Control The Controllables, But How?

rob Duffy life coach

Control The Controllables, But How?

What are you currently worried about? Importantly, ask yourself if it is something you can actually enact any semblance of control over. Without a doubt, one of the most common themes I help people with is how to learn to control the controllables. What are the controllables in our lives? Your thoughts, your focus, your effort, your level of commitment, and your attitude are all things that you can control. When we control the controllable, we take an active and engaged focus on how we are shaping our future.

Pick something in your life that is coming up that you need to perform well at. You might be worrying about it quite a lot throughout your days currently. Maybe you have an exam, an interview, a driving test, a big speech or presentation, a meeting, or a course. There are three specific categories we can give to what we worry about in preparation for this big moment.

control the controllables

The three categories are:

  • Things we cannot change or effect (uncontrollables)
  • The things we can influence
  • The things we can control

Things We Cannot Change or Effect (Uncontrollable)

The reality is, many of us ruminate for far too much time on things we cannot control. Every person I help in my business has their own version of this. For some, it’s willing the weather to be favorable. For others, it could be any number of ‘what if’ disasters related to memories of the past or dread of future outcomes. Why do so many of us waste time on things we have no control over?

We cannot control the environment, the weather, what has happened in the past, or what might happen in the future. Many of the ‘what ifs’ that our mind creates waste energy and we never get it back. Acknowledging and moving toward our control of the controllable in our lives is a more rewarding and empowering strategy.

The Things We Can Influence

The influence bridge is between what we can control and that which we cannot. Being healthy is not fully under our control but we can influence that by exercising and eating well. Sometimes we cannot do much about what people in various social situations will think about us but we can influence those outcomes by creating a good rapport with people and maintaining our reputation.

We cannot decide whether we land a job or not but we have a large influence on how well we do on the application and CV. Perhaps we will do a good interview and influence the decision-makers to employ us through some of the answers we give. Additionally, in some cases, we can influence people in our lives to make decisions that favour the outcomes we want. These are not things we can directly control but by making good arguments and influencing we can impact those around us into doing things we want.

The Things We Can Control

Look away and answer this question before you read on. What are the things that you think you can control in your life now? Realistically they all ultimately boil down to what happens in our mind with our thoughts and the beliefs we commit to. Our attitude is something we can control but our attitude is based on many beliefs and thoughts we have decided serve us in some way. We can control the level of passion and effort we bring to the various situations we are in. What we decide to commit our focus and attention to is also something we can control.

Remember this if you find yourself in a moment of nervousness or anxiety. Think of what you have been focusing on and ask yourself are you in control of the controllables at that moment? If not, how can you commit to controlling the controllables? What are the controllables in that aspect of your life? Write a list of the controllable aspects of your professional and personal life.

Examples of Control The Controllables

Examples of What’s Outside Our Control

  • Weather/Temperature
  • Other people’s opinions/thoughts
  • Past and Future
  • Conditions in our workplace/environmental factors
  • Opposition/enemies/competitors
  • Officials/boss/hierarchy
  • Outside influences/spectators/unknowns
  • Black swan events

Make a list of examples in your own life.

What to do to help connect you again to your own controllables? Firstly, you must become aware you are focused on that which is outside of your control. Upon realising this, choose a go-to routine or thought/mantra which will trigger and cue you back to your controllable behaviours. If you begin to practice this consciously, you will see a dramatic decline in the amount of stress and anxiety you experience in your life.

Take note of the uncontrollables that come to mind most often. Create a specific mantra to combat these common patterns and repeat those words until you alter your state of being back to an empowered state in control of your daily routine and structure.

I am a Freedom Coach and Mentor – I help freedom-loving people in their early/mid-career create a Successful Mindset. If you would like to explore some of these themes and move towards achieving more freedom this year, let’s connect and set up a call.

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