Tweak Your Week: Stop Fighting for Control
Tips, tricks and tweaks to help founders each week. You’ll be surprised what a difference these tiny experiments can make.
Good morning Upsiders!
This week is all about sorting your world into two parts and jettisoning one of them.
Taking a leaf from the good old Stoics, we’d like you to focus on differentiating between the things you can control and those you can’t.
Then, you are going to do your best to let go of anything and everything that is out of your control to make your life as a leader lighter, easier, and less stressful.
It’s not easy, and it won’t happen overnight, but taking steps towards recognising and relinquishing your hold on the things that you can’t change no matter what you do can be life-changing - for you and for those around you.
Sure, we all know we can’t control the weather, but sometimes we take on responsibility for things that we have no real measure of influence over. For example, other people’s beliefs, values, and opinions; the economy and capital markets; your kids; viruses; job offer acceptances from superstar talent; term sheets being issued and/or pulled; and a surprisingly long etcetera.
When we try to control the things in life that we have no influence over, we end up suffering - we get frustrated, anxious, or angry, and this will affect the people around us, who also end up suffering.
Learning to identify what is outside our control means not wasting precious time and energy trying to change it, which, in turn, gives us far more time and energy to focus on moving forward in the areas we have influence over.
When you find yourself getting upset about a situation or an event, stop and focus on your breath to bring yourself into the present.
Take a moment to reflect on what you are feeling, acknowledging and recognising your emotion for what it is - a physiological response to a stimulus.
Ask yourself if that stimulus is something you have control over or are directly responsible for.
If the answer is no, take another big, deep breath and as you exhale, visualise yourself letting go of the situation; you can even physically push it away with your arms if that helps.
Reset your focus, shifting your attention and your energy towards something that is within your control.
Learning to recognise, release, and reset in this way takes practice, but letting go of what you can’t control will ultimately help you achieve so much more as a leader.
Notice a difference?
Tell us how you go. Share your experiences - ‘mazing or meh - with the Upside community.
We’re all a work in progress.
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