Stress Relief Tool – Don’t Try To Control The Uncontrollable

Focusing on what you can control puts you in charge and reduces your stress in the process.

Many things we experience are beyond our control – traffic, the weather, flight delays, the economy, and of course the behavior of other people. If you are a parent, you especially understand that controlling your kids is a challenging and often futile proposition.

Things that are out of your control attract your attention, and by giving those factors your attention you are setting yourself up for stress. Rather than worrying over things beyond your control, why not focus on the things you can control?

A good technique for helping you with this is the 50 percent rule – the mindset that 50 percent of a challenge you can control and 50 percent you cannot. Control only what you can control and be 100 percent responsible for it. By following this rule, you ensure your contribution is effective before allowing any waste of time, energy, or attention on the “other 50 percent” that isn’t within your control. The 50 percent rule puts you in charge.1

This mindset also applies to events in the future that have not happened yet. In other words, you should feel okay about not knowing exactly how things will turn out. Accept the unpredictability of life. Can you imagine how dull life would be if we knew everything that would happen? Think of all that is right with your life, control what you can, and embrace ambiguity in the future unknown.2

 

  1. Melnick, S. – Success Under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident, and Productive When the Pressure’s On
  2. Alpert, J. – 6 Powerful Ways to Worry Less and Live More

Posted by Professor Pete Alexander

A seasoned professional with over 30 years of Sales and Marketing experience, Pete has battled the negative effects of stress head-on and has developed the LIGHTEN™ stress relief model that motivates his peers to take action and overcome their self-imposed barriers to success using clever yet simple tools and techniques.

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