What Are You Tolerating? An Exercise to Make It Better.

Do you ever have “one of those days”?

You know the ones: where you wake up grumpy and everything irritates you? Where you go through your day tolerating the things that bother you? Where those things suck you into a vicious cycle of negative energy?

You know . . . those days.

Well, I had one of those days a few days ago. I woke up at two a.m. with my head spinning around all the things I’m tolerating.

For example, I’m tolerating my junk drawer.
Everyone has a junk drawer, right? And you wouldn’t think a junk drawer would keep someone awake at two a.m. But it did. I was thinking about all the junk I have in there: a broken cell phone, a bunch of accessories for my essential oils—accessories I’ll never use. I have a broken keychain in there, and some quartz crystal.

In other words, I have clutter in my junk drawer.

One of my amazing clients, Christa O’Leary, is an interior designer with wisdom around flow. Not spiritual flow, but the flow of energy, and how certain items, or clutter, can bog down that energy.

My junk drawer is bogging down my energy, you guys.

Clutter doesn’t manifest solely as physical clutter—as items. It can also manifest as relationships or situations or emotions.

So what happens when our energy becomes bogged down by this clutter?

We don’t have the bandwidth to follow through on things that are important to us. We get tired. It’s difficult to gather the momentum we need as we create something bigger than ourselves, as we create a movement we’re passionate about.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

I want to walk you through a powerful exercise for identifying your own life clutter, and then working through solutions to clear it.

You’re going to need a pen and a piece of paper. Go ahead, grab those, and I’ll be right here when you get back.

No, really!! Do it now, or you risk not coming back to this exercise. And I have a feeling you’re going to enjoy it.

Okay. Ready? Let’s begin.

I want you to brainstorm. What are you tolerating in your life right now that is bogging down your energy, weighing you down?

These may include:

• Relationships
• The way he or she might treat you
• That he or she doesn’t do any work around the house
• A certain team member
• A virtual assistant
• The fact that you don’t have enough money in your savings account
• The clothes in your closet that don’t look amazing on you anymore
• An average relationship with your mother
• Piles of laundry

Set a timer for 30 seconds, or even a minute if you’re feeling prolific.

Start writing. Write down everything that’s frustrating you, everything you’re thinking about, all those things that catch your eye or your thoughts during the day—the paperwork on your desk. The dishes in the sink. The way your friend is always late when you meet for coffee. Write it all down. Every single thing you can think of.

How did that feel?
It feels good to vent sometimes, even on paper, right?

Now, I want you to acknowledge that there’s nothing wrong with you.
These are items that genuinely bother you, that suck your energy, that make it difficult for you to make the strides you want to in other areas of your life.

Which brings me to the next step in this exercise: The Cleanup.

It’s time to clean up all that clutter.

What would your life look like if you cleaned up those items that are bothering you?

Looking at my own example—the junk drawer. Clearing the clutter would mean literally cleaning out the junk drawer, getting rid of things I don’t use, and seeing it organized every time I open it.

I had to think about how I would make that happen. I’ll be honest: I am not good at de-cluttering. I don’t enjoy it, and I don’t want to spend all day cleaning out a junk drawer.

But I can still clean this clutter by hiring someone to do it for me. There are people out there who de-clutter professionally, who enjoy it, and who are way more efficient at it than I am.

Now, what about those items that are related to other people?

The other night, my husband Ash cooked dinner. He’s a great cook, and I so appreciated that he made dinner. Even though he put away the leftovers, he did not do the dishes.

He left all the dishes in the sink that night, which meant that when I woke up at two a.m. (yes, it was the day—one of those days), I woke up to a sink piled high with dirty dishes. That is one of my least favorite things to wake up to!

But as I was washing dishes, I realized something: I’d never articulated to Ash that I would love it if he’d load the dishwasher and wash the dishes before going to bed. I just assumed that, knowing I don’t like dishes in the sink, he’d wash them. But I had never actually said anything about it.

So, for every item you wrote down during your brainstorming session, I’d like you to write down a possible solution. How can you get rid of the clutter that’s occupying space in your mind?

Of course, this exercise doesn’t end there.
Once you know how to clear that clutter, it’s time to implement!

Use this exercise over and over to make “it” better!

Leave a comment below on what you are tolerating and what you are going to do about it now!

Shanda xo

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Hi! I’m Shanda Sumpter, owner of HeartCore Business, investor to entrepreneurs on The Pitch, and named as one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies in 2017, 2018, and 2019. I’ve helped business owners all over the nation grow and scale their businesses while enjoying their lives more. I believe in giving generously and being honest—all in the name of leaving a legacy.

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