In today's world, we are constantly bombarded with visuals, articles and notifications to grab our attention and our concern. This barrage can come in many forms; what other people are saying on social media being the most obvious. So, how do we assimilate this information and recognize its value to us?
If we're not paying attention, we can easily spend too much of our time worrying about what other people are doing and how we can change “them” (our Circle of Concern). We should instead be focusing on ourselves and where we can improve or change (our Circle of Influence).
It sounds so simple, but we are often compelled to “fix” people and problems outside of our control. And when we can’t, our tendency is to devolve into blaming and complaining, which is becoming so prevalent in our society. Instead of focusing on an overbearing boss, lazy co-worker, or out-of-touch family member, work on YOU.
Here are a few focused questions that can help guide you into your Circle of Influence:
- How do you recognize when you're spinning in the wrong circle?
- What can you do differently or better to improve the situation?
- What can you do to prepare for your next meeting with that out-of-touch family member?
Bottom line: Change starts within you! Focusing on your Circle of Influence will increase feelings of empowerment, purpose and confidence. The next time you find yourself trying to fix a problem or a person, ask yourself, “Am I working in the right Circle?” When you do, you'll notice others will begin to as well.