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.

Human Potential to Change the World

You are concerned about your potential for impact in the world. Depending on where you are in your life’s evolutionary path, you will have a natural ability to impact the world around you. You may also be well advised to be aware that among these phases, where you have the greatest ability to impact and change the world, these are also the evolutionary phases where the world can have the most impact upon you and your life.

If you take a look at the 7 Phases of Personal Growth, the further you move up the scale, the more your ability to affect and change your environment and the world increases. Also note, when you have the most potential for natural efficacy, the world is right there, ready to slap you down, to balance or neutralize your potential.

You can, through complete force of will create and manifest great works the higher you climb to the higher phases of personal growth while your potential grows with you exponentially. Unfortunately, our society and the energies which power and control us en masse are ready to adjust anyone who becomes increasingly more powerful.

Your potential for failure is always equal to your potential for success. It’s up to you to be aware of this and be on the lookout for potential trappings meant to discourage you, dissuade you, or even do you harm, and avoid these potential pitfalls if you can.

On the other hand, if you become overly concerned with potential risk, then you may prevent yourself from moving forward at all. It’s a delicate balance.

Interestingly, amidst the 7 Phases of Spiritual Growth, your ability to impact the world is high in the beginning and decreases as you move up through these evolutionary phases. When you reach the top, you have no impact on the world, and you are not concerned or negatively impacted by anything that happens in the world.

If you were to stack the 7 Phases of Personal Growth and the 7 Phases of Spiritual Growth side by side to create an evolutionary spectrum and you were to chart your natural ability to effectively influence the world around you, you would see a bell curve appear, where at the lowest end of the human evolutionary growth spectrum you would have no impact, while on the other end, the equivalent to the highest degree of spiritual growth, you would also have no impact.

The highest levels for your natural potential for having impact in the world is in the middle, the upper end of the personal growth scale, and the lower end of the spiritual growth scale.

This sweet spot (phases 5 – 10), is where my best clients (I refer to them as “my people”) resonate, between Internal Cohesion and Master. You can see they have the natural potential to be the movers and shakers. Those with the highest degree of natural ability to change their lives and the world at large.

Keep in mind that this is measuring your natural ability to affect the world around you. It does not include supernatural efficacy.

This is to say that outside of ourselves, humans have access to divine power with unlimited potential to affect the world around us. Learning to tap into and flow this powerful energy can greatly enhance your ability to do things and make dramatic changes, regardless of what phase you are in.

This is what miracles are made of.

This unlimited divinity reaching across time and space to interact with and empower you beyond your natural abilities.

If you’re awakening and aware, you can do this.

Key

Phases of Personal Growth

1. Survival
2. Relationship
3. Self-esteem
4. Transformation
5. Internal Cohesion
6. Making a Difference
7. Service

Phases of Spiritual Growth

8. Awakening
9. Leader
10. Master
11. Cosmic Consciousness
12. God Consciousness
13. Unity Consciousness
14. Ascension

Don’t Let Them Get to You

Ever have someone slow your roll by interrupting your positive vibrational momentum and breaking your stride by bringing you down? The power that others wield in your circle of influence may be stronger than you think. Don’t let them get to you.

Because your parents and others supported the idea that you would grow into a confident competent adult, the day came when you adopted the persona of the grownup. You actually became the embodiment of what those around you expected you to become. They believed in you, you believed in their expectations, and you grew into your adulthood.

You are able to face all life’s challenges because you believe in your ability to do so. Often your belief in yourself was influenced by those you who surround and support you.

For those who were not fortunate enough to have a powerful support system, they have a tougher time of it and will face challenges with a feeling of unconfident and incapable of staring obstacles down with the ability to draw from a history of inner strength. These people have the most difficult go of it.

Those within our circle of influence have an incredible effect on who we are and whom we become.

When you’re in the presence of another person, your attitude and potential for successfully navigating any communication is greatly influenced by the other person. Whether it be your friend, someone who has power over you, a parent, teacher, law enforcement, a judge, the government, or your spouse.

Likewise, anyone you have influence over like you friends, workers, if you’re a manager, people you are teaching, younger siblings, or children you might be raising or babysitting, are influenced by the words you use as well as the respect and support you give them when they are in your presence.

For those who are living their highest and best life, they believe in their capacity for goodness, greatness, and unconditional love, and so it is. They are stepping into their purpose, message, passion and mission. These are the people who are not unlike you. You, too, can live a better life, your best life, and make the world a better place.

I guess that’s why it’s referred to your circle of influence. These people don’t just represent the people you have influence over, but it also represents the people who have the ability to have influence over you.

Left unchecked, you could be allowing people to populate your circle of influence who could be dragging you down, they could even be influencing who you are, or who you will become.

If you have allowed people to influence you negatively, now is the time to turn the tables on them and show them what you are made of, and all the possibilities which are awaiting your loving embrace. The time has come for you to grow and expand beyond any limitations of anyone else.

The naysayers are wrong. Anyone who ever amounted to anything faced those who didn’t believe in them, and the most successful people persisted to continue to strive above and beyond any of the expectations of the naysayers.

The most successful people proved them wrong in spite of the beliefs of the doubters.

Don’t let them get to you

You have the power over who you become, and it’s up to you to protect yourself from those who could stand between you and your embracing you and all of your potentialities, all your gifts and talents, all your love and strength of honor.

You are worthy. You have been endowed with everything you could possibly need to get from where you are to where you want to be, and no one has the right to question your divine endowment.