Personal choice, control and influence – the keys to wellbeing

Candice Tomlinson | 18 February, 2021

            Personal choice, control and influence – the keys to wellbeing

We may not be able to change our past, but what do have control over for certain is our future. So why is it that we invest more of our time and energy in the things that are out of our control, instead of focusing on the things that are within our realm of influence?

The circle of control

Perhaps a good starting point to addressing this key question is to explore what it is we can control and what we can influence. We, as flawed human beings are often lulled into the misconception that we have very little control over very few things. In actual fact, we can control much more than we realise.  

We CAN control how we live each day and in what mood we venture out into the world with and we DO have control over our reactions, choices, attitude and responses.  

Viktor Frankl explained in his inspiring book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, that every person has the opportunity to pause between stimulus and response. Even though we all have triggers that ignite a knee jerk reaction, it’s quite possible to become aware of what these triggers are and consider a more rational response before a vitriolic slew of words takes over.  

Let’s say for arguments sake that one our triggers and big hot buttons is when people treat us like we are stupid. We could become aggressively defensive in retaliation to this trigger and we would need to purposefully and carefully consider our reaction and response to this so as to not let the conversation spiral out of control, into an emotional retaliation. When we respond more rationally, in an adult fashion, the conversation will always be more proactive and productive. Thus, we can choose our response. And just like we can choose our response we can choose our mood.

According to Sonja Lyubomirsky the author of “The How of Happiness”, 40% of our happiness is controlled by our internal state of mind. Therein lies an amazing opportunity! We have the power to control 40% of our happiness – how liberating and empowering! 

There is neuroscience behind this and I would love to explore this more with you in terms of how to shift your internal state of mind to focus more on the positive as well as steadily increasing our circle of influence, which we delve into further below.

The circle of influence

The Centre for Creative Leadership defines influence as, “the ability to personally affect the actions, decisions, opinions, or thinking of others and ultimately influence allows you to get things done and achieve desired outcomes.” 

We may not be the final decision makers for everything we encounter in life, however we can influence key decision makers or certain decisions that are made. We can almost certainly influence crucial colleagues, leaders and stakeholders in business. And absolutely all of us can be rather influential when it comes to team and organisational wellbeing.  

Furthermore, we are most influential when it comes to our own subconscious mind. Our conscious mind gives instruction to our subconscious mind – much like a captain giving the crew instructions on how to sail the boat and in what direction. Our subconscious is our feeling mind and cannot distinguish between fact and reality, it merely takes instructions from the captain of the ship. Interestingly though, the subconscious mind is a million times stronger than the conscious mind, according to Dr. Bruce Lipton, biologist and expert on subconscious beliefs. Again, this presents us with an exceptional opportunity to carefully instruct our subconscious mind, to impact our personal wellbeing, which is what I am so incredibly passionate about and integrate into my coaching with clients and my Rapid Transformational Therapy. 

So if we come back to our question of why we expend all our energy in the circle of no control, the answer, put simply is that we don’t know how to expand the circle of control and influence and as such the circle of no control creeps into what we can control and influence. We can reverse this. We can shift limiting paradigms of thinking to become liberating paradigms of thinking that exponentially influence our wellbeing.

If you are interested in finding out more, I would love to chat with you.

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