Control the Controllable

Our minds create stress emotions when we try to control something that can’t be controlled. It’s an alert system. This can be helpful, but many of us get too many alerts or stress emotions by trying to control everything.

Many people are trying to control

  • Weather, traffic, and bad drivers
  • Spouses, children, and other family members
  • Customers, co-workers, and bosses

Many people think they can control their performance outcomes, but if they could, they’d perform at a high level all the time. While we can’t control these things, we can significantly increase our influence by controlling the controllable.

While traffic isn’t controllable, we can control when we leave, how we use driving time, and how we respond.

While people aren’t controllable, we can control how we approach and respond to them.

While our performance isn’t controllable, we can improve it through preparation and proper responses to challenges.

Here are three controllable strategies that will increase your influence.

  • Be coachable. Be open to feedback just like you would want your colleagues or children to be. You can choose to be open and coachable even if you feel defensive.
  • Direct your intent, focus, and energy. You can determine your intentions, focus, and energy regardless of your emotions.
  • Focus on doing your job. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing or not doing and lose sight of being skilled at your role.

Applying these strategies will maximize your influence to improve your relationships, health, and performance.