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Controlling the Uncontrollable

By September 29, 2015February 14th, 2019Articles, Leadership

Control Key on Computer Keyboard“Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power.” Benjamin Disraeli

I had an experience this week where I was trying to control something I couldn’t. At the very least I could influence it but even then I was having no luck. And it was driving me crazy! Being someone who likes to be in control and who doesn’t like to be inconvenienced, my buttons were being pushed – hard!

So what do you do when you need something to happen so badly but can’t make it happen? Do you give up, walk away, throw your hands up in the air, become threatening or get uncontrollably angry? Or are you patient, try and work towards a solution using the philosophy that you’ll attract more bees with honey?

Well I can tell you I tried all of the above approaches except for the uncontrollably angry and threatening scenario. But I can assure you it crossed my mind! None of the scenarios worked. The situation unfolded in it’s own good time, well outside my timeframes and at inconvenience to me!

You can apply this to any situation in business. Clients making decisions, product being delivered, cash flow, staff resignations, acquisitions. There are so many situations that are outside of our control and in a world where nothing seems to stop and the pressure to perform, innovate, meet deadlines and create revenue is constant the need to control something seems to be one thing we crave.

The lesson this week for me was reinforcing something I do understand which is the one and only thing I can control is me. It’s how I handle situations, what I can do to influence outcomes, what I do when I’m challenged. I can’t control what happens to me or anyone else in my life or whom I am associated with in business. What I can do is learn from these situations. And learn I have.

It’s empowering when you choose to lean back and assess what’s really going on. If you’re expending energy unresourcefully, you’re wasting it unnecessarily. Sometimes you need to influence what you can and wait for things to happen in their own good time. Frustrating as it may be, there’s probably a lesson in it for you.

Stop trying to control the uncontrollable. Take it from me; it’s not worth it!