Control and influence

How many of you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, a bit stressed, unable to sleep, wake up in the middle of the night with all these thoughts going through your head? Today I’m going to share with you a model that’s really highly effective, and it gives you a strategy on how you can organize your thoughts in a positive way.

It’s called the circle of concern and influence, and it is one of the habits from Stephen Covey’s book of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. It’s called the circle of concern and influence. It is contained within two circles. The first circle, the bigger, the larger circle is the circle of concern. These rule of thoughts, the feelings, they bubble up that you’re concerned with they can be from what’s currently going on with COVID-19, global climate change, maybe it’s your salary, maybe it’s your job, managers, direct reports, peers, who you’re having a bit of a struggle with. But they’re all the things that actually concern you.

The second circle and you can see it’s slightly smaller, it’s a circle of influence. Now this is the circle that you can influence and you can control. So those thoughts and feelings that you have, that you can do something about, they all sit within here. The more time you spend within the circle of concern is a negative place. It saps your energy and it’s reactive more often than not. The circle of influence, this is a positive place to spend your time, you’ll get to be thinking in I can do attitude, and you’re gonna get a better result of your thinking.

Now, how do we actually use this in everyday life? My top tips are:

1. You want to write down a list of all the things that are keeping you up at night. And then what we can do is then categorize all of those thoughts, those feelings that you’re having that’s leading to this feeling of being overwhelmed or anxiety.

2. I want you to put a box around all the ones that concern you and then circle the ones that you have got some sort of control and some influence over.

Now, when you have the thought that is a concern, because you put a box on it, you can acknowledge it and then just flick it off and let it go, just let it go and focus on the things that you can influence here. And within time what’s going to happen is this circle of influence is going to grow. That’s where you’re going to get that control back. You’re going to feel less stressed, less overwhelmed, you’re going to get a better clearer perspective on your thoughts, feelings, and emotions moving forward.

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