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Posted March 30, 2020 by John Spence

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Right now, it might feel like the world is out of control and in some respects it is.  Things have changed so suddenly and it is very hard to adjust, it feels overwhelming and scary for many of us.  With so much out of our control in this situation, it is extremely important to remember all that you can control. By doing this, you replace a sense of powerlessness with the feeling that you do have the ability to take command and create positive forward momentum; something we all need right now. So for a few minutes, stop what you’re doing and walk through these two simple steps.

List Everything You Can Control

Think closely about this as these are important whether big or small. Ask yourself

  • What can I impact, influence and change?
  • What do I truly have control of?
  • What can I do today to take more control?

List Everything You Can’t Control

As you start thinking through this list, don’t be alarmed, it will be much longer than the first list with items like coronavirus, the quarantine, the government, the economy, that’s okay just list everything that’s happening right now that you have no direct control over. Ask yourself

  • What’s keeping me up at night?
  • What are the top things that give me the most stress and anxiety?
  • What are the concerns I seem to be obsessing over?

What Do You Do With These?

It’s not easy to answer these questions. Stepping back to analyze what you can and can’t control might feel daunting. However, these lists can drastically change your outlook for the better. Take this first list of what you can control and take massive control on those items, focus on them all the time.  Meanwhile, look at the second list and let go of the things on that list. The hours of worry and fear will make no difference. Try not to think about them and every time they come into your mind, push them out and focus back on the things you can control.  With these quick two steps, you will re-discover your ability to tackle these difficult times. As inspiration, I encourage you to check out the list my neighbor’s kids (13, 11, 10, and 8 years old) came up with of what they can control.

List of items you can control.

 

While your list of items you can control may look different from these boys, it serves as a great example of the many areas in life you can continue to take control of. I hope you find this helpful in this difficult time. I wish all of you good health and to stay strong.

—John

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