Optimise Your Mindset

How to deal with things outside of your control

March 21, 2022
min read

In psychology there’s term known as the ‘locus of control’ – the degree to which people believe that they have control over their lives. It’s considered to be a spectrum – some of us have a very internal locus of control (i.e. believe that most things are within our control), while others have a very external one (i.e. believe that things happen to them).

In my work as a coach to founders and startup leaders, I’ve noticed that entrepreneurs tend to have a very internal locus of control. In most cases, this serves us, but sometimes it is to our detriment. Why? Because some things are truly not within our control – in not accepting that, we’re wasting our energy unnecessarily instead of using it on the things that really are within our control.

A quote to keep in mind

“It is not life’s events that are causing problems or stress. It is your resistance to life’s events that is causing this experience. If you are going to resist something, at least have some rational basis for resisting. Otherwise, you are irrationally wasting precious energy.”

Michael Singer, ‘The Untethered Soul’

How to deal with things outside of your control

Here are a few self-coaching questions that may help you:

💡 What situation am I resisting to accept?

💡 What’s at stake here that I care deeply about?

💡 What IS within my control and what IS NOT within my control in determining the outcome of this situation?

Try to remind yourself that only your actions are fully within your control. The actions of those around you are not. You can inspire them, invite them to join you, help them find it within themselves, but you can’t make them do something (unless you’re a dictator – that’s also within your control, but do you want that 😉?).

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Written by
Mica Vaipan

Performance & wellbeing coach, entrepreneur. Formerly startup founder, tech startup COO and investment banker.

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