Empathy does not mean tolerance.
I think this is the difference between understanding and feeling sorry for someone. When we are empathic, we have an understanding of another’s plight. We can resonate or understand with where they are coming from. We can see why they are behaving the way they do, and even understand more deeply why we behave the way we do.
Tolerance isn’t necessarily an act that goes hand in hand. I can have an insight into a person and still not accept the behavior coming from them. I can have an insight into my own reactions to their behavior and still not be accepting of my response.
This is key. It’s key in training others and oneself. I’ve had to have a ton of understanding but very little tolerance when I am self evaluating. I see the benefit in this style. Because it’s a fairly non judgmental place, it can beget quick action. When I have very little tolerance for undesirable behaviors, thoughts, and actions I can get to the root quicker and adjust.
In the ring we need this adjustment ability or we can get stuck in a rhythm that cannot be changed. We must be able to box, or brawl at any second if it is needed. We cannot risk getting caught up in the same patterns without awareness and we cannot tolerate anything except execution of our plan. If the plan needs adjustment, we must be able to implement immediately.
Champions in the ring and in life are the ones that can critically look inside without distracting emotions, they can be brutally honest with themselves and adapt as necessary.