Circle of Control

May 12, 2020

Circle of Concern

That which may concern you but in which you generally have little or no control

Unprecedented times. To quote the estimable Gary Lineker, ‘There is unprecedented use of the word unprecedented in these unprecedented times’.  And alongside the tragedy, heroism and stoicism, we are learning.

Stephen Covey’s ‘Circles of Influence and Concern’ are becoming apparent for many, right now.

Circle of Concern

All the things we are aware of that have an impact on our lives, that we are concerned about, the current pandemic is an example.

Circle of Influence

Those things that we can influence through our direct actions or through our contacts.

Then, there is the further aspect of Circle of Control….

Circle of Control

That which we can control. There is no ambiguity. I can Control my urge to raid the fridge and eat a slice of cake right now. But I can only Influence others desire to do the same.

So, with all that is happening around the globe at the moment , much of it is of Concern to us, much less is of Influence by us and les still is in our Control.

The trick is on being clear on understanding the difference for each of us.  To lend from a well-known refrain…”grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot control, the courage to change the things I can control and the wisdom to know the difference.”

The Circle of Control needs self-awareness first. Only through being aware of what we’re saying and doing can we  realise the choices that we are making and exercise control. Control = Awareness + Choice.

And how we choose, can have an Influence. The choices that you are making, that you are in Control of, has Influence. Our behaviour in this current lockdown influences others – in terms of adherence to the rules, in generosity of spirit to key workers, in maintaining positivity, despite the tragedy that might surround us.

So, you have Control. And so far, many of us are using it well – with an understanding that Covid 19 may be a grave Concern to us all, but of more importance is what is in our Control.