For a month I did not post a blog. I had a number of things going on that kept me from writing: a very quick turnaround deadline for a magazine submission, sick children, school holiday, waiting to hear about blogging for an ezine and whether there’s a conflict, etc. I realize that these sound like excuses, and they are. However, I can’t help but find myself thinking about how time got away from me, and how unsettled and off-balance I felt as it seemingly slipped through my fingers.
That lack of control, or the feeling of not having control, left me scattered and disorganized. I happened to be writing on simplifying, using an easy method to simplify in the new year, to take back your life. How interesting indeed that I should be offering advice on the very thing I was wrestling.
In my research and soul-searching for the article, I kept coming back to this quote:
“Tolerations are holes in your personal success cup, draining away contentment and good fortune.” – Thomas Leonard
What is a toleration, or tolerance? See if you can relate to any of the following: a pile of mail you’ve yet to sort thru; a hole in the wall you now barely notice; the box you keep thinking you’ll take to the basement, but now walk past without even noticing; the knocking sound in your car you’re afraid will lead to a costly repair; an unhealthy relationship that drains your energy, yet you keep making yourself available. These are examples of tolerances. Every time you say you will get to it later, you are etching-away at your personal success cup. I like to call tolerances “thorns.” These are the things we know need attention, but we can’t be bothered to get to it, whatever the reason.
I am not a psychotherapist and am not qualified to diagnose where these tolerances come from and why you put up with them. However, let’s explore it a little. Perhaps if you take care of that one thing, you might free up energy to work on the novel you always wanted to write. Maybe, if you are in control of the minor repairs in your home, you will have extra energy to focus on weight loss or fitness. Is it possible that fear holds you back? For me, it is not only possible, it is the cold, hard reality. We all have fears, and they can either hold us back or propel us forward. Tolerances are the thorns in our side, or the holes in our success cup.
OK, so we all have fear. My sassy self wants to tell you, “Get over it,” but I think I said that in the last post, so maybe I need something more original. Think about the quote, and focus on your success cup. Do you want it to see it “runneth over” or would you prefer to see it leaky and nearly empty? I’m not sure about you, but I prefer that mine runneth over. I can help you find the way to fill your success cup. You will have to work, it may feel or look difficult, and you will have to be courageous and fearless, but you will do it, if you try my simple method.
Start by writing an “I’ve Accomplished” list. Write everything you’ve done each day. Do it for three days and then read thru all three days. Write it all. What do you see? I bet you see how much you do, and will not believe it. Do you do things that do nothing for your success or well-being? Perhaps you volunteer at your child’s school and the organization is chaotic and you feel you are wasting your time. If you are….well, free yourself. Gracefully bow-out of that commitment, or at least say no to next year.
Write your “I’ve Accomplished” list for three days. After three days of accomplishments, write your “To-Do” list. If this is more than seven tasks in one day, you are way over-shooting, and will probably always feel like you’re failing on some level. That negativity will spill-over into other areas of your life in one way or another. If the “To-Do” list is overwhelming you, why don’t you try something radical? Don’t write one. Loosen the noose and take it off. Throw out your list (gasp!)
If you know what’s important to you, you will get it done. You have faith in yourself, right? If it’s important, you won’t forget to do it, will you? For things that are really important, but you worry you might get sidetracked, or worse, avoid doing it because it sounds painful, put a reminder in your phone, computer or paper calendar so you can’t escape it. Hold yourself accountable, but be realistic about what you can accomplish well in one day. Go back and review the “I’ve Accomplished” lists, and pat yourself on the back for everything you do each day. I bet you will start to write the “To Do” list differently, if you choose to continue with it anymore.
You are the only person who can set yourself free and realize your success. If you visualize success, a full cup that “runneth over” and give yourself permission to feel accomplished every day, you will notice how much this perspective shift can change your life. Make one small change at a time, take a step toward completing the one task that has been holding you back, and think positive thoughts about yourself and your life in the process.
I wish you the best in your journey into the holiday season, heading in to a new year. You are amazing, and I am honored that you take the time to read these posts.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.