The circle of control was introduced by author and educator Stephen R. Covey. It demonstrates a representation of things we can actually do something about (control), influence, or things beyond our ability to influence.
For instance, on a sunny day, we can’t control the weather, but we show control by choosing to wear a pair of sunglasses to protect our eyes from the sun. Similarly, we cannot control the rain, but we can control whether or not to carry an umbrella so that we don’t get soaking wet.
A circle of control entails how you respond to these external situations. Your thoughts, your attitude, and your enthusiasm are what form the circle of control. These are the things that you have the power to control.
‘Control,’ refers to what we can directly cause to happen due to our decisions, regardless of whether or not others agree. Our Circle of Control can only relate to ourselves in this way, and even then, only to our conscious self. What is the reason behind this?
‘Control,’ as per ontological perspective, is inextricably tied to conscious decision. ‘Control = Awareness + Choice,’ as the adage goes. As a result, a person can only exercise control over parts of their own way of being that they are aware of.
We typically behave without conscious deliberation about how we will act and play out well-worn behaviour patterns since much of what we do is habitual, or what we call “transparent” in the ontological perspective.
Acting in this manner implies that we are acting outside of our immediate control. It’s important to remember that habits are more than simply physical behaviours; they also encompass how we view and interpret our surroundings.
As a result, the more our capacity for self-awareness, the greater our ability to command our state of being.
The 5 steps on how to apply circle of control in your life:
5 steps to apply a circle of control in your life.
1 – Challenge Your Thinking.
If there’s something you deeply care about but is outside your circle, you can think about it again. Consider if there is a way you can influence it that you haven’t thought of yet. You can do the same with the things you can already contribute to, brainstorming new ways to make progress.
2 – Determine What You Must Do.
Focusing on the areas of importance, figure out what you must do to change the situation. Consider which skills you can build to improve your level of influence. You can also work on eliminating self-limiting beliefs that hold you back.
3 – Let Go of Anything Outside Your Circle.
Once you’ve brainstormed and determined what’s outside your circle, let go of everything else. Don’t waste your time and energy on things you can’t do anything about. Once you let go, you can focus on everything else and find happiness.
You’ll find fulfillment if you stop worrying about things you can’t control. It’ll help you focus on meaningful experiences and situations rather than worrying about anything else.
4 – Shift your Mindset.
If you feel anxious about things beyond your control, shift your mindset. Make a conscious effort to focus only on what you can change. It’ll help you refocus and let go of things you can’t do anything about.
5 – Think About Your Priorities.
When your thoughts focus on negativity, think about the things that bring meaning to your life. Think about your priorities and the things you can directly influence. The priorities of your life must be given impetus, this would make you work on the things which is within your means and you can concentrate properly.