What Are You Tolerating?

What are you tolerating right now in your business? In your office? On your task list?

What goals are you tolerating right now?

You know the one (or maybe ones) – the goal that you look at, sigh, and decide to work on something else.

Why did you set that goal? What was the intent?

Actually spend some time thinking about it – what goal are you tolerating and why did you set it. Go ahead, think. I promise these words will be here when you get back.

Ok, now that you’re back, I’m wondering – does that intent still apply? Or, have you accomplished that intent in a different way? Maybe you don’t need to spend time on that particular goal anymore because the intent of the goal was met by something else.

Or, maybe your focus has changed slightly and doing that goal doesn’t really make sense anymore.

Or, maybe it seemed like the next logical step, but it doesn’t really feel right for you right now.

Whatever the reason, it’s still on your list, whether it’s a mental list or a written one, this goal is still there and incomplete.

I’m going to reference something I wrote about to-do lists that can also apply to goals:  they are there to help you, work for you and you do not work for them. Or – you set the goals, they don’t set you.

Sometimes your priorities, in business or life, change. And when your priorities change, your goals usually change too. And sometimes it’s not your priorities that change, sometimes your focus changes. You have the same priorities, but the way you support them was adjusted. And again, that probably means your goals will change a bit too.

This came up because I was talking with someone who realized that they had a blind spot in their business around their follow-up process. She wanted to address it immediately, but she didn’t have the time to do that and meet all of the goals she set for herself. Which was really frustrating, because she knew that what she was doing for her other goals could be more effective if she addressed the blind spot.

She felt that when you set a goal you don’t change it. Either you meet the goal or you don’t, but you can’t change it.

The result of trying to meet her other goals and leaving the blind spot alone for now? Frustration! It felt almost counterproductive to continue working on those other goals.

When she realized she didn’t have to, that she could postpone them, change them or let them go – she was so happy! So happy that she dived right into clearing up that blind spot with a whole lot more enthusiasm than she had for any of those goals she was tolerating!

Again, goals are there to support and help you, when they stop doing that, they’re no longer serving their purpose, and incidentally – your purpose. And when they’re no longer doing that, it’s time to make some changes.

What goals are you tolerating? What changes will you make? Share below with a comment!

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Change Ahead Sign

Are You Avoiding Change Without Realizing It?

Change Ahead SignLast week I would have confidently said: No! I’m not avoiding change; change is a wonderful and necessary thing!

This week my answer would be slightly different: No, I’m fully aware that I’m avoiding change and committed to changing that J

So, why the different answers? The change came from a meeting at church. Wow, that sounds kind of ominous, doesn’t it? It’s really not. I was thinking about a meeting/presentation that was coming later on Sunday about building renovations that will be coming in the next 2 to 5 years (it’s a process). I realized I’m quite comfortable with the building as it is – even though it has some problems and isn’t set up well in some situations. But I know where things are right now and that’s comforting.

Logically, these changes to our church building are a wonderful thing. The uncomfortableness of the waiting, meetings and eventual renovations will be well worth it in the end. But I’m not looking forward to the uncomfortableness that’s ahead. I like knowing where things are and what to expect.

But what on earth does this have to do with other aspects of my life?

Well, I’ve learned that this saying is generally true:

Who you’re being anywhere is who you’re being everywhere.

When I realized that part of me would rather stay comfortable at the cost of taking care of an aging building, I knew it was time for this question: Where else might this be showing up in my life?

And I found it was showing up in other places:

  • Personal
    Many, many times I’ve chosen to stay in my office, working (or watching TV or a movie on the weekends) rather than doing some sort of physical activity – staying comfortable instead of taking care of my physical body.
  • Business
    Anytime I decide to check Facebook or watch TV when I know I have work to do (basically anytime I procrastinate). I’m keeping myself exactly at the same place. Not because it’s a super great there or even especially comfortable (sometimes it’s not), but because I know exactly what to expect from myself and others here where I am. Stepping up will look and be different and that’s uncomfortable, because it’s unknown.

What I really want is the change to the building, my body and my business without all the uncomfortableness and unknown that comes with it. I want the change without the work, time and, in some cases, money.

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. – Sydney J. Harris

So, my questions for you to ponder are:

  1. Where are you not moving forward because the change is uncomfortable or unknown?
  2. What would your business and life look like if you moved forward anyway and embraced the change, uncomfortableness and unknown?
  3. What is one step you can take, one thing you can do in the next week that will move you forward and toward that change?
  4. What support systems can you put in place for yourself?

I’d love to support you however I can! So tell me, what can I do to support you?

Share how I can support you or how you answered any or all of the above questions in the comments below!

Image courtesy of mrpuen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It Seemed That Life Was About To Begin

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
– Father Alfred D’Souza

That quote really resonates with me. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but this quote describes a period of my life. I was waiting, because there was so much to finish before my life could begin.

“When does my life get to be about ME?” If I didn’t have this exact thought I had one very similar. When I think about how I would have said that it’s usually as someone who’d been running around for everyone else and is exhausted and wants some time to herself. Occasionally, it’s with the voice of an annoyed teenager who’s been asked to do something for someone else that they don’t want to do.

I bet I said it as the tired adult, but my inner critic (that voice that says you’re not good enough, or some version of that) told me it actually sounded like that annoyed and whiney teenager. So, the thought would be quickly dismissed as selfish and life would continue without change.

There were lots of reasons to wait (I am always armed with many reasons, coughexcusescough). I had obligations to fill, expectations to meet and other people’s goals to achieve. So, my own needs, expectations and goals fell into the categories of “if I have time” or the never arriving “later.”

So, when did my life get to be about me? Well, the answer is simple and complicated and can be summed up in one sentence: When I decided it did. Simple to say, more complicated to accomplish.

Why was it complicated? Well, I believed it was important to be nice.  More specifically it was important that other people thought that I was a nice person. And to me that meant saying yes to things without really thinking about it, because if I said no (or even I need to think about it) they might get upset with me, and if they’re upset with me then I’m not nice or they won’t like me! This of course led to me wanting and needing to fill everyone else’s needs and expectations before my own. No wonder I was so tired!

I started making changes when I decided it was time to be nice to me. I didn’t know this quote at the time, but it sums up what I told myself as I started saying no more and stepping away from additional responsibility:

Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter. – Bernard Baruch

Heck, I still tell myself that on occasion when I realize I’ve taken on too much or that it’s time to reevaluate how I spend my time.

It feels weird to say my life is all about me – it feels selfish and unkind. But it’s not – you can’t take care of someone else unless you’re taking care of yourself. It’s like they tell you when you fly – if something happens put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then help the people around you.

So, since your life has already begun – what obstacles do you want to remove to enjoy it more?

Why Are You Waiting?

Do you ever wonder: when will it be my turn? When does my life start being about me and not about everyone and everything else? Maybe you feel guilty about feeling that way or maybe you’re counting down the days to something that signifies more time for you.

A long weekend means extra days off work and you probably look forward to those right? Do you spend time doing things you want to do, things just for you? Or are your long weekends filled with running here to this party and there for that event?

Do you have a vacation planned? You look forward to those, a few days, a week or maybe more away from work! Only when you’re on vacation you’re spending so much time seeing and doing everything that you need another day of vacation just to recover!

Or maybe you’re waiting for things to calm down at work, your next promotion, your next job, your time on that committee to be over, a child to start school, a teen to start college, or your retirement.

There’s always something to wait for, an event to be over or a milestone to be reached before you decide that now you get to take time to do the things that you want to do. What is it that you’re waiting for? And more importantly why are you waiting?

No really, why are you waiting?

Review your values and priorities and make changes to how you spend your time. Things won’t change unless you change them. No one is going to make sure that you do the things that are important to you but you.

What’s one small thing you can do in the next week that will move you closer to life being what you want and how can I support you in that?

The Risk and Pain of Change

“Real change happens, when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing.”

“Change is a math formula. The formula is, change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.” – Alan M. Weber

“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

Three different quotes; all with a similar meaning.

Rather than share how I view these quotes, today I’d like you to think about them and how they might appear in your life. Let me know in the comments.

Photo Credit: The Hope by Mustafa Khayat