Tolerations are things that annoy us, occupy our mind, make us fret and ultimately, drain our energy.

“Tolerations” are the things that annoy us, occupy our mind, make us fret and ultimately, drain our energy.   They’re like a great weight we carry around with us. They are the things we typically mention – to ourselves, family, friends, workmates – and often begin with “oh, that’s right, I mustn’t forget to do X” or “yes, I’ve been meaning to do Y and haven’t got around to it yet” or even “it’s driving me crazy, seeing that mess/knowing that situation hasn’t been resolved yet”.

It’s easy to tolerate things. We get conditioned to do so through our upbringing, our schooling, our workplaces. Being tolerant is a positive quality to have however, being too, too tolerant can often be negative and damaging – to ourselves and our workplace.

When we tolerate things that we really aren’t that happy about, we:

  • are often tired
  • feel burdened
  • often lose creativity and flair
  • often can’t get going – and may feel stuck, unable to move on things
  • often receive negative benefits that encourage us to keep tolerating the intolerable
  • often become negative in our thinking and attitudes

What are the benefits of eliminating our tolerations? We will:

  • feel good about ourselves, our situation and achievements
  • have positive energy
  • achieve what we want to achieve
  • conserve our energy and have reserves to spare
  • look and sound positive
  • have “head space” freed up

How do we eliminate tolerations?

  1. Make a list of at least 15 things you are tolerating in your world – both the big and small tolerations. For example, the cluttered cupboard to the unpainted back fences.
  2. Determine the current benefits you receive from tolerating things and whether it’s worth it to evolve into a toleration-free zone. It may not be – you’ll know.
  3. Select the tolerations you wish to eliminate.
  4. Prioritise the tolerations and begin with the most draining, most difficult one.
  5. Determine the steps you need to take to eliminate each toleration.
  6. Determine the deadline for eliminating each toleration.
  7. Book in time to ‘do the doing’.
  8. Tell others around you what you’re doing, so you can receive their encouragement and support .
  9. Begin at once – use the Nike approach – Just Do It! Quit whining and moaning – get into gear.
  10. Keep going until all the tolerations have been eliminated.
  11. Make lifestyle or attitudinal changes to support and maintain your progress.
  12. Celebrate your successes along the way.
  13. Then, make another list of another 15 tolerations and repeat the process from the beginning.
  14. Then, repeat the whole exercise every 12 weeks.


Action Required

Completion Date

Yes, Done!!


The concept of tolerations and related checklists are part of Coach U’s Clean Sweep Program(tm). You are welcome to share this resource providing attribution is given to: (i) Coach U, USA ( (ii) Dwan & associates and links to our email address and website are included. Email:

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