Feeling overburdened in life can begin as simply as trying to give our time and energy to something that we have no control over.
How many things in your life actually fall into that category?
I think we would be surprised if we really started paying attention to that.
From things as big as the National Debt to something as small as what my neighbor thinks about my yard.
These are all things that are beyond our personal control.
There are just some things we have no real control over.
These all fall into what Stephen R. Covey calls the “Circle of Concern.”
There are somethings that take up our time and energy which we do have some control over. These belong in the Circle of Influence.
These are the things we care about and can actually do something to make happen.
It’s where we can do the most good with our energy.
When you become aware of where you are putting your time and energy, you will find that you are actually more in control than you think. You won’t be pulled in so many directions and your burden will feel less heavy.
Imagine in your mind that your time and energy are inside a circle.
Your Circle of Concern, and your Circle of Influence are both part of this circle.
People that are proactive, put the majority, if not all, of their time and energy, into their Circle of Influence. That means that they work on the things that they can actually do something about. Because they are using positive energy, this creates an even bigger circle of influence.
When we make the choice to work in the Circle of Concern, we are letting things we CAN’T control, control us.
This is called a Reactive Focus and that negative energy reduces the circle of influence because it allows the circle of concern to take up more space.
You can remember it this way, positive energy enlarges, and negative energy contracts. That’s why putting positive energy into our Circle of Influence make it get bigger while using our energy in the Circle of Concern, which produces negative energy, makes our life feel smaller.
There’s only so much time and energy. You get to choose to be proactive or reactive.
You get to choose if you want to be in your Circle of Influence verses being in the Circle of Concern.
See how that works?
We can choose to work on the ONE thing we have control over and that’s ourself and what we choose to think about.
Making and keeping commitments to yourself is at the very center of your circle of influence.
It’s in the ordinary everyday events of our lives that we develop the ability to handle the stresses of everyday life.
Did you catch that?
It’s in the ordinary things we do daily that we develop the strength we need to handle the stresses when they come!
By working on ourselves instead of worrying about outside conditions, we are able to influence the conditions more.
A lot of this “stuff” happens subconsciously, that’s why learning what is going on in our brain is so important.
Just looking for it gives you more power.
You have the power to choose…remember the gift of agency we talked about in Episode 110?
Another reason it’s our greatest gift!
Go back and listen if you haven’t after you finish this episode.
When you start to feel those overburdened feelings like stress, anxiety, fear, frustration etc… start looking at where you are putting your focus.
Are you in your Circle of Concern or your Circle of Influence?
When your focus goes to the things you can actually control, you begin to create positive energy instead of negative. That’s how your circle of influence begins to grow.
All of the burdens that we face, fall into one of three areas:
Direct Control: These are problems involving our own behavior.
Indirect Control: Which include problems involving other people’s behavior.
Or No Control: These are problems we can do nothing about, such as things that happened in the past or situational realities.
All 3 of these areas are within our circle of influence.
Because they are in our circle of influence, there is a proactive, or positive, way to take care of them.
Direct Control problems are solved by working on our habits.
Indirect Control problems are solved by changing the method of influence you use.
And the No Control problems? Those can be resolved by simply taking responsibility to change the way we see these problems.
I know I say this all the time, and I hope the more you listen to this podcast, the more you believe it is true.
All problems can shift from positive to negative, just by becoming aware of them and the choice you have about how you’re going to react.
You can react pro-actively or you can react re-actively.
It really does come down to that.
Learning about what you’re choosing between is how you begin.
Listening to this podcast is one way to learn.
I hope it ignites something within you to continue to learn more.
I honestly believe that we all have the power within us to decide how we want to think about the circumstances in our lives. And that all begins with choosing where you put your focus.
The main thing I’d like you to take away from this episode today is that there are things outside of your circle of influence that are out of your control.
When you choose to focus on things that are outside of that circle, you feel overburdened.
It’s important to recognize what’s out of your control.
You can choose to save your energy for what you can actually DO something about.
If you focus on the circle of influence with positive energy, you can begin to increase your circle. This means that you will begin to have a more positive influence on more people.
This is one of the things I teach in Camp Connection.
When we choose to focus on what we need, by showing ourselves love, it all begins to lead us to serving others even better.
If you haven’t taken Camp Connection…what are you waiting for?
Camp Connection is the figurative First-Aid Kit full of tools that I use every morning in my morning routine to direct my focus towards my own personal circle of influence.
You’ll get 5 days of instructions that will fill your First-Aid Kit with the tools you need to get your day started off with purpose. It comes with a downloadable planner that you can print off as many times as you want. I use it every day.
Thank you for joining me here today and remember:
I see you.
I understand how hard you are trying and
I’d like to help however I can.
Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you back here again next week.