“I can only control myself, my actions, my work ethic, and my attitude.” Ali Krieger.
A common source of stress for many people is a fear of the unknown and facing uncertainty. Life is unpredictable and whilst we know that we can’t control every last detail of outcomes and situations, it doesn’t stop us trying and trying again to control outcomes!
It’s worth bearing in mind that there are a variety of things that are simply outside our control and it’s helpful to develop a mindset that accepts this to be the case.
Some of the things that are outside our control include other people’s actions and moods, the weather, the economy, traffic etc. However there are some things that are within our control including our attitude and how we react to situations.
Sometimes life deals us cards that force us to face into some fear that we may have about stepping into the unknown or outside our comfort zone. However, in such circumstances it’s worth remembering that when we are forced to face our fears, we discover inner resources and depths that we didn’t know that we had. During this process we grow and develop.
We are creatures of habit and a fear of the unknown can prevent us from fulfilling our potential. This can mean that we stay stuck in a rut. The truth is that life is uncertain for us all and the only moment of certainty is the present moment.
Whilst people may not like their circumstances and environments and they don’t bring them happiness, they may choose to stay in them because they’re known, familiar and predictable. In part this explains why people choose to stay in relationships that don’t make them happy, jobs they detest and put up with unacceptable behaviour from others.
It’s true that uncertainty can be uncomfortable. As humans we like to control our lives and to have a future that is stable and fairly predictable. It’s therefore understandable when we feel insecure when faced with an uncertain future.
As well as fearing uncertainty, many people waste energy and time complaining about things that they can’t control like the areas I mentioned earlier. Modern living is demanding and it’s important we spend our limited energy and time focusing on things that we can control. Sometimes we must be prepared to step outside our comfort zone.
We can learn from the world of sport and a practice that is used by sports psychologists. They help top athletes and sports people to develop their performance by encouraging them to control the controllables. These are areas like diet, rest periods, fluid intake, exercise regime, pre-event preparation, sleep, thoughts, reaction to external events and visualisation.
To help reduce anxiety levels, increase focus and make best use of time I encourage the individuals and teams that I work with to focus their time and attention on things that they can control.
I suggest that any time you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know what direction to take in life that you pause and ask yourself two simple powerful questions:
You will always come up with an answer and it may well spark other ideas and actions. It will get you unstuck and into action (if you choose for that to be the outcome!).
A welcome bi-product of focusing on things within your control is that over time it will help you to increase the amount of influence that you have in the teams and organisations that you work with/for.
You will develop a reputation for completing your priorities with a quiet assurance. Not meddling in areas outside of your sphere of responsibility will help build people’s trust and confidence in you. It will also develop your own sense of worth and self-confidence levels. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you complete a goal or task.
The approach can be used in conjunction with a strategy to train the brain to free up capacity to focus on life’s blessings rather than problems. It will help you to notice abundance rather than lack and scarcity. You can also use it to choose to be positive rather than negative in your attitude.
When you take control of your life you begin to believe in yourself and trust the decisions you make. You have greater honesty with yourself and develop greater patience. You become clear about what you like, want and need.
You are the writer, producer, director and actor of your own life script. Take steps to avoid your life being overly chaotic and dramatic and avoid playing a victim. Have faith and patience in the life plan you create. Keep taking action to manifest the things that you desire and accept that things will happen at the right time for you.
This week, why not take a few moments out to reflect on what is occupying your mind and all that you have going on in life. Then consider what you need to take control of and what you need to let go of.
To arrange a free no obligation consultation, please contact Stephen Pauley via the contact form or by e mail: Stephen@befirstclass.co.uk