A highlight from #83: How to Let Go of a Challenging Situation

Mindset for Life


Why you would wanna leave the past behind. I'm gonna tell you a brief story. And i hope this will illustrate the fact for you. Let's imagine joan. Joan is in a meeting with her colleagues and in this meeting. Joan is fairly confident about her. Thoughts and opinions and jones says something to assert her thought towards the group she shares. What she's thinking a few people in the group take it personally. They start to argue and they really refute what she has to say in a pretty attacking manner. The conversation moves on pretty quickly for five or ten minutes jones. Not able to re enter the conversation. Meanwhile jones wondering how do i resolve this. It seems like what i've said is caused a real problem pretty soon. There's an opening and joan joins. The conversation again apologizes for steering it in the wrong direction and makes a correction to her comment. Of course this only makes it worse because the colleagues yet again respond from this space or they're already feeling some resistance to what joan has to say. The meaning continues. It ends on a positive note and joan goes home so john's thinking about it all afternoon and joan has been working on her mindset. She does not want to dwell on it but she's having a really hard time not beating herself up for what she said in that meeting or for how it went. Joan is really struggling with it. She distracts herself with some pleasant family activities and she goes to bed for the night she finds that she has awakened in the middle of the night. Gritting her teeth and thinking about the conversation in that meeting. It's playing over in her mind while she's sleeping. Has that kind of thing ever happened to you. This experience that joan is having is not totally unusual to just joan. It's something we all go through. We might think about things we said or did that. We wished we hadn't said or perhaps that we wish had gone differently or better in some way many times. What we're focused on is something that's totally outside of our control but we don't realize it at the time and so we start to think and plan and scheme and worry about how to fix it. We might spend a lot of energy looking forward to seeing these people again so we can fix it. That kind of stress and energy is something. You don't have time for worrying about controlling other people's thoughts responses and reactions is futile. Because you cannot do much about it and it's going to take a lot of your energy and time away from those things that you can control and that you're really good at today. I'd like to give you some suggestions about using your circle of influence your circle of control and your circle of concern a little more purposefully. Now the idea of these circles is that you take a piece of paper and you draw a small circle. This is your circle of control a larger circle around it called your circle of influence in then an even bigger circle still. That's called your circle of concern in each of these three areas. You can take a moment to list. What is on your mind right down those things that only you can control in that space called circle of control. That'd be the smallest circle. And i could list things for joan like hosting the meeting choosing how i start and end the meeting what i say during the meeting my attitude words and demeanor while i'm in the meeting and my confidence about what i say and about how i participate in the meeting. Now once you have an idea of what you can control then in the next circle the circle of influence that larger space lists some areas that you have some control or influence over but not complete control and since joan is the one who called the meeting we're gonna list these things for jones circle of influence and that would be the meeting purpose and intended goals and the initial and proposed meeting focus. Outside of that. There's very little that joan can influence during that meeting and in the largest circle. This is your circle of concern. There are many other things that i would suggest listing for joan and anyone else in this situation and that starts with the actual focus of the meeting. I mean how it really ended up if you can set the agenda and start the meeting well and you're in charge of that. Meeting people are going to make a lot of comments. It might get completely derailed and in the end the focus of that meeting might not end up being what you intended. You can do your best to keep it there but it may actually be in your circle of concern what other people say during the meeting. That also goes in your circle of concern again. You care about what others say but you really cannot control and you might not even be able to influence what they say another thing you could concern yourself with but not control is what others think of me and my ideas and whether people agree with me many times we think we can make people like us make people happy with us or make people pleased with us in some way there are folks who spend a huge amount of time and energy people pleasing just for that reason. We think we can do that. But it's not within our circle of control it's not in our circle of influence. What other people think about us and whether they agree with us is only in our circle of concern. We can't really change it. We can try. We can see if we can influence it but we cannot change it another thing. I'd right in that. Area is whether people like or dislike me now whether people like or dislike me is their business. They're going to decide whether or not i am aware of it and i may never know what they really think and feel about me unless they tell me and even then it might not be a true representation of their thinking if people are smiling and nodding and acting agreeable. That doesn't even mean they like you. It might mean that they're trying to connect with you so that they feel like they're building poor and conservative that meeting whatever it is whether people like or dislike us is outside our control. It's not an area where a significant time and energy investments should be made the next area that i would put in that circle of concern where i cannot control or influence it is whether people include me or leave me out of discussions that springboard after this meeting. There's a lot of follow up conversation that happens after meetings many times. It's in the hallway. It's by the water cooler or it's in slack or some other place and if people are talking about me or my ideas and i'm not there. There's nothing i can do about that. And lastly what those people in the meeting will say to my boss or other people about me after the meeting or about the ideas after the meeting there are so many things way outside our circle of control and our circle of influence. And the question. I would ask you today is where do you invest the most energy. Where are you spending most of your time and concern are adjustments needed to better manage your energy when you focus on the circle of control and those things you really can do. You can use your powerful strengths. You can be much more observant and you can focus your efforts. The best they possibly can be. You have a better chance of appearing confident and actually being confident when your efforts are focused on your circle of control now one reason we want to concern ourselves with the circle of concern and be aware of what the thoughts are that other people share with us is so that we can hear them and see them and adapt our approach so it is helpful to know what other people say and do. That's going to give us power to be responsive it isn't helpful to try to change it though. If the only reason we're responding to other people's comments is to change them we're just using them. Were not actually serving them helping them by considering what they want and need is a great way to influence others so this coming week think about jones story. What her experience was. She spent a lot of time and effort trying to not focus on what where in her opinion wrongly during that meeting. But she didn't lose in fact what she was. A little preoccupied with was what other people did not what she did. And chances are there's very little we can do to change what other people are going to say or do in a meeting now. One thing that. I'd like to point out that can really help resolve. Things is once you've detailed your circle of control your circle of influence and your circle of concern about an experience like a meeting where you wish you had said something differently. The next step is so. Look at all those things in your circle of concern. And let them go consciously when you realize they are totally outside of your control. They gives you a little bit of freedom and it helps you. Focus your energy where it matters most and once you've been able to let go of the anxiety and worry about those areas. The second thing is to acknowledge at least five things that are going right or did go right in that situation if you take time in every tense or difficult situation to look for things that go right things that went well things. You're happy about or things you're grateful for. This will help you to reframe things in a positive direction and look at things the way they are developing and the way they're going well when you count your blessings and not your disappointments you also create a sense of calm a peaceful heart and let go of negativity while you're bringing in the positive focus. Research tells us that this improves your overall sense of well being your physical health and your mental health. Think about it and try having an attitude of gratitude after you let go of the tension in the next situation. You're facing thanks for being here. I

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