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You have the power to make choices and decisions in your life which means you can take control over your life rather than it just happening to you. Taking responsibility for yourself and your life builds your resilience. 


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Taking responsibility means focusing on what you can control and influence which means being smart about not wasting your energy on what you are not responsible for. 

Getting caught up in what you can't influence and and not taking responsibility for what is in your control doesn't help you.

Learn more about circles of concern and circles of control &  influence.

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Think about what concerns you but you can't control.

Consider your whole life – family, college and the world.

There might be things that you really care about but can't control. 


Now consider what areas of your life do you have control over?

Make sure that it is clear that your actions and behaviours are within your circle of control / influence.

Can you control the behaviour of your partner / friends ?

No – does it concern you ?

Yes! But you can’t control them.


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Circle of Concern

Circle of Control & Influence

Now draw two circles and create your own Circle of Control and Circle of Concern



If you need inspiration
check out the list below or print
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Making a distinction between what you can control and what you can’t control is a Smart Move.


The more time you spend thinking about your Circle of Concern and not your circle of influence the smaller your circle of influence and the more reactive you become.






What can you do with things in your Circle of Concern  (but not control and influence) – Accept them!


What can you do with Circle of Control & Influence?

Do something proactive!

Circle of Control &


your choices, how you respond;

what you learn; your spending; the friends you choose; how you spend free time; what you eat; what you think; what skills you learn;

how you treat others

Circle of Concern

Other people's


Other people's


The Law

What people think of you

Your height

The economy


Other's choices 



What people think of you

What he said or she said

Other people's happiness

From Steven Covey

7 Habits of highly effective people


How do you know you are in your Circle of Concern?

Notice what you say …


If you are in your Circle of Concern your language will be blaming, accusing and reactive.

If you are in your Circle of Influence you will be saying proactive things that start with “I can or I would like or I will ….”.

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