What Are the 3 Circles of Influence?

As coaches, we are often charged with helping individuals carve out better paths to travel along their life’s journey. What are the 3 circles of influence? The three circles of influence were brought to light in mainstream coaching by Stephen Covey in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and it is a highly effective method of helping sort out the concerns one has in a client’s life.

Your concerns can draw an enormous amount of energy from your resources, so it is important to sort out the details to better focus your attention and energy where it can be useful and have the most impact on your life. The three circles of influence are a great tool for use in this sifting and sorting process.

Once you have completed the work of delineating the three areas which include the things you can control, those things which you can influence, and those things which you have no influence over, then you can choose to focus your energy and attention on the appropriate information as they come to your awareness. This leads to a happier more productive life.

To start, draw three circles on a piece of paper and label them as Control, Influence, and Concerns.

Next place the subjects which you are concerned about throughout your day is each appropriate circle.

Control

In the circle titled “Control” put all the things, you are concerned or passionate about over which you have total control. These will come easily to you, slowly at first, then more rapidly as we go along.

Influence

The “Influence” circle is for all the things that you are concerned about that you may not have direct control over but may have some influence over and could potentially shift the direction of a concern or its momentum by adding your attention or energy to it.

For instance, you may not be able to tell someone what to do, but you could influence them by talking to them, persuading them, or helping to emotionally support or finance them. These are examples of influence.

Concerns

While all these issues which you may or may not have control or influence of garner your attention and could potentially distract you from achieving your highest and best, the circle of “Concerns” contains all those things that you neither have control nor influence over.

No matter what they are or how passionately you feel about them, you simply cannot do anything about them. They go in the circle of concerns.

As you move through this process, if you think more about the items in your circle of concerns that you feel like they are totally out of your control whatsoever, you may realize that you may be able to have some influence over them. Then you can move them to the influence circle.

And if you discover that you have more control over things in your circle of influence than you first gave yourself credit for, you could move them to your circle of control.

Once you have completed this task, you will have charted out those things which you have control or influence over and those that you simply can have no effect on, no matter how passionately you feel about them.

The remaining list of concerns? Just forget about them. Stop wasting your time, attention, and energy thinking or worrying about them.

Focus your attention and energy on those things you either have control of, or can influence, and avoid the others, they are only distractions which drain your precious energy and resources. Stop worrying about them.

Invisible Abuse

Ever notice the stuff that makes you angry about the world?

It happens every day, if not all day long, something captures your attention, spins you up, and you can’t believe this kind of stuff happens in our world today, yet, here it is.

You think (if you don’t say it), “Aargh!” and might add, “I hate it when that happens!” You feel your negative emotions swell up and they overcome your rational mind, even if nothing happened to you directly.

It’s as if you’ve been physically assaulted even though no one has touched you.

You are the victim of invisible abuse

The societal structure which is the containment method of those who seek to control and herd a massively growing population is formulated in such a way to use fear and belief systems as a method to invisibly restrict and harness its inhabitants.

Not unlike the electronic invisible fence method of placing a shock collar on a dog. The collar emits an electric shock when the dog gets too close to the perimeter, keeping the dog from making a break for it and running free. No physical fence which can be seen by the naked eye is seen, only a wire buried beneath the surface to trigger the shock collar is all that’s needed.

You are being invisibly controlled by your negative reactions (the electronic shock collar), just like that invisible fence method keeps the dog invisibly restrained.

This constant barrage of negative shocks (which really are represented as electric shocks firing inside the brain, flooding your body with chemicals that cause you to fear, panic, or get upset and angry) is the invisibly abusive control tactic wielded by those who are charged with seeing that you are controlled, obedient, and easily handled (manipulated).

This all seems quite normal. Just as it would appear to be a perfectly normal way of life for the dog, had the dog been fitted for a shock collar since it was birthed. Likewise, we accept this invisible abuse as a part of life and it keeps us easily manageable as we stay inside the invisible fence.

As effective as the invisible fence is, every now and then, you see a dog wearing a shock collar running free, admiring its ability to find a way to break free from the invisible abuse.

Our fence of invisible abuse is not one hundred percent effective. Every once in a while someone breaks free from the system and finds true freedom and liberty.

From inside the invisible fence, you could hardly imagine why anyone would want to be outside the invisible electric fence of negative emotional shock treatment. We’ve become so accustomed to it being the natural state of things, that we wonder why anyone would even think of anything differently. Even if you were inclined to dare to imagine what might be outside the fence of invisible abuse,

ZAP!

Your attention is interrupted with a negative shock to the brain, which distracts you from the passing thought that there might be a life outside the negativity as your body starts to react with rage, fight or flight, in the struggle for survival inside the fence.

“Look at what’s happening!” (Not at what might be on the other side of the invisible fence. Let the invisible abuse overtake you.)

This doesn’t even take into consideration, that you are surrounded by other people who have been trained by electroshock therapy to do whatever they can to keep you victimized by the negative electric voltage. They’ve become so used to the invisible abuse that they’ve learned how to create and disseminate their own form of shocking attention-grabbing invisible abuse to keep you restrained within the invisible fence of their own creation.

And so, it is.

But there are those who have made it outside the invisible fence of abuse who can see clearly what is happening from this vantage point of real freedom and liberty.

Increasingly, more and more people are awakening to the idea of the invisible fence of abuse and they are finding the courage to make a break for it, finding themselves on the other side.

Sometimes, they go back, because they can’t imagine living outside the invisible fence of abuse, while the others find new ways to live outside the fence.

The next time you find yourself “shocked” by negative thought and you’re thinking, “Aargh! I hate it when that happens!” what will you do?