How is it working for you to be trying to control others? Probably not so great! Should you give up or at least try to have some kind of impact on them so that they can be more positive, too (like you are).
Draw a series of 4 interlocking circles that go from right to left across a piece of paper you have turned sideways, i.e., landscape. Label each circle thusly:
Total Control ->Significant Impact ->Some Influence ->Zero Control
Let’s examine the second circle in the diagram, the one labeled as ‘Significant Impact.’ You can’t control everything, but there are certain areas where you can have a significant impact. Make a list of some things that are bugging you (or maybe even completely freaking you out). After making the list, see if there aren’t some items there over which you exert (or could exert) significant impact. Here are some possibilities:
Let’s say that your job is bugging you and it’s because you really want to make a change related to this job, for example, leave that job altogether, move up and out of that position, go to a different division, completely change roles within your organization, or catapult yourself out of everything related to this field and type of work. Regardless of which of these or other variations someone might feel, you know you need and want to make a change because you feel a fair amount of angst around it. So, could you have a significant impact on what happens, but not total control? Yes. For example, you could increase your skills by taking classes. You could begin to be more vocal about what your intentions are. You could put the word out on the street that you are open to new possibilities. You could hire a coach to help you clarify what you really want. These are just some of the options that help you move forward.
Another possibility related to the “Significant Impact” set on the Venn diagram would be someone who is freaked out by having a completely overwhelming schedule at work. Maybe there have been cutbacks or someone has quit or you have just shown yourself to be a star so you keep getting assigned more and more. Whatever the reason, you’ve now reached an OMG (Oh, my god) stage of overwhelm and anxiety. You don’t have total control over this, but you do have significant impact on this situation. You could get more organized so that you can be more productive in what you’re doing. You could hire someone to help you with portions of your work. You could ask for extensions of deadlines. You could reassess what you’re doing and realize that some of it doesn’t matter and doesn’t need to get done. There are lots of options and all of these + the jillions I didn’t list, help to make an impact on your overwhelmed situation.
This second circle, Significant Impact, is the one where it makes sense to pay particular attention because we CAN exert significant impact and so it is worthy of our time, attention, and other resources to focus on what is in this circle.
To learn more, you’re encouraged to be part of the Staying Positive Society: