Plug The Energy Drains

Thomas Leonard, the “father” of life coaching, was one of the first people to understand and point out how tolerating petty annoyances was a huge drain on one’s energy. Here are steps you can take right now to begin dealing with the things you are tolerating.
plug the energy drains

Thomas Leonard defined tolerations as those things we “put up with, accept, take on, and are dragged down by” . . . including “people’s behavior, situations, unmet needs, crossed boundaries, unfinished business, frustrations, problems, and even our own behavior.” [Coach U]

Anything that you are putting up with, that you are tolerating, is a drain on your energy. Consider this. Think of one thing you are tolerating. Let’s say it’s your garage that needs cleaning out and organizing. Every time you walk into your garage, you get that uncomfortable feeling and think, “I’ve got to get this place straightened out some day.” You’ve spent mental and emotional energy on the thought but have done nothing to alleviate the situation. Multiply that small drain by 60 or 100 such encounters every day and you see what a drain these annoyances are taking.

Plus, every time you think, “I’ve got to do this someday”, your subconscious mind says “Right” and adds it to the running list it keeps of everything you have to do. Now, the subconscious has no sense of time. It doesn’t understand “someday”. So, from time to time, usually at an inopportune moment, the subconscious rises up and says, “Remember, you need to do this, and you need to do this, and you need to do this, and you need to do this, and you need to do this . . .” Energy expended, nothing accomplished.

Here are steps you can take right now to begin dealing with the things you are tolerating. These are short, quick actions intended to give you a jump start for this step in creating your Excelerated Life. Use these suggestions for a quick boost to get yourself started on the path of creating your Excelerated Life or to get yourself back on track when you feel you have gotten off course.

Whenever you feel your energy being drained away, jump start your ability and your resolve to deal with the things you’ve been tolerating. Read through the list and choose one or two action steps that stand out for you and that you are attracted to. Then do them today – right now if possible or schedule them in your calendar to do as soon as you can. If you need more of a boost, continue with more of the activities.

List 3 – 5 pay-offs you receive from not dealing with something you are tolerating. Decide if putting up with the annoyance is worth the cost?

Set a timer for 3 minutes and write down everything that comes to mind that you are tolerating – putting up with. Using the timer focuses your brain. At the end of 3 minutes, keep going if you need to.

Carry your written list with you and add other annoyances as they come to mind.

Set aside 10 minutes every day to deal with one of your annoyances. If it’s too big to handle in 10 minutes, break the task down into smaller steps. Consistency is key.

Notice when you are complaining. Stop complaining and make a strong request instead.

Pick one thing you’ve been “stepping over” (figuratively or literally). Make a plan to deal with the thing in such a way that it doesn’t come back to bite you for at least 5 years.

Have a conversation with those close to you to let them know what you will no longer tolerate. Be kind. Be gracious. Be firm.

Count the costs of what you are tolerating – the hard costs (money, time, energy) and the soft costs (space, opportunity, peace of mind). What can you save or gain by dealing with this thing once and for all?

Look for ways to eliminate several annoyances at once. What change could you make that could help you deal with a number of things you are tolerating?

Consider the difference between being toleration free and being intolerant. One frees up energy, the other eats up energy.

By dealing with the things you have been tolerating and resolving to become toleration free, you now have energy and attention to focus on your BIG goal. And that is Excelerating!

Dealing with the things you’ve been tolerating is one step in creating your Excelerated Life™, a life of flourishing and well-being, and a life of meaning, purpose, and service.

Read more about the Excelerated Life™.


Coach U, Inc. Coach U’s Essential Coaching Tools. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005

Leonard, Thomas. The 28 Laws Of Attraction. New York: Scribner, 1998

Miedaner, Talane. Coach Yourself To Success. Lincolnwood, IL: Contemporary Books, 2000

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