Sometimes, the things that get us frustrated the most, are the things we have control over. We get stuck in traffic. The weather turns bad. The price of gas jumped again.
Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend helps us learn how to let go of things we can’t control.
Stephen R. Covey once taught that every issue we will confront in life can be addressed from either our circle of concern (the side where we have no power or influence) or on our circle of influence (where we can actually influence the issue). He suggests we focus where we have influence if we want our influence to grow.
The basic principle is . . . whichever area you focus on, it will grow. If you focus on what you can’t control, the things in your life you can’t control will seem to increase. If you focus on what you can control, then your worries will shrink and your power will grow. Although the theory seems obvious, its application at times is where things get more difficult.
For some, it’s quite difficult to just “let go” or “drop” the things you are dealing with in your life. We hold tight to many of these issues because that seems to give us some control or power over our difficult situations. Sadly, when we focus on things in our life that we actually can’t control, our control dissipates and our fears and concerns increase. Our feelings follow our thinking. For example, have you ever heard some tragic news about a natural disaster in another country and began to feel concerns about your own safety or the safety of your family? Have you ever become seriously concerned for the safety and well-being of those in your neighborhood, community and family? Even though such concerns are normal, they are only helpful if they move us into a healthier action about our worries. Instead of worrying about potential disasters and all that could go wrong in life, spend your energy worrying about potential solutions, preparations and plans to deal with any future emergency. By focusing on emergency preparation and planning, you will be better prepared to handle the problems that may come. Your positive energy and focus also show you an abundance of things you can do in any emergency that will bring you more peace and hope, than just fear and concern.
Here are three simple solutions to help you turn your concerns into real life influence, and even more importantly to take some of your pain and turn it back into peace of mind.
Focus On Acting Not Analyzing
· Avoid the analysis of paralysis which is where we’re so focused on things we can’t control, we end up not knowing how to move or what to do.
· There really is no end to analysis and some of us are avoiding doing the difficult things we need to do because we’re so deep in thought about our issues. Our mind is smart enough to keep us confused and depressed in negative thoughts, in order to help us avoid the unpleasant actions that could set us free from our concern.
· Things we can’t control are the things that keep us from acting, so notice if you’re spending more time acting or thinking.
· Make a list of things you could actually do about your concerns, and that will usually lead you into a healthier solution.
Focus On Serving, Not Story Telling
· Most of us are more apt to stay focused on the things we can control when someone we love or care about is in need of our service or help.
· When the concerns or issues in our life are about us, it is easier to begin to story tell and begin to make little problems into bigger, more complex issues.
· Some signs you’re story telling:
o You’re making up data, motives or intent of others without all of the facts from others.
o You’re convinced you have others out to get you. (Most people are way too self-absorbed to actually care what you’re doing.)
o You’re playing the victim, martyr or hero of the story.
o You keep repeating the story to yourself and others.
o You keep getting the same results no matter how the situation changes.
· Our minds tend to prefer the stories that they make up over the real stories being acted out in our lives. Our story telling is our mind’s way of making our lives much more predictable by keeping us in either a stronger position (we’re amazing and so much better than others) or a weaker position (we can’t do anything right and nothing works for us).
· The best way to break the story telling curse is by getting out of ourselves and focusing on others. That will move us to more clarity more quickly.
Focus On Creating Peace, Not Pain
· The most basic rule is “whatever you focus on will grow”.
· When you find yourselves constantly focused on what you can’t control, your result will always be “pain, fear, concern or inadequacy”.
· Instead focus your mind on the simple question, “What can I do right now to be an instrument of peace?” Notice what your heart is telling you to do and commit to do it immediately. Such focus and action will turn your heart to healthier solutions.
· The more we focus on peace, the more peace we’ll have, period!
· We don’t eliminate the pain of the world by focusing on it, we eliminate the pain by thinking and working every day on creating more peace.
Matt’s Relationship Repair
“Finding the REAL You…Blowing up the Myth of Perfection!”
$4.00 audio download