In times of uncertainty and instability, we look for things to help us make sense of our situation. The image below can be a valuable tool for this:
AREA OF CONTROL:
These are the things you have direct control over: your thoughts, feelings beliefs, values, choices and behaviours.
AREA OF INFLUENCE:
These are things you can influence, but not control: relationships, outcomes, environments etc. You are responsible for the part you play, but not the whole.
AREA OF CONCERN:
These things are of interest and concern to you, but they are beyond your control and influence.
Problems arise when the boundary between these areas is unclear:
This is especially true when, for whatever reason, things shift unexpectedly and things we used to be able to influence move beyond us into the Area of Concern, or things we used to be concerned about now fall into our Area of Influence.
As you strive to make sense of your current circumstances, see if these questions help to make things clearer:
1. What is completely mine that I can control (thoughts, feelings, behaviours, choices, responses etc.)?
2. How has my ability to influence changed?
3. What am I concerned about that I can neither influence nor control?
When we know the difference between the things we can control, the things we can influence and the things we can’t, we are in a better position to make positive choices. And this is an empowering place to be!
Written by Robyn Pitot