Teresia LaRocque, MCC, is Canada’s first Master Certified Coach and co-founder of ICF Vancouver. Over the past 20 years, she has been a key player in developing the coaching industry in Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada.
“It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out. It’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” – Robert Service
The wisest people often remind us that the only real currency in life is time and attention. So, it’s important to stop and ask yourself how you are spending these precious resources.
Have you ever had a “bad” friend? Someone who sucks up your time and energy but doesn’t really show up for you in return?
When you recognized this person as an energy vampire, what did you do about it? Continue to let the relationship limp along? Grow resentful? Put a stop to the behaviors that weren’t working for you?
As a coach, you know these questions are not about other people… they are about your relationship with yourself, your time and your attention.
Your life and business are much like these “friends.” Today, I’m inviting you to explore your relationship with your business and investigate any areas that have become energy vampires.
Learning to be economical with our energy and direct it in ways that produce the most results is one of the most useful things we can do. Tolerations are things that drain your power, cause frustration and keep you from spending time on your money making activities. When they persist, our profits, motivation and quality of life suffer a great deal. Loss of enthusiasm eventually leads to burnout, both personally and professionally.
Every time you find yourself thinking “I don’t want to be doing this,” make a note. This thing/activity/relationship is draining your power to create the results (and life!) you desire. To accelerate your path to success, identify the energy leaks that compromise your progress – and deal with them. When you do, you’ll have more energy to create (and enjoy!) your vision of success.
The most common energy drains are the little things that irritate us: an unreliable printer, clothes that don’t fit and flatter, that pile of files in the corner, a client who constantly reschedules at the last minute. Anything that repeatedly causes friction and frustration, eats up your energy and attention, and holds you back is a toleration.
These may seem minor, but when you add them up, they cost SO much. And you’re left with so much less to give! Your unique talents and abilities fall by the wayside while you’re distracted, and instead of making progress, you end up maintaining (or worse yet, falling behind). If you experience busy days without feeling like you’ve accomplished a lot, you’re overdue for a Toleration Hunt.
1. Physical environment – A messy desk, overloaded inbox, a pile of files, disorganization, incomplete projects, outdated or ineffective technology, a “make do” workstation (i.e. the kitchen table).
2. In your relationships – People who don’t deliver or keep their word, those who breach your boundaries, clients who don’t pay on time, an inadequate support team, disrespect, dishonesty.
3. Within yourself – Bad habits, procrastination, lack of discipline, neglecting the “big picture,” doing it all yourself, negative self-talk, fear-based decisions, perfectionism. Most of us think tolerating is a good idea – a way to save energy. (“I’ll just put up with this old printer… it still kind of works.”) Challenge those beliefs! I assure you, the cumulative aggravation and lost productivity is far more expensive than a new printer.
Imagine how great life would feel if you zapped every one of your tolerations! How much more energy would you have? How much happier and productive would you be?
Most tolerations reveal a need to get proactive: establishing higher standards, better planning, communicating what we need, setting boundaries, delegating, and/or getting support. It’s time to start managing your energy in a way that pays you the biggest rewards!
1. Book 30 minutes with yourself.
2. Ask yourself: What am I tolerating?
a. In my life and business
b. In relationships
c. In myself Identify at least 25 items (total), even the minor ones.
3. Ask yourself:
a. How are these affecting my ability to generate results that I can feel really proud of?
b. What changes will I make in the next 7 days to handle 2 tolerations?
c. That changes will I make in the next 30 days to handle 3 tolerations?