What do you put up with?

Photo courtesy of Becca Nelson (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Becca Nelson (Creative Commons)

I don’t know about you, but I have noticed lately that there are some things in my life that annoy me and are not right, and yet I put up with them.

There are varying levels of “not right” too – from something simple like the little pile of magazines on my desk that I tell myself I need to either go through or move – to major issues that I need to address but just can’t bring myself to do anything about.

It might be that it will involve a difficult conversation that I’m not sure how to start, or a major shift in my thinking that is just too uncomfortable to face. And so I let it go on, irritating me and grating on my nerves every time I face it. Why do I put up with it?

I bet you have situations like that too, and wonder the same thing. Left alone, the problem will just continue to fester and bother you, yet what has to happen to make you do something about it?

For me, it takes deciding to be brave.

Bravery? For something silly like a pile of magazines that is annoying you?

In my mind, whether it’s a simple mess or a change of jobs, bravery is what it takes to move out of the status quo and make a change.

Let’s face it, not many people LIKE change, simply because it takes more energy, more thought, and more bravery. When things go along like they always have, you don’t have to think about it much. You know the routine, you play the game, you are on autopilot.

But consider this – every time you have to deal with whatever it is you are putting up with, you are expending energy. Negative energy. You are berating yourself for being a slob or fat or lazy, even if you don’t realize it. Next time you encounter that situation, freeze the frame. What are your thoughts and actions? I bet it involves words like should, ought to, someday.

Now just imagine that situation as you would like it to be. What positive feelings are you having, and what affirmative words come to mind? Better, right?

So now what? Just put on a little bravery.

Think about what actions are necessary to make that situation right. I’m not saying to go out and change it right now, but figure out what the next step is in moving toward “right.” Start mapping out a plan and maybe even a timeline. That’s all – just create an outline of a plan. That’s enough bravery for now.

That wasn’t so overwhelming, was it? Now you can start filling in the gaps, and moving toward making that change a reality. But keep that positive image of “right” in your mind as a target. You will get more and more unhappy with “wrong” and feel more compelled to move toward “right.”

Bravery will become easier.

Because after all, most things that are bothering you are not as simple as one step. Even dealing with that pile of magazines (unless you just toss the whole  pile in the trash) involves putting them in some kind of order, finding another place to put them, and so on. Just like having that difficult conversation involves planning when and where you will talk, how you will start, what points you want to make and what responses and reactions you anticipate. If it was as simple as one step, you would have dealt with it already.

So what are you putting up with and how can you be brave and start changing it?

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