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Often my clients are so frustrated and depressed by the lack of control they feel about their lives. They say things like “i tried my best but still failed.” or “I gave him everything I had and still he betrayed me.”

There are three sphere of control. 1. Things you can control (Red circle) 2. Things you can influence (Orange circle) 3. Things that are outside your control (Blue circle)

The inner circle, at the core are your thoughts, actions and emotions about the events. These are the things you can control or at least learn to control over the time. Out side of that are the things you can influence leveraging those core competencies, once you master them. They are things like your efforts, managing time, your energy, building rapport, decisions, your health, and some degree of interpersonal relations.

Important thing to understand is the outermost circle in the blue are the things that are outside the your control. These are things like Success, Love, Status or Money. These are outcomes of your core values plus your efforts but still there is no guarantee that will be achieved. Unfortunately since childhood they teach us work hard and you will be successful. Although there is a correlation between the two there is no #causation. Hard work does not directly cause success. Money does not directly cause love. Even loving someone does not directly cause them you love you back.

Realize now that stress, anxiety and depression occur when we want to control things outside of our circle of influence. That is why “perfectionists” live horrible lives.

Although you can not control pain (like disease, accidents and loss) because they are in the blue circle you can control suffering (how you feel about them) from the red circle. Master the core and you may increase your circle of influence and help others as well.

In the 12 steps program they have an incredible prayer. I suggest reading it everyday.

“God, give me grace to accept with serenity

the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish

the one from the other.”

I hope I was of value to you. If this was helpful for you. please share with your friends that are going through something similar.

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Ibrahim Siawash

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