What Can You Control?


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What Can You Control?


When problems begin to stack up in your life, it may feel like there is a wall blocking your ability to move forward. While facing these obstacles you may feel hopeless, helpless, or like a victim of the situation you are dealing with. A victim is someone who is powerless and has no control. This does not have to be you.

You can take control of many of the situations you will face in your life. Teach your brain not to focus on the wall – instead focus on the solutions that will help you to get past the wall. When you work on the things that you CAN control in your life, your persona shifts from being a victim, to someone who has the strength to overcome challenges.

Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.

-Ben Carson

Things You Can’t Control:

  • Other people's actions
  • Other people's feelings
  • Other people's words
  • Obeying laws or rules
  • Your past
  • Weather

Things You Can Control:

  • Your Attitude
  • Your Effort
  • Your Words
  • Your Actions & Reactions
  • Your Choices

Let's see how this works in real life:

It's raining for the 5th day in a row. This month you promised your coach that you would run a certain distance for track. Here are your options:

  1. "I can't go outside. I can't run my route without getting wet. I'll just play a video game or watch TV."
  2. "I'll put on my old shoes and stay on the pavement to avoid mud puddles, but will still get my running done."
  3. "I'll go to the gym at school and do laps indoors to get my running done for the day."

My friend stopped talking to me, now I have no one to eat lunch with.

  1. "Since I don't want to eat alone, I guess I'll just skip lunch."
  2. "Maybe tomorrow will be better. Today, I'll sit next to another classmate during lunch."
  3. "I'll write a note to my friend and let them know that I want to work things out. I may just eat lunch on my own so I'm not hungry for the rest of the day."

Do you see how the latter two options in each of these examples understands that an obstacle exists, but finds a way around it?

When you look for the things you can control, it helps you to see alternative paths around the wall. That wall may still be there, but you will find a way to go over it, around it, or underneath it. You will take back your control and prevail!

Try out our worksheet.

The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.

-Oprah Winfrey


You don't have to face your problems alone!

Counselors are standing by.

Ways to Get Help