How to take back control and move from powerless to powerful
Are you ready to move from powerless to powerful?
Many of us may feel like we have lost control, but there are still ways to change from feeling powerless to powerful with these tips.
Our ability to cope under pressure, adapt to new circumstances and juggle responsibilities is being put to the test as many of us work from home to combat COVID-19.
Many employers are expecting business as usual but the reality for you is far from usual. You may be fighting for space to work with most or all members of the household home. If you have children you’ll also be looking after and schooling them. You’ll probably be finding it hard staying at home all day every day too. Short trips out to the supermarket and for exercise don't give the same boost as a real social life.
In situations like this, when we’re unable to control what’s happening to us – i.e. having to stay home – we can start to feel disempowered and stressed. Working on building your resilience can help.
Resilience is a muscle; the more we work on developing it, the stronger it becomes. A resilient person sees failures as temporary setbacks they can recover from quickly. They maintain a positive attitude and a strong sense of opportunity, even in difficult times. When faced with uncertainty, a resilient leader finds ways to move forward and avoids getting stuck.
Resilience can be taught and is essential in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times we are facing. The true grit of a leader is not how they perform during the good times, but how they display emotional strength, courage and professionalism during the most trying times.
3Plus offers Returner Roll-Up Sessions for skill development. Try this one for Developing Resilience.
The Circle of Control
When you’re struggling with the juggle and pressure of your many responsibilities, Career Coach Jenny Garrett recommends trying resilience building tools like the Circle of Control (made famous by Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People).
First write down all the things that are worrying you at the moment. It could be finances, relationships, health. Then draw three concentric circles on a sheet of paper – like the image below. Label them control, influence and concern.
Then think about the worries you wrote down. Your worry may be that you are being forced to work from home and you’re not happy about that.
In the control area write the things you can control about that. For example your desk space, screen saver, the plants you have around you, maybe what you wear to work.
In the influence area write down the things you can influence about it. Maybe you can influence the hours you work and the way you work, without anyone breathing down your neck?
What is a concern? Perhaps you can’t influence the fact that you are working from home at the moment. So try not to spend your time worrying about it. Often we spend our time worrying about things we cannot do anything about. This can make us feel powerless and like a victim.
Move from powerless to powerful
The idea is to let go of the things that are a concern, the things that you can’t do anything about. Focus most on the things that you can control and try to influence what you can. When we do that we move from powerless to powerful. We feel like we are taking action and control and we gain a sense of being empowered.
We can all find ways to develop our resilience to bounce back from this challenging situation stronger than we thought possible.
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