What Can You Control?

"Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't." -Steve Maraboli

How often do we find ourselves getting caught up and frustrated by things that we can't control in our lives? Getting stuck in traffic on our way to work. Weather that doesn't cooperate with the plans that we made. Coworkers and teammates that let us down. Results that don't seem to show all of the effort and hard work we have put in.


We can get lost in the amount of factors that influence our ability to perform, especially the ones that we can't control. There is an uncertainty and uneasiness when things are outside of our control. Whether it is flying on a plane, waiting on a decision from a company or coach about our fate, or facing a challenging opponent that pushes us to the limit, we feel that tension and anxiety in situations we can't control.


So what can we do to put ourselves in a position to perform our best?


The answer comes down to answering the question, "Is this within our control?"


If the answer is yes, then it's on us to make the necessary changes in that moment. If it is our attitude about the situation, change it. If it is our effort, bring it. If it our energy levels in the moment, leverage it. If it is our emotions, regulate them. We can lean heavily on the things we have control and influence over.


If the answer to the question is no, then what do we do? We can change our perception about the situation and reframe it for our benefit, because that is something we can control. Weather not cooperating on the day of our event? It is now another challenge to test how well we can perform. A company chooses to go a different direction than select us for the role? Allow that decision to fuel our fire for progressing forward and proving them wrong. When we feel the anxiety of not having control, shift our focus to the areas we can control and maximize those areas.


Over the next week, start controlling the controllables by focusing on our attitude and our response to what happens to us. We can set our attitude in terms of the thoughts, emotions, energy, and approach we want to take before we step into the performance moment. The second area we can control is our response to how the moment unfolds. Whether things go the way we want or not, we can control the way we respond. We can choose to remain composed and make a decision that will help us in the moment.

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