You are a sponge. We all are sponges. We go through a life absorbing information in the form of experiences, books, perceptions and, occasionally, even reality.
Most people in our society get to a point when they essentially give-up on absorbing anything more. They go into the “just tell me what to do” mentality.
They give up on creativity. They give up on happiness. They give up on “success” (whatever that means) and they start to settle.
That often leads to regrets and “could have/should have/would have” speak.
Want to know how to stop that obnoxious and energy draining cycle? Wring out your sponge.
Think about it…a sponge is useful until it is full. Then what? When it cannot absorb any more, it is of no value. The only way to create value once again is to wring it out. Then, it works just fine again.
If you do not “wring out a sponge” occasionally, do not expect it to be of any value to you.
Think of your mind (and mindset) as that sponge.
Are you in need of a “wringing out?” (We all are!) Here is how you can do that:
There is a concept in coaching known as “tolerations.” Tolerations are all about energy. They are the things that suck the energy out of you day in and day out and annoy you to no end, but, if eliminated from your life, would allow you to regain your energy and stress less.
Take one minute (do not tell yourself you are too busy, you will be lying) and write a list of the things in your life that you are tolerating that you are not going to tolerate anymore: personally, professionally, mentally, emotionally, and physiologically. These things can be in the form of other people, environments, or your own habits.
Now, pick one of those things. Just one. Pick one that weighs on your mind to the point of consistently creating stress for you. Be honest with yourself! What are you really sick and tired of to the point of making the decision to be done with it? Is it a toxic person you are tolerating? Is it a toxic environment you are tolerating? Is it your own toxic self-talk you are tolerating?
Give yourself permission to step away from things that are not serving you. Do not feel badly about it and do not talk yourself out of it. You would never hold back telling a best friend what you honestly think they should do in a bad situation. Why would you not give yourself the same honest advice?
“Maturity is learning to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals or self-worth.” (Unknown)
After you have done this with one thing on your list, rinse and repeat.
Action conquers thoughts. It is often our own perceptions, storytelling, and self-defeating self-talk that holds us back. When you make yourself become aware of what you are no longer willing to tolerate, your decision making muscles get a great workout! And, just like any other muscles, they get stronger with every workout.
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