“Freedom is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.” – Epictetus
As we’re going through life, personally and professionally, it can be easy to get trapped by things we can’t control. From how other people show up to the outside forces which impact our environments, we often get caught up in trying to dominate things that can’t be dominated. We do this in our businesses, on our teams, and at home. Rather than focusing on what we CAN control and the areas in life where we’re holding the steering wheel and have our foot on the gas, we aim our attention at things we can’t influence.
The result? We give up our freedom.
With that in mind, how do we control the controllable in our lives? What does this look like in our offices and at home? Here are five areas where you can start controlling the controllable…
How You Communicate…
Does everyone in your circle, including yourself, know what’s expected of them?
Has everything been explained in clear language, removing confusion?
Are you responsive, and is your communication proactive or reactive?
How Much Effort You’re Exerting…
Do you show up to life, professionally and personally, ready to contribute?
Have you invested in learning and developing your professional and interpersonal skills?
Are you taking care of yourself physically, exercising, eating well, and sleeping?
How You Approach Risk…
When making choices, do you naturally lean toward possibilities or your fears?
Have you developed a real understanding of the risk’s true worst-case scenario?
Do you have guardrails and strategies to help minimize risk when facing it?
How You React to Change…
What is your attitude and mindset toward change, personally or professionally?
When faced with change, do you resist it or move toward it?
Are you addressing change on the horizon proactively or denying it’s coming your way?
How You Set Goals…
When you set goals, are they S.M.A.R.T.? Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely?
Have you aligned yourself with a strong circle of individuals who care about your success?
Are you doing everything you can to measure your progress?
There are many things in life we can’t control – and at the same time, there are just as many things that we can. Focus on the things you can control, and let go of what you can’t. That’s enough. Controlling first where you put your energy and attention will help you in every other area of your life.