We all struggle with frustrations that tap our reserves. Some stem from life, external circumstances and interactions with others, and many are self-imposed. What are you "putting up with" in your life -- at home, at work or with friends, and how much is your capacity to please or tolerate things impacting the quality of your life? Are you wired to just ignore the mess and tolerate the "noise" in your life, or are you ready to tackle the things that are keeping you from living a life that gives your more satisfaction and self-efficacy? The problem is that these minor and major things have a way of building until it becomes a pile-up, which then feels so overwhelming that it's hard to know where to begin. Start with making a list of the things you'd like to more effectively manage or eliminate.
A few examples of the usual things that we put up with, or minor annoyances are: household clutter, broken things, tasks that have been put off, friends with bad behaviors and so on. Some major sources of things we tolerate might include an abusive work situation, a devaluing mother-in-law, an abusive relationship or the bullying behaviors of a partner. How are you impacted when the things you tolerate build and build until things feel, well, intolerable? What might you lose (real or fear of) if you confront these problems Most importantly, how would your life improve if you made some important and helpful changes?
Not addressing the growing pile of things in your life that torment you leads to many problems, including: mounting anxiety and stress reactions, feeling overwhelmed and stuck, feeling energetically drained and tapped as well as feeling sad and depressed. Eventually your ability to feel confident and effective and have a sense of agency in your life is compromised. So, how do you begin the process of fixing some of these problems, or at least minimizing the personal impact?
- Decide where to begin, maybe pick three things that you'd like to focus on. You can't do it all. A commitment to change and taking action can lead to feelings of empowerment and wellbeing.
- When you decide to take action steps, set a time or put some of these desired changes on your calendar. "I will have this discussion with my colleague who is always late on this date..."
- To keep you on task you may need to enlist the help of a friend, spouse, parent, personal coach or anyone who will provide some accountability and remind you of your desired outcome. No shame in asking for a little nudge.
Regarding getting more of what you want, or desired outcomes -- stay focused on not only what you want to eliminate from your life, but what you want to add to your life. Eliminating and finally getting on top of the messy pile of things that you put up with in your day, week and year, will lead to greater balance, increased freedom, personal satisfaction and enhanced confidence. You will begin to feel more empowered and confident (this can be scary for many), but ultimately, it will free you up to have a richer and more satisfying life. Take small steps if this works best!