There can be so much to worry about these days. Worrying causes anxiety, and the cycle continues as you worry about having so much anxiety! Let’s tame the worry with an easy technique which helps you see things that are in your control, where you have influence, and those things that are out of your control.

Start by getting a piece of paper and a pen/pencil. I like to use colours – bright colours. Draw two overlapping circles on the paper. At the top of the left-hand one, write IN MY CONTROL, in the overlapping area, write IN MY INFLUENCE, and in the right-hand one, write not in my control. Notice the use of capitals for those things we WANT and NEED to focus on. Choose a main worry – this can be finances, job search, Covid-19 concerns, a relationship, or any other worry.

Write those things that are in your influence in the circle using one colour (if you want to use colours). For a job search perhaps you’d write update resume, find ways to have resume reviewed, cover letter review, set daily job notices from Indeed or your favorite job search site. In the MY INFLUENCE part, consider what you can do to put yourself in a better spot to be hired, beyond sending out applications. Ideas include networking, update your LinkedIn profile, look for employees near you and connect with them, reach out to others in the field and solicit advice. Out of control things are being hired, availability of jobs, and so forth.

Why are we doing this? The primary reason is that this moves those nasty circulating thoughts in your head onto paper. You are getting all these worry thoughts out and leaving room for more positive thoughts. Many people are visually-oriented and seeing these items laid out on paper helps them to organize their actions. EMPOWERMENT – you can now see what YOU can do to help yourself. Sometimes we lose sight of our resources, supports, and abilities when confronted by worries. The Circles of Control and Influence ground us back to the realization that we HAVE control over our situation, there are things we can do, and we WILL conquer the worry.

A qualified counsellor can assist you in determining your strengths and resources and provide support and insight while you do this activity. They will also be supportive as you work through those things in your control and influence. Here’s to less worry and more LIFE.