Tool for HeartConnexion® Living
Stop Tolerating

What are you merely “tolerating” in your life right now? Most of us were taught that complaining is not “nice.” We were told, “Don’t rock-the-boat.” or “Just be thankful for what you have.” or “Be cooperative and go along with the others.” and “Don’t be so difficult.” This advice is not always wrong; however, there is a distinction between tolerating life and adjusting to life.

To “tolerate” means to compromise our core values, boundaries and standards — often to avoid the anxiety of facing an issue or to avoid a potential conflict should we stop our pattern of tolerating and get healthy. We step over our feelings in order to avoid conflict with someone else. Small tolerations build up and drain us of emotional energy. Eventually, tolerating can lead us to shut down or to explode. Or, we can make the changes needed to stop tolerating.

There are some situations where there is little we can do to change reality. To stop tolerating, we have to do the adjusting. And, to “adjust” is an important life skill. Adjusting is not denial; it a choice to respond honestly and let go of the need to change reality. Tolerating is usually a reaction to avoid facing a situation. The well-known Serenity Prayer puts it this way: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

What happens when we are merely tolerating?

Our life choices become mediocre.
Our work becomes mediocre.
We are tired and our creativity is squelched.

What happens when we stop tolerating?

We speak from our heart more and communicate more effectively. We begin to step-over less and deal with our issues appropriately. We are happier and more fun to be around.

10 Steps to a Toleration-Free Life

  1. Get that “just putting up” with things as-they-are is not good for anyone.
  2. Make a list of 10 things you are merely tolerating around your home.
  3. Make specific requests or take appropriate actions to eliminate these 10 things.
  4. Make a list of 10 things you are tolerating at work.
  5. Make requests or take appropriate actions to eliminate these 10 things.
  6. Become honest about how much emotional energy is being drained by your tolerations.
  7. Be willing to become a toleration-free-zone and step over nothing.
  8. Stop all complaining and start making specific requests.
  9. Be willing to invest $$$ to eliminate the chores or tasks you hate doing, or learn to adjust.
  10. Do steps 1 – 9 over again, after you’ve done all of them once.

Small Group Sharing:

  • Are you on contract?
  • Who are you?
  • How have you shifted positions this week? What were the results?
  • How did you share your heart this week? What was your private victory?
  • What challenge or dilemmas are you facing and how can we help?
  • How would your life be different if you started using this tool for HeartConnexion living?


Dr. Paul D. Fitzgerald, ©1999, 2000, 2001 HeartConnexion Ministries