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Accept the Things I Cannot Change: Part One of Three

We like our rituals. We like our schedules. We like being able to work toward a goal, to plan, to anticipate, and to get organized.  And yet, for now, we live in a world in which we don’t know what’s going to happen.  Will I lose my job?   When will we return to work?  What will happen with the economy?  What will our lives look like?

I’ve spent the last month talking with executives about their experiences of the pandemic and the challenges of making plans.  I hear consistently that the hardest part of coping is not knowing what will happen.

A rather wise psychologist I know, Joe Hoffman, Ph.D., recently suggested helping clients to reduce anxiety by objectively analyzing what they can and cannot control.  Joe knows what he’s talking about!  So much of what I am hearing has to do with the loss of control.  Following Joe’s advice, let’s be clear about what we can and can’t control to make plans and take action wherever possible.

So, my questions for you are:

What can you control?      

What can you not control?

Make your lists, and then I have a few suggestions (see Blog Post #2) as to how to use them.  

By: Lee Smithson Burd, Ph.D.