The Circle of Influence
Firstly, thank you for all the wishes of support since my last newsletter - it means a lot to know that my good intentions over the years of writing these have had a positive impact on others. It's hugely uplifting to hear from you.
Talking of staying in touch, I was on the phone to my mum this morning - she is immuno-suppressed and has high blood pressure so currently in lock down. Like me, she has a habit of ruminating and losing sleep.
We discussed daily meditation but I think her head is too busy to learn meditation at the moment. So, in the meantime I am sending you, me and her this useful exercise to help with stress and anxiety for when you're feeling overwhelmed and helpless. It's based on Stephen Covey's Circle of Influence.
Get a piece of paper and draw a big circle.
Then draw a smaller circle within the big circle
Label the big circle: 'Things I'm not able to control'.
Label the circle in the middle: 'Things I can control'.
Next write down everything you can think of that you're not able to control, in the outside circle. E.g; What I hear on the news.
In the circle in the middle, write down everything you can control. E.g; Choosing to turn off the news
Know that when you focus on the things in the outside circle, you don't have any influence and control over them and this is stressful and frustrating. And the more you focus there the bigger the circle gets. Stephen Covey called this circle The Circle of Concern.
But when you focus on the things in the middle circle, they ARE within your control and ARE things you can influence. He called it The Circle of Influence. And the more you focus there the bigger your Circle of Influence, and therefore your control, gets. Here's a photo of mine:
The best thing so far is that I'm talking to my parents more often and that I'm choosing generosity in response to the actions and behaviours of others. My heart feels full.
Stay in touch and please feel free to share my emails with friends, colleagues and family, if you find them useful.
Mum, I hope you are reading your emails!!
Thinking of you all,