What is Your Window of Tolerance?
By Amina Hedayat Khalil
Leadership and Think Global Coach
Today, I want to share with you the “Window of Tolerance,” which will be of utmost help for anyone who wants to build their resiliency. I got so excited about this concept and immediately figured out a way to incorporate it into my model of Resiliency.
So, what is the Window of Tolerance? First off, thank you to Dr. Dan Seigel, who came up with the term. He used this model to explain where someone would be if they were not in a state of either hyper-aroused or hypo-aroused. Now you may ask: “What does that mean?”
Hyper-arousal is when you are triggered and feeling anxious, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, afraid, out of control, or totally losing it, sort of like being in a fight or flight mode. Hypo-arousal is when you are totally shut down, zoned out, zombie-like, frozen, or spaced out (could reach the level of depression).
So, why am I telling you about it? In my focus on resilience, I want you to be able to know your Window of Tolerance. The “window” is the space between when you are hyper-aroused and hypo-aroused. It is where you are functioning magnificently or, as Gay Hendricks, in his book “The Big Leap,” called it: “your Zone of Genius.” This is where you are functioning and achieving your highest potential. You are able to manage stress, tolerate and solve problems, take on extra work without feeling burnt out, and best of all, you are totally at peace with yourself.
To understand your Window of Tolerance as you are building your resiliency is a task that you will want to invest some of your time into. It is extremely important to examine from within and learn more about yourself and your capacity of tolerance and your Zone of Genius. This is where you will be able to discover other strengths within you that you might not have been aware of before.
Anytime you face any kind of adversity, and you have clear steps to:
- manage your emotions,
- control your thoughts,
- recognize your patterns,
- command your behaviors,
then, you will find your resiliency level has evolved into a higher state.
I’ll be sharing more about resiliency and the Window of Tolerance in the future. For now, here are the main points to think about in regards to this fascinating window:
- When do you become hyper-aroused?
- Where is your Zone of Genius?
- When do you become hypo-aroused?