Have you heard about the Circle of Control?
In the 1980s, Stephen Covey created the concept of a Circle of Concern and a Circle of Influence. The Circle of Concern contains things we care about but can’t control. The Circle of Influence is the things we care about and can impact.
That was further simplified into things we can control and things we can not control.
Why is this helpful? Because so much of our mental energy is focused on things that we do not have control over. When we’re able to write it down and see it clearly we can give ourselves permission to switch gears and change our focus.
As someone with anxiety – I love being in control.
When I’m “in control” I feel safe and that lowers my anxiety levels. I’ve often felt like if I could just control every aspect of every single situation all of the time, I wouldn’t have anxiety. What a superpower to have right?
Unfortunately, the Universe doesn’t work like that. So the majority of my young adulthood was spent in emotional dysregulation.
When you are obsessed with being in control one of the most common pieces of advice you hear is “Let it go”. But in my mind, I can’t. What I have learned to do is to separate things into what I can and can not control. Then, redirect the majority of my energy to something that I can do. Which on some days, feels like its own superpower.
The Circle of Control is often used as a reference to show us what is in our control and out of our control.
I find it really helpful. While I may not be able to just flip an internal switch and let something go – I do have the power to redirect my energy. (When it’s anxious energy there is a lot of it!)
On Patreon this month (June), I’ve released some worksheets that focus on using the Circles of Control for specific situations. The above circle was made using some of the examples from my new workbook.
In the workbook, I give examples of what we can and can not control when it comes to breakups, relationships, grieving, school/job, mental and physical illness, and social media.
Each worksheet encourages you to find the aspects of your unique situation that are in your control so that you can focus only on those things. (There are also blank circles too!) If you’re on Patreon you can get it for free. There’s also the option to get early access to purchase it. (It depending on your tier)
For Everyone Else: The workbook will be in my shop next month!
Don't forget to check me out on Patreon for Q&As, Submit Your Ideas, Exclusive Discounts, Worksheets, and Images.
Great post. I have always loved Dr. Covey’s work and find the diagramming of the circles really helpful. Thanks for putting it out there!