Catalyst Question: What do you have control over… right now?
It’s time for another Catalyst Question. This series is meant to encourage self-reflection and open you up to new possibilities! Please share your insights and reactions in the comments below or on twitter or Facebook using the hashtag: #CatalystQ
Today’s Catalyst Question is inspired by coaching conversations and discussions I’ve had with friends the past few days. The issues have been diverse, whether they were wondering what their next step would be in their personal life or relationship; facing a new challenge, or determining the next move in their career. They’ve all had a common theme: feeling overwhelmed by uncertainty.
Granted, these are all big questions and it’s important to have aspirations and take responsibility for our actions, yet sometimes we simply cannot plan our path down to every detail. So, this Catalyst Question helps us take a step back to get some perspective: “What do you have control over… right now?”
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When you are looking toward the future at all the possibilities in your life and potential scenarios, it gets complicated; and if you add to that other people’s actions, the stock market, weather and traffic, things escalate quickly. You realize that there are many things that we do NOT have control over.
So, if you can identify with this feeling, I encourage you to take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself, what you do have control over right now? This will help remind you that indeed there are many things in life which we cannot control, and it isn’t helpful to worry over those things because it will only produce greater anxiety which isn’t productive.
Instead you can focus your energy on things that you DO have control over. These might be the first steps toward your next big goal, and actions you can take now that will make you a better person and professional no matter what your next step turns out to be. By taking a phased approach, you can break down a seemingly daunting question in order to lessen the uncertainty.
Taking it one step further, when thinking about what you DO have control over, you can also reflect on the bigger picture in terms of how you take responsibility for your own happiness. I found an insightful post on Tiny Buddha with a list of things you can control right now. Here are some of my favorites:
- How many times you smile today
- How well you prepare
- How you act on your feelings
- How you interpret situations
- How often you say “thank you”
- How often you notice and appreciate small acts of kindness
- Whether you think positive or negative thoughts
- When you ask for help
- How much rest you get at night
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, what else would you add to this list? What helps you focus on what you DO have control over?