Becoming Wildly Resilient Practice: Circle of Control
Listen as host Amy Rodquist-Kodet, certified health coach with UK HR Health and Wellness, leads you through a process to identify things in and out of your control. Each month, Amy will explain a new practice you can try to build your resilience and thrive.
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Introduction [Amy Rodquist-Kodet]: [00:00:00] You are listening to Becoming Wildly Resilient, brought to you by University of Kentucky Human Resources Health and Wellness. Join us as we explore tools, practices, meditations and conversations with members of the UK community. Together we will discover how we can thrive at work, home and beyond.
Amy Rodquist-Kodet: Hello, everyone. I'm Amy Rodquist Kodet, health coach with the University of Kentucky Human Resources Health and Wellness. Welcome to Becoming Wildly Resilient Practices, where we explore research-based tools and tips that help us thrive more in the areas of life that matter most. This month, we're talking about the Circle of Control, and this is [01:00:00] especially helpful for anybody else like me who occasionally or sometimes often finds yourself falling down the rabbit hole of worry and rumination because our brains are wired to be predictor machines.
So, when things don't happen as planned, our brains stress and clamor for some sense of control. So, when we can help our brains keep focused on the areas of our life that we actually do have some control, we're able to reduce frenzy and increase our calm. So, the next time you find yourself really stressed with kind of those ruminating thoughts of something that [2:00:00] didn't go great in the past, maybe a conversation with a colleague or a loved one that was less than ideal, or maybe you're out in the future, like me, hasn't even happened yet. You're already convinced it's going to be a hot mess, and you're thinking about it, and worrying about it, and it may be hours or days or weeks or months or years out into the future, right? This tool can be helpful for you. So, we're gonna go old school here.
Grab yourself a sheet of paper and a pen and on that paper, draw a big circle right in the middle. And on the inside of this circle, write down what I can control, and you probably see where we're going here on the outside of the circle write down in big letters what I can't [3:00:00] control and then you're going to do what I like to call a worry dump. So, all the stuff in your body and your brain that you are worried about, do a little sort on whether it fits on the inside of the circle, things you can control, things like the risks you take, the conversations you have, how you treat people when you're stressed, the boundaries you set, the food you eat, the social media you consume, gulp, right? All that stuff, that goes on the inside of the circle and on the outside - spoiler alert, anything that has to do with other people, that stuff goes on the outside, right? So, how family, or friends, or colleagues, how they respond to [04:00:00] anything.
Anything in the past, anything in the future, all that stuff outside of the circle, can't control it. Other risks other people take, other people's feelings about things, right? If your kids are disappointed, all that is outside of the circle. And you may find that sometimes it's a havesies situation, right?
Maybe there is a really difficult conversation you know you need to have. You're worried about it. You're feeling stressed about it. So, having the conversation that goes on the inside of the circle, how people feel about how the conversation went, or their responses to it, that's just on the outside. So, in those cases, it is sometimes helpful to get really clear about what's yours.
What can you own? What can you actually control? And, then at the same time, what else is [05:00:00] not yours to control so sort that on the outside? And once your worries are sorted, this part is super satisfying: I really love to put a big line through it and sometimes if I'm feeling, especially stressed, I like to take like a big black Sharpie and like, man, just really cross out, like scribble out some of the stuff you can't control.
And then give your attention and energy to things inside the circle; all of those things that are really weighing heavy on your shoulders. Of those things that are on the inside of your circle, what action can you take? Maybe it's having that conversation, sending that email. Maybe it is prioritizing the to-do list.
What do you need to do to move forward and take action on the things in your circle? And you may [06:00:00] find that at 3:33 in the morning when you wake up and find yourself stuck on rumination, just something that's really in your claw; you can't let it go. It's not really convenient to turn on the light, wake yourself up, get a notebook out and start worry dumping, right, in a journal.
So, even having the query of asking yourself, is this thing I'm stuck on, is it something that goes on the inside of the circle? Something I can take control of? Or, is this thing on the outside of the circle? And that clarifying question can be so helpful to inform your next steps because as much as I'd love to say that putting something on the outside of [07:00:00] the circle magically makes that thing disappear, it's not true, right? We still can continue to feel strong feelings about things that are on the outside of the circle. The difference is we can begin to continue to focus our brain on that thing still on the outside of the circle. I need to release. That is out of my control.
That is not mine to fix. It is not mine to manage, right? Have a little mantra for yourself. Getting really clear about what's yours and what's not can be really, really helpful to keep that brain focused on reducing the frenzy. And increasing the calm of the things you can take action on. And, this is a practice, right, like all of the things we talk about, it's a building a muscle sort of situation so the more we use it, the more we practice it, the stronger that muscle becomes. So this month, play with the circle of control, and thanks for [08:00:00] joining me and practicing together because practice makes possible and that's how we become more wildly resilient.
So, until next time, keep practicing.
Outro [Amy Rodquist-Kodet]: Thank you for listening to Becoming Wildly Resilient
This podcast is brought to you by University of Kentucky Human Resources Health and Wellness. We offer a wide range of online and in-person services to support the well-being of UK employees, retirees and their spouses. You can find experts in mental health, personal resilience, nutrition, physical activity and more. We're ready to meet you where you are and address your unique needs.
To learn more about the work-life and well-being services offered by UK Human Resources, visit hr.uky.edu/wellbeing. [09:00:00] You can also connect with us on social media and YouTube by searching @ukywellness or by email at email@example.com.