You are in control of yourself. Your thoughts and feelings; your actions and reactions; your choices and decisions; your behaviours and attitude – these are all yours to manage! Whew! That’s actually a big responsibility! The good news is, when you take control of what’s yours, it’s amazing how it positively impacts not only you, but also those around you.
I hear about how overwhelmed people in organizations are feeling; the barriers that exist to doing good work; the frustrations that exist in large systems; the perceived barriers as a result of someone else’s decision; the busyness that seems to have taken over so many of our lives; the “should’s” that exist in our vocabulary.
So how about, instead of just feeling overwhelmed and out of control, we take a moment, and actually “think” about what we want, what’s possible and what we can do.
Remember – what you “think” impacts how you “feel” and your thoughts and feelings impact your “behaviour”, which then drives “your results”. Short version…. you’re in charge!
The power in this for me is that our thoughts impact our feelings – so lets start with what your’e thinking.
- If you think you have no control, it’s immobilizing, frustrating and often makes you angry
- If you think you can’t, you focus on deficits and see only barriers
- If you blame others, you deny any of your own responsibilities and possibilities for action
- If you think it’s hopeless, you give up
So let’s try something else instead:
- Look for where you do have control: what choices could you make; is there a decision you need to make; how could you shift your attitude or perspective; what might you try; how could you positively impact someone else?
- Focus on what you “can” do vs. what you “can’t do: Again, it may be something you can do for yourself, i.e. here’s an interesting and short blog post about how re-framing thinking changes results Our thoughts impact our reactions, or it may be something you can do for someone else. i.e. if your client is frustrated b/c you can’t give them specifically what they want, what alternatives could you offer? or,
- Consider where you have responsibility in the situation. Chances are there is somewhere you may have influence. I recently came across a quote by Alice Walker (author of the Colour Purple) and I love it! “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”.
- Consciously and intentionally choose to keep going or to stop. Maybe you need to take a break b/c the time isn’t right or you don’t have any energy left at the moment – and once again you have a choice. Be prepared to try again – or be prepared to let it go.