Learning to let go of what you can’t control

I recall sitting at my desk at home on Monday, 23rd March, 2020, thinking of Marvin Gaye’s words: ‘What’s going on?’. But I then asked myself another question: ‘What can I do about it?’ and found myself drawn to the concept of the circles of control.

As we enter yet another period of uncertainty, staring down the barrel of a cost of living crisis, a fuel crisis and a climate crisis, it’s easy for the enormity of it all to seem overwhelming. It can leave you feeling totally helpless and paralysed to do anything. This can be a really scary place to be, which is why now feels like a good time to revisit the circles of control, which are invaluable when looking to combat stress and anxiety at times like this.

These three rings allow you to look at the world around you and focus in on what you can control and influence in your life and encouraging you, giving you permission almost, to let go of the things you can’t.

It’s a pretty simple exercise, but a powerful one. By focusing your energy on the areas you can control, you will be able to take action and through that gain a greater sense of empowerment, shaking off that feeling of overwhelming helplessness. It really is a great tool to help us all weather these turbulent times.

Below is an example of how I often break my world down, I can’t recommend doing this enough. For me it has been a total game-changer. If you do give it a go, let me know how you get on…..

What can I control?

Understanding – asking the right questions to clients and colleagues, listening to their concerns and remembering their wants.

Delivering – getting the job done well….’hear what they say, watch what they do’.

Attitude – my behaviour, my emotional intelligence.

Costs – capping the fees for our investment portfolios.

What can I influence?

Family life – being present.

Community – what am doing to help others?

Clients – helping them with their business challenges, sharing ideas and one on one mentoring.

Fees – special terms with our platform providers and fee reductions for fund management.

What can’t I control?


Investment returns

The weather

Sports results!