My family loves dogs.  All my kids have puppies; 4 to be exact.  When the grand puppies come to visit, they inevitably “mark” their territory in the only rooms that have carpet; rarely do they target the easy to clean- up tile floor.  Each pup wants to send a strong message of whose top dog on the totem pole.

Despite my efforts to quickly clean up the damage, unsightly dark spots mysteriously reappear like a rogue in a suspenseful movie. Whenever I walk past the stains on my carpet, I cringe and get that “ugh” feeling inside my stomach. Yet day after day I do nothing about it.

My lame excuse for tolerating the carpet stains was that I was planning on remodeling the house in the future and thought to myself, “This will be replaced soon, just live with it.”  A few weeks ago, I was done; I’d had enough. You know how sometimes you wake up and you’re disgusted with what you’ve been putting up with mentally and emotionally?

What gives you that “ugh” disgusted feeling, what are you tolerating?


Tolerations are things you put up with that clutter your perception, distract you and drain your energy like a generator slowly losing its voltage. Tolerations vary situationally but show up in conditions looking like:

  • Omnipresent Clutter: closets, drawers, desks, and minds
  • Always saying yes when you really mean no
  • That friend who incessantly complains and gossips
  • An employee who is chronically late
  • A prevailing attitude that saps your vitality


What are your tolerations costing you?

Having tolerations negatively impact your life. They prevent you from moving forward and contribute to mindless living. They keep you on the agenda of others, rather than living life on your own terms. When you stop tolerating things, you free up time and energy to devote to a higher quality of life. Let’s look at 3 instrumental ways to keep you from leaking valuable energy and improving your life by eliminating tolerations.

3 Ways to Eliminate Tolerations

1. Recognize the Root

It is helpful to identify the source of what you continue to allow in your life. To get to the root of the toleration, ask yourself:

  • Why do I put up with tolerations?
  • What am I avoiding by ignoring this toleration?
  • What is this toleration costing me?

Don’t just accept the toleration as a part of your life; get to the source of it to ensure the problem won’t resurface, like unsightly dark spots on a carpet. You can resolve the problem by eliminating the root. For example, if you are tolerating a job you dislike, switching jobs won’t necessarily eliminate the toleration. Consider the qualities of an environment that best supports you regardless of what arena you’re in.

“If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us.” – Marshall Goldsmith

2. Create Flourishing Environments

Most people live in survival mode and are impacted and shaped by their surroundings rather than intentionally creating an optimal, flourishing, culture. If you want to get into a zone and be more productive, you must be proactive to shape your environment.

To start creating optimal environments, make a list of 5 things you tolerate in the following key areas of your life:

  • You Home
  • Your Work
  • Your Mindset
  • Your Emotions
  • Your Time

Once you identify what you are tolerating in each area, be committed and determined to get rid of these energy drainers. View eliminating tolerations in the same way you would goal setting; start by addressing one at a time.

Successful people manage their calendars; be intentional and set an end date for the toleration to be eliminated.  Cue yourself to recognize when you get that “ugh” feeling.  What did you just tolerate?  Look to either fix it immediately or write it down and return to it as soon as you can; being mindful not to procrastinate.  As you assess your individual environments, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Home: What in your home is not contributing to your energy?
  • Work: What do you procrastinate doing at work?
  • Mindset: What negative mindsets are you allowing to influence your thoughts?
  • Emotions: Are you in control of your emotions or do you constantly react rather than respond to your circumstances?
  • Time: Are you in charge of your time or are you continually distracted and bombarded by the agenda of others?

Unfortunately, most people live in a reactive state. They are governed by an environment they allow to control them.  When you commit to taking back your own power, you increase your energy reserves and are in charge of your personal decisions and actions.  This creates the much sought after flow state we all desire to have in our lives.

3. Pivotal Tolerations

Once you write down the things that drain your energy, look for a pivotal toleration.  A pivotal toleration refers to something you are putting up with that, when removed, will automatically resolve other tolerations; much like a domino effect.

An example of this is opening a savings account dedicated to funding tolerations.  This can be used to finance:

  • The replacement of an unreliable vehicle you drive
  • A personal assistant to free up time for yourself
  • A cleaning service to eliminate the clutter you tolerate

As you eliminate each toleration, you lighten up. This action alone breeds confidence.

Imagine Your Life without Tolerations

What would your life look like if you purged your environment and your mindset of the things you tolerate?  Instead of continually trying to manage situations that drain your energy, you could experience the freedom that comes from choice.


  • A greater sense of peace in your daily life
  • More time to pursue things you aren’t able to do now
  • The sense of freedom and empowerment that results from being in control

People who are intentional about eliminating tolerations create a state of flow for themselves. They have less stress, more vitality, and experience greater productivity which enhances their quality of life.

Remove the Carpet

How to Eliminate Tolerations and Upgrade Your Life - Rita HudgensWhen I finally decided I was done tolerating the carpet stains, I immediately dialed a repairman and asked him if he could fix my mess yesterday. I didn’t even get a quote for the job; I just told him to come and take the carpet out. Within a few hours, he had removed the old carpet, padding, and tack strips. My life was immediately upgraded; I felt free and no longer had to tolerate something that continually drained my energy; subconsciously or consciously.

This turned out to be a pivotal toleration. Once the unsightly old carpet was removed, I recognized I had so much more wide open space in the house.  I moved furniture around and transformed the dining room into a sitting room that I’ve longed to have for years.  I would not have seen the possibilities of it, had I not gotten rid of the thing I had been tolerating.

Creating and living a toleration-free life is a skill that requires focus and dedication, but one definitely worth pursuing.  Getting rid of tolerations lifts the fog and allows you to see possibilities you were previously unaware of. My hope is that as you eliminate one toleration at a time, you create a life of flow and enjoy your new found freedom.

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Rita Hudgens

Leadership and Personal Development Coach at Transform University
Rita is a Performance Improvement Coach. Her mission is simple; she helps entrepreneurs, achievers, and leaders make positive changes in their behavior. She empowers her clients so they are more in control of their present which in turn gives them a greater sense of self-confidence. She creates a safe environment for them and builds on their values, passions and strengths so that they can achieve their personal and professional goals.

Rita helps her clients:
• Embrace their true potential
• Change their limiting beliefs/thoughts
• Create Purpose
• Live Empowered, Confident, and Successful Lives
Rita Hudgens
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