10 Ways to Focus on What You Can Control

10 Ways to Focus on What You Can Control

10 Ways to Focus on What You Can Control

One way to remain focused on your priorities and not feel overwhelmed by change, pressure, uncertainty, and a heavy workload is to focus on controlling what you can control.  

There is usually no point in wasting your valuable time and energy on trying to change what is outside your control, such as the weather, traffic, the geopolitical situation, the cost of living crisis, industrial unrest, and general uncertainty of the future.  Similarly, it's pointless worrying about the past or what your unpleasant and often jealous colleague or neighbour is thinking or saying about you.  Remember the words of Oscar Wilde: 'There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about'.

Here are 10 ways to build your Resilience to cope better with key challenges and remember that you can still control the following:

1. Your own Attitude

These days the headlines can be quite confronting and cause increased anxiety.  During these unprecedented times, it may be difficult to look for the positives, but it’s worth remembering that our attitude determines our thoughts, which in turn determine how we feel, and then how we behave.  Those who are naturally more resilient and optimistic are more able to take some positive action.

2. Your Self-talk

Now, more than ever, it’s a good time to work on trying to silence your Inner Negative Voice/Inner Critic to deal with uncertainty and stress.  Try to replace negative thoughts with positive statements; if you find your negative thoughts spiralling out of control, write down some actions you can take to counter them, for example, if you’re wondering how you’re going to pay the rising energy bills, start contacting your suppliers online and ask for payment plans.  Now is the time to ask for help.

3. Your Breath

During the worst times of the pandemic we saw videos of people in hospital with Covid struggling to breathe, even when receiving oxygen, so these distressing images may have led you to pay more attention to what we take for granted – our breathing and health.  If you practice meditation or yoga, you’ll be familiar with the calming effects of deep breathing, if not, check out some of the techniques online.

4. Your Behaviour

Four years ago at the onset of the pandemic we witnessed the extremes of human behaviour, from the worst of those panic buying, to the best, as people helped out the more vulnerable and key workers in our communities.  Again, after the invasion of Ukraine, we saw how people could help by donating their time and money to asssit the incredible charities who are trying to alleviate some of the extreme pain and suffering.  At the end of every day, if you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud of how you have behaved and treated others, then you should feel better about yourself and your own situation.  Being grateful for what you do have, as opposed to what you don't have, is another way to feel better.

5. The Amount of Effort you put in

Over the past four years many of us have had to adapt to remote working full time; once you’ve dealt with the major changes and challenges in your life, the more effort you put in to trying to be the best version of yourself should also make you feel better.  Setting goals can also hlep.

6. What you Eat and Drink

By choosing healthier options and limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol you are less likely to experience the flight, fight, freeze stress responses.

7. Who or what you Listen to, or Watch on TV or Online

Limiting how much you check social media or the news on TV not only makes you more productive, it also means you suffer less from seeing and hearing all the traumatic news bulletins.  

8. How much you Exercise

Diarising time to work out is key to feeling good and getting out in the fresh air can help you stay focused and cope better with stress and anxiety. 

9. When you go to Bed

If you haven’t got to get up at 6 o’clock every morning to start a long commute, the temptation may be to stay up late watching Netflix, however, getting more sleep helps you to feel more positive.

10. Talk to Someone

Make sure you have a strong support network you know you can call on if you just need to talk.  Having someone to discuss problems with is proven to improve stress levels and assist in seeing the wood for the trees if you are feeling overwhelmed.  If you feel the issues are too complex for a friend to help out with, then contact the online support networks and/or your organisations Employee Assistance Programme.

'I honestly could not see the wood for the trees; I'd completely lost perspective but didn't realise that I was on the verge of burnout.  Thank you so much for taking me through the key issues and helping me see that I can take back control one step at a time.  I am now back to my old self and as a result the team are also in a much more productive state!'  Senior Manager

If you would like to know more about this subject or to book any of the following, please contact me:  And you can read my eBook on Resilience here.

About Jill Maidment

Executive Coaching and Mentoring, Career and Transition Coaching, Business Coaching, Resilience Coaching, Life Coaching Retreats

Executive Assessment, 360 Feedback, Face to Face 360 Feedback, Talent Management and Succession Planning

Leadership Training, High Performance Leadership Development, Management Training, Leadership and Management Team Development, Facilitated Team Away Days, Group Coaching