“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
I have had a consistent pile of unopened junk mail growing next to my front door for the last three years. I walk past it every morning and spend most of the drive wondering if I’ve buried something important. Did my tax return arrive? What if that company that interviewed me sent an offer letter already?
My recent run-in with a new coaching theory from Coach U and CoachVille concerning “tolerations” flipped my perception of “tolerance” from a sign of maturity, open-mindedness, and understanding to a word that symbolizes all of the nagging little things in my life that I choose to put up with rather than simply eliminate—like my junk mail pile.
The theory of eliminating tolerations begins with the assumption that we all have little things that we “tolerate” every day. These could be chores left undone, bad habits left unchecked, or relationship issues left unaddressed. Whatever these things are for you, there is a high probability that you waste hours of your mental energy fretting over them without making any progress.
So, how do we eliminate these nagging little items that we have put up with for days, months, maybe even years? We make a list.
I was challenged by a coach to sit down and write the first 40 nagging things that come to mind. Don’t worry about addressing the issue with your bad habit, poor communication, or unmet expectation, just write them all down. I thought this task would be challenging, but within less than 20 minutes, I was ready to start filling a second page.
This exercise was a huge emotional release, but it also gave me a concrete list to work from. By identifying the challenges in my life that zap my energy or overwhelm me, I can control them and tackle them one at a time. This revelation left me feeling empowered to do more because every “toleration” I eliminate creates a little more breathing room for activities I enjoy and thoughts that lead to confidence rather than self-doubt.
By taking the control of the little pieces of your life that may feel like they are spinning out of control and placing it back into your own steady hands, you allow yourself to determine your own trajectory, and that confidence will translate in your interactions with employers.
Written by: Melanie Diffey Melanie is a Career Services Specialist with Ashford University who specializes in the application and interview processes. She has been working in higher education for seven years, and she loves to help students find their niche in school as well as the workforce.