Love Letter #86: The Downside of Tolerance

What are you tolerating in your life?

This was a question I was asked by one of my teachers years ago. At first, I didn’t understand it, but the more I play in this question and honestly answer it the more I see how tolerance isn’t a good thing.

Often, we are not reaching our dreams not because we don’t have what it takes, but because we are tolerating things in our lives that take our time and attention away from what we truly want. We settle for mediocre or just good enough.

Mediocrity isn’t bad or wrong. It serves to inspire us to strive for something greater.

But first, we have to become aware of how it can creep into our experience. Let’s face it. Tolerating mediocrity can feel like a comfy blanket. It’s familiar and our brains love familiarity.

I’ve settled for mediocrity in jobs, relationships, and friendships. None of them were terrible. They were just mediocre; good enough. Nothing about these things or people was wrong, they were just wrong for me. I would leave their company feeling drained rather than nourished.

A lot of what we tolerate is a byproduct of our social conditioning. We’ve been taught to please and not disappoint others, and are practiced at disappointing ourselves. Lack and scarcity mindset keep us believing there won’t be another or better job. We’ve been conditioned out of dreaming big for ourselves because it seems impossible to others.

Think about it. Were you expected to settle for what you had as a kid? To stop asking? To not want so much? To just be happy with what you had? And how about this one? Stop daydreaming and be realistic.

Maybe this was just my experience, but I doubt that. And if I am honest, I probably taught my children to tolerate things they don’t truly want in their lives too. I’m sorry for that.

So, today, I invite you to ask yourself, “What am I tolerating?” Sit with the question and be honest with yourself.

Here are a few questions that can help you dive in…

  • Where in your life do you NOT feel nourished or fulfilled?
  • Who do you feel apprehensive about talking with?
  • Where in your life or with whom do you feel drained?
  • What in your life feels meh…

Notice all of these questions focus on how you FEEL not what you think…because we always know the truth by the way we feel.

Then, with curiosity, ask yourself these bigger questions: 

  • “Why am I tolerating this?”
  • “What would feel loving and delicious instead?”

You get to decide what you tolerate and what you release and there’s no right or wrong to it. It’s all a matter of choice. But beware, what you tolerate is also holding you back from being your most fully expressed self.

This is not about having a perfect life…it’s about living the life that is perfect for you.

With love,

Feeling…nothing more than feeling…because how you feel is the secret to how you experience life. Grab a seat and start living the life that is perfect for you…the life you deserve. Start here…Feeling is the Secret. Grab a set and let’s go!

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