"How long are you going to put with this?"

I've asked this of clients who complained of cheating partners, of insubordinate staff, of poor health and body image, of cluttered homes.

This is my favourite question to clients who finish a litany of woes. It's a great circuit breaker.

It's also the crux of the matter.

People will often wait until rock bottom until they do something. Rock bottom varies from heart attacks, bankruptcy, yet another affair, getting hit one more time, and so on. My rock bottom was cancer. It was a harsh lesson in self-management. I don't want that for you.

In any painful situation you always have two choices:
1. Change how you think about the situation.
2. Change the situation.

Changing how you think takes effort and is not all that easy. This is for when you decide to let go of needing anyone or anything to change, and focus on your own inner dialogue. This is also when you move from victim to being a learner and author of your own life experience. Scary. And empowering.

Changing the situation requires courage. That's why most of us tend to put up with pain and suffering far longer than we need or ought to. It's also a little of 'better the devil you know'. Change is scarier than the miserable status quo.

It's amazing the human capacity for suffering to avoid change - a huge threshold for pain. Much greater than it needs to be or ought to be. We tolerate far too much.

The next most important question after 'how long are you going to put with this?' is, "what is this costing you?"
and then,
"what will it cost you in one year if nothing changes? in five years? in ten?"

When you way up the risk of change with the cost of inaction, it gets pretty clear that doing nothing is the real source of pain.

So when do you cue "enough is enough"?

When you know what your values are, it's clear.

When you have strong boundaries about what is appropriate behaviour and what is not, it's clear.

When you have strong self-esteem, it's clear.

When you know your needs and your personal safety are the most important thing, then it's clear.

When you decide to be captain of your own ship, taking responsibility for everything in your life, then it's clear.

Don't let rock bottom, poverty, a heart attack, depression, and yet another affair, be your trigger for change. Value yourself, your life, and your happiness above all else, and DO something about it.

You deserve and have the right to be happy.

Author's Bio: 

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Author Zoe Routh works with women in business to enhance their personal effectiveness and leadership capacity for global effect. For free tips on how to become a more effective leader that will save you time, money, energy, and stress, go to www.innercompass.com.au