In situations like COVID-19, natural disasters and even the crush of everyday life, we encounter obstacles and challenges that have many aspects out of our control.  This can make us feel powerless and helpless, perhaps leading to frustration and despair.  However, there are 3 things you can always control, and can help you handle whatever life throws at you.

  1. Your Attitude

No one else on this earth gets to tell you how to feel.  That ultimately belongs to you.  Your initial reaction may be fear, helplessness, being overwhelmed etc.  Those are completely legitimate and valid.  However, you are 100% in control of those emotions and can change them.  Take control of your thoughts, slow your mind and channel the adrenaline.  A few deep breaths, shaking your head vigorously, or slamming your hand down are a few physical techniques to keep your mind from spiraling.

Recognizing the power that you control your attitude enables a deliberate and appropriate decision process.  It leads to possibilities such as commitment, conviction, earnestness, etc.  Taking control of your attitude then leads to the second item you control in any situation.

  1. Your Response

You always decide the actions you take.  After taking control of your attitude, you can avoid emotional responses of lashing out, irrational behavior, etc that may make a situation worse.  You can make deliberate and appropriate decisions on the action you take.  Even if being forced into an action, make the decision deliberate on your terms.  You may decide to follow along with a forced action because; it may be to buy time, planning ahead, awaiting another opportunity, or for the greater good. However, make that decision on your terms and reasoning.

Recognizing the power that you control your response is key to making a deliberate decision of your actions going forward.  Sometimes the situation is rapidly evolving, or there are unintended consequences of our actions.  This leads us to the third item you can control in any situation.

  1. To Not Be Discouraged

The dynamic nature of a situation, unintended consequences, etc. may mean the deliberate decisions you made about your attitude and response may not have worked out.  Forces, or people, may want to keep you down to take advantage.  You can easily fall victim to feeling overwhelmed or helpless.  However, you need to remember that situations, or others, only gain control if you give it up.

Recognizing that the power resides within you to not be discouraged enables you to cycle back through the control of your attitude and response.  You then make additional or appropriate adjustments and adaptations to deal with the evolving situation.

So remember that these three things are always within your control, and only given up if you choose.  Recognizing this power will provide you more control in any circumstance, giving you opportunity to improve any situation.