3 circles for managing control, influence, concern, and anxiety

A concept I came across earlier this Summer is that of 3 circles.

I first used it in a business growth and change management class I was teaching, but it’s come up several times recently with friends and clients who are feeling overwhelmed with projects to tackle, situations to manage, or decisions to make.

Circles of Control, Influence, Concern

The inner circle is the Circle of Control. In here is all the stuff we can have the power to directly ourselves. We can choose to send an email to someone, take a day off, or publish the blog post.

Second is the Circle of Influence.

And finally is the Circle of Concern. Here orbits everything else that we have an interest in, but we can do nothing about

Often our minds will wander out from our circle of control, into the circle of influence, and likely all the way out into that huge expanse that is the circle of concern.

Here we can do nothing to make our goals and desires happen, and our mind fills with nerves, worry, and existential dread.

When this happens we can just bring ourselves back to our circle of control.

Usually we’ll find there are a few things back here we’ve ignored, swept under the carpet or haven’t noticed before.

A nice side effect of owning our circle of control is items in the circle of influence suddenly draw closer towards and that enormous circle of concern becomes…well, less concerning.

What can you bring into your circle of control?

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