and the frenzy continued for a week or so. She has enjoyed requests for interviews from various media around the world and she has gained herself a lot of traffic and subscribers.
And why not visit me on Facebook to tell me what you are tolerating right now in your life or business! Just writing it down will start that magical zapping process working!