Issue 31. July 14, 2023 ✨ Higher Power Coaching & Consulting ✨
This image was inspired by management guru Stephen Covey who introduced the concept of Circles of Concern versus Circles of Control. I love it for so many reasons, including that it’s really helpful for visual learners.
If you want to live your life on purpose and be proactive, spend the bulk of your time, energy and attention on the light pink inner Circle of Control. However, what many of us do is spend the bulk of our time, energy, effort and thought life on the dark pink outer Circle of Concern.
I love that Covey called the outer circle the Circle of Concern because we have every right to be concerned about those things. They’re important. But we can’t control them.
When we’re proactive, we have a small Circle of Concern and a large Circle of Control. That is, we spend a lot of time and energy focused on issues that are within our control. When we’re reactive we have a large Circle of Concern and a small Circle of Control. That means we’re expending so much energy on things outside of our control that we have almost no energy left for things that are within our control.
In recovery language, we’d say the Circle of Concern is “people, places and things” and that this is a good depiction of the Serenity Prayer. We need courage to deal with the things in the light pink inner Circle of Control, and we need acceptance to deal with the dark pink Circle of Concern.
Sometimes when we’re super focused on things we cannot control, we become paralyzed and unable to act. The global economy, the environment, politics, what everyone else in the world is thinking about you – that’s a lot of stuff! It’s draining primarily because it’s out of your control, but also because there’s so much there.
When you’re so focused there, you’re probably full of anxiety (on top of being drained of energy) and you have nothing left for things over which you actually do have control.
You get to decide where you’re going to focus your attention. Will it be on your Circle of Concern or your Circle of Control? If you focus on your Circle of Control, you’ll see you have many more options in your life than you previously thought. You’ll also find that you have a LOT more energy than when you were focused on the Circle of Concern because you won’t be drained by things you can’t control.
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