You always have influence over something. Choose what!
I don’t know what it is like where you are, but here in Bristol it is bleak and rainy, and we are still in lock down, and we have extended weeks of it in front of us. So I imagine there are a number of people out there that are feeling a bit like the weather today. A bit bleak!
So with that in mind I wanted to write about the power of your influence! In a world where a lot feels out of control, there are always things within our circle of influence. Things we can control and influence.
And three of those are:
• How we choose to internalise things
• And how we choose to respond
• What we focus on
First of all, just let that sink in. How refreshing to remember that in any situation we always have choice over those two things, how we internalise things, and how we respond.
So what do I mean. Well when I say internalise things, I mean that we can decide what something means to us and therefore how it makes us feel. This is the classic ‘glass half full approach’ but it is more than that. It is recognising that we can absolutely choose to decide what something means for us.
Whether something was a mistake or a learning experience. Whether someone’s negative reaction to us was about us or about them. And how we choose to internalise things in turn affects how we feel. This may not come naturally at first, but keep trying. Make a make decision about how you choose to internalise your experiences, and see how it makes a difference.
The second thing we can always influence is how we respond, the action we choose to take. When I find myself overwhelmed I find it really useful to remember that ultimately I have control over my actions. If you don’t want to do something, whether that is your job or another task, then you absolutely could choose not to do it. Now I’m not saying this is the best choice, and I’m not saying there wouldn’t be consequences. But ultimately you do have a choice.
This obviously flows from the first point. But if we choose how we want to internalise something, we can then make more rational choices about how we want to respond. Spending some time thinking about the outcomes you want to achieve first, can really help guide you.
Finally, you can influence what you focus on! Choose what is important to you, and what you want to achieve, and then put your energy on what will have the greatest impact in getting you there. If you find yourself being distracted my negative thoughts, habits or procrastination. Choose to refocus yourself.
You get to choose what that is, and you get to choose what actions you take, and you get to choose what that means for you. See maybe you have more influence that you thought?