What Can We Control When Everything Seems Out of Control?
By Amanda Gore – CEO of The Joy Project, Communication & Performance Expert, Author and Huffington Post Columnist
In times of discombobulation when things are uncertain, the tendency for humans is to run around like Chook’s without heads on….and create chaos, panic or freeze.
And a very wise person said to me, when I asked if things were feeling like they were out of control, answered “No, I just focus on the things that I can control”.
And so I thought I would do a little blog on what can we control when everything else seems out of control. What is it that we truly individually can control. And the first thing is the quality of our work, the quality of our behavior, the quality of our interactions.
And all of those are reliant on the quality of our thinking.
So if you choose to buy into the field of fear, and you choose to listen to all the dramatic and terrible media reports, then that’s what’s going to infect your mind and that’s one of the worst viruses, the virus of fear and the virus of panic because we are not safe.
Instead, take charge of your thoughts. Begin by observing them. Then you have conscious choices over what you tell yourself,
You’re the one in control of them, and consciously choose to think things that give you some kind of inner peace because you’re the one who creates that – or not – as well!
Be realistic and look at the times we’re living in – everything’s changed. Many are not earning any money including me! And yes, I may have saved before this so that I have a stop gap.
But many people will have done that. Some won’t, but many have.
So, I understand what it’s like to have your income overnight, literally, disappear.
Some of you may have been let go.
Some of you may be on furlough.
For me, everybody just stopped having conferences and that’s how I make my money. And so I could either choose to go into panic mode and think, ‘Oh no, how long is this gonna last…I am going to starve and I had better stock up on toilet paper’ – LOL – or not.
And some funny person said ‘you know it’s a good thing that its not a virus of diarrhoea because all the nasal spray would go’. I chose to make light of things and see the funny side!
Or I can choose to focus on what I can do. I can take action.
And the best thing that I can do is control my thinking. Control the story I’m telling myself.
I can choose to focus on things that are going right, choose to focus on the monotonous goodness that happens every second of every day. I can choose to monotonously focus on gratitude – for everything. Some people will say ‘ you’re Pollyanna, you live in the clouds. You’re not facing reality’.
Yes, I am. I’m facing the biggest reality of what I can actually control.
And this is the most perfect time for us all to be working on ourselves and reactivating our full humanity – our full human potential.
This is a time to release judgment and bring up compassion, deep connection, generosity, appreciation of beauty, being in service to others, love and gratitude.
How can you help others?
One of my first thoughts when this happened was that, well ‘I’ll go and volunteer’. I’ll do something where I can be of service to someone else.
But I’ve been so busy trying to generate content. Not that I can sell. Not that I can create an online program, but generate content that I can share and that can be shared to help others. Content that is of some value because it gives people some kind of strategy to focus on in a time when most people are lost and don’t know what to do.
For many of us if we’re working at home and working remotely, this is this is an opportunity. To say to yourself ‘this is an opportunity in some way’ or to tell yourself it’s a crisis and you are doomed!
Pay attention to what you’re saying to yourself as you read this, because if you’re one of those people that thinks ‘well, it’s alright for her to say opportunity but as far as I can see, it’s all terrible we’re all gonna die’, you know that’s a choice you’re making.
And how do you imagine thinking like that will affect your physiology? Do you think that’s going to fire up your adrenals and fill you with stress hormones and make you see everything in the world as black?
Because that’s your perception (the way you are choosing to see the world), your thinking creates an invisible set of glasses that you wear.
And you can choose to look at the world through pitch black glasses believing it’s all doom and gloom Or you can choose to put on a different set of gratitude glasses on. You can put your joy buddy glasses on. You could put your compassion glasses on. Choose more consciously people, because 95-99% of the time we’re not making conscious choices.
And thinking is the one thing we can control.
You can control how you think, which in turn controls how you feel; you can control your choices, because they come from your thinking.
And that means you can control your beliefs, because your beliefs come from your thinking and the stories that you tell yourself.
This is the most perfect opportunity for you to dive deep into you. Become as Michael Crighton, the author, said your own ‘inner travel agent’. You cannot travel anywhere else. So travel inside. Travel inside and explore. Explore you and become the best you.
You can become really clear on what your values are; find out what your strengths are; truly connect with your colleagues, your family, your friends.
As David Martin my mentor said, it’s so critical that you see someone’s face. Yes, you can talk to them on the phone, but see their face on one of the many apps we can use.
I tried it the other day because I’m just as guilty as everyone else! I been texting rather than talking, and that’s even worse, because in so many ways you can have a text misinterpreted. On text, you can’t hear the voice tones, you can’t see or hear the nonverbals.
When you see somebody, you get to read all the other nonverbals – their voice tones, their vocal variety, their micro muscle colour changes in their faces, their breathing. You get to see all of those as well as sense them. And that transforms everything.
So pay attention folks, wake up.
Use this time wisely, there is a ton of stuff that you can control, and there is a ton of stuff that you can do to come out of this wiser, and a more beautiful person with more of your human potential activated than ever before.
And the choice is yours alone.
About Amanda Gore
Amanda Gore is a communications and performance expert who believes success in business is always about feelings. The way we feel about a product, organization, customer or person influences how we behave – and informs our decisions about how we spend, or how we conduct business. Facts, targets and figures don’t change behaviours – touching hearts, feelings and stories do.
To Learn more about Amanda Gore contact [email protected]
Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]