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Level 1: Tolerance

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Today, I want to share about tolerance, which the base of the pyramid. When I started writing my book Liked, I thought, “Tolerance is important, but not something I’ll need to spend much time on.” Wow, was I wrong! Imagine you went to the Egyptian pyramids and all you saw was a bunch of rubble. When you asked your local guide what happened, he responded, “Oh, we took the base layer out and used the stones for something else, because it didn’t seem that important. Most people just looked at the top anyway.”

Tolerance shouldn’t be overlooked because it supports everything else you will do on your journey of self-acceptance. Everything would crumble without it.

Tolerance is an openness to yourself and whatever you are experiencing. Occasionally, a client will say to me, “I don’t want to feel _______ anymore.” It’s normal to want to get rid of difficult emotions, but it’s also impossible without a surgery or major chemically-altering drugs that have other significant negative consequences. Far better, I believe, is to become more tolerant of the emotional experience.

The chapter in Liked on tolerance goes into depth on this, but here’s the essence: when you are not open to something, you can’t do much about it; however, when you are open to something, you increase your capacity to respond to it. Simple, right?

Right now, can you identify one thing you can be a little more tolerant of in your life? Mine is disappointment. Yours can be anything, such as an emotion, past experience, fear, behavior, or a thought that keeps coming up in your head. Instead of shaming yourself or avoiding it, be open to engaging with it. Let tolerance take you from a place of contempt to a place of contemplation.


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