how to compartmentalise control
Hello dear reader,
I think I am actually quite a controlling person. I like to know what is going on and can feel pretty mithered when I don’t know the intel, or can’t exact any influence over the outcome. Quite frankly, I often think that I know what I am doing, I know what is best, and definitely know what the right thing for someone to do is (I blame this on the combination of my Strategic® and Belief® Strengths™).
The thing is, we have learned this year more than ever, that we have actually very little control. I didn’t control where I was born, who I was born to, what I was called, what colour my hair would be, or my eyes, how tall I would be, where I would go to school, whether I would inherit hereditary diseases, what country I would be raised in. And so on ad infinitum. And yet, the social media and guru messages far and wide seem to suggest we have so much that we can control. I think we all realised early on in the covid pandemic that THIS WAS AN ILLUSION.
My son caught covid a couple of weeks back. He couldn’t therefore go to school. I couldn’t go to see clients. My husband missed some really important work stuff. My eldest couldn’t go to the gym. Could I control any of this? No. Case in point. Stuff happens all the time that I cannot control. We need to let it go (see previous blogs!).
But is this the full story? Am I out of control, with no responsibility or agency over my life? No.
I came across this helpful concept courtesy of a colleague that I worked with a couple of weeks ago, designed to help us deal with problems, worries and concerns more effectively, and with less impact on our mental health.
Our levels of anxiety tend to creep up as a call to action, and this model from Covey can help us learn to react accordingly, breaking down the problem that we are facing so it is less overwhelming to us.
You start with the outside of the circle first, and categorise your worries into those which you can:
You see as we focus on that inner circle, it naturally trickles into the next. No man (or woman) is an island, and so as we behave, action, decide differently, we by default have that influence that we long for.
How could this circle of influence help you today?
P.S. Podcast alert: here’s the link to my episode of Limited Time Only: It’s Time to Toot Your Own Horn! Claim to fame, Kevin from Motherland features in the following episode – sharing the podcast space with greatness!
P.P.S I hope you are enjoying the disappointment diaries – you can catch up on my Instagram, more episodes to follow!