Mastering the Circle of Control

Jun 21, 2023
Circle of Control Graphic

Jules asked me how I always remain so calm about things, and after a bit of a ponder, we came to the conclusion that I only focus on things I can control.

Yes, I project into the future (show me an entrepreneur that doesn’t), but what I don’t dwell on are things that are outside of my circle of control. I mean, what’s the point? I can’t do anything about them right now anyway so why should I burn my energy up on them and get all bent out of shape?

We also think it could be something to do with my pilot training when, in an emergency, we’re taught to deal with only the things we can control. There’s no point in us flapping and panicking about what might happen if we can’t sort it out, that’s not going to serve any of us well. So we deal with what we have right now, then tackle the rest as it unfolds.

Everything we do in that scenario involves a checklist, in fact most of flying is about using a checklist which keeps us in the moment and on track by working through problems one by one. Yes, we’re always thinking ahead, but it’s about predicting a good outcome and not becoming a smoking hole in the ground.

I tell you what, if we had a checklist for life, that would be amazing!

I’m not a fan of the news. The scaremongering and dissemination of fear doesn’t serve us one little bit. Think about it, when did you last get any ‘good’ news from the TV?

When we pay attention to the influences of world events and other people, we can quickly become overwhelmed by things we can’t control.

Let’s break it down into 3 different circles:

1: Circle of Control (inner circle)

2: Circle of Influence (middle circle)

3: Circle of Concern (outer circle) 


Personally I operate and give my energy to things inside the inner circle. These are what I can control and what will determine the quality of my life.

So when things are becoming overwhelming in your life, try to stay in the moment and concentrate on the things inside your own circle of control. Check in with yourself and see which of them need attention. Take them one at a time and do what you need to do before moving onto the next one.

Unless something hideous is happening to us right this second, most of us are in a pretty good place. We’re still functioning, there’s food in the fridge, we have a roof over our head, and there’s beer in the cool box. Too often we worry about things that we have no control over.

During COVID, people were worried that supermarkets were running out of toilet roll, but then again the media had a lot to do with that little scenario. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t going to have a hugely negative impact on your life, because you’ll be resourceful and adapt. So try to operate inside your circle of control and see how your life changes.

When things seem like they’re diving for the ground, hit the pause button, get out there, have a walk around the block and feel the sun, rain or wind on your face, breathe it in, manage what you can, and be grateful for what you have right now. Then go back to working within your circle of control.

Have a great day!

Andy 😊


 PS: If you're struggling with overwhelm and you need help getting things back under control, why not book a 1 Hour Clarity Coaching session with me:


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