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Your Circle of Influence

Right now there’s a lot that’s outwith our control. Although this should be concerning to us, it’s not particularly helpful to waste energy worrying about it. So instead, let’s chat about what’s within our own control.

I learned about controlling the controllable a good while ago from ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People’ by Steven Covey. I’m sure that this is the most successfully sold personal development book of all time and it’s one of my Top 10 Self Development Books.

7 Habits

Now, what is meant when we say ‘what’s within your own control’? This is your inner world. The world that you are directly responsible for. This includes how we move, how we feel, how we fuel, what we think about, how we speak, what education we take on board, what content that we consume, the skills that we develop, and the people we surround ourselves with.

Many of these variables will likely tie into your career in some way. Right now, a lot of people are having a rough time with out-of-control inflation. Many businesses are forced to raise prices to offset costs and many have been forced to close. A lot of us are struggling to pay the bills, etc. All of these scenarios help add to the high-pressure situation that we’re all living in right now.

A lot of people are having to tighten their belts due to external factors. The war in Ukraine, the lingering consequences of Covid lockdowns, and rising costs for almost everything. For entrepreneurs (like myself) times are tougher when you consider all of the above plus having to meet the needs of employees during a period where people’s disposable income is being squeezed. It’s shite, but it’s not all doom and gloom. We’re still in the game, but facing challenges like a lot of other businesses right now.

That’s all out with personal control and beyond personal “circle of influence”, to reference Steven Covey specifically. What he encourages is that we take responsibility of self and what’s within our circle of influence. This isn’t a new concept at all. It goes all the way back to the bible.

circle of influence

I consider myself an innovator, not an inventor. Taking responsibility for myself and what’s within my own circle of influence, I’m going to tackle health and wellness before anything else because that’s my area of expertise.

The question I’m asking is “Are you looking after yourself in the situation that you find yourself in?” It’s a yes or no answer. If the answer is “no”, then why aren’t you looking after yourself? In normal times a lot of people will say that they’re “too busy” or don’t have any time. These are just excuses that aren’t really true. If you are telling yourself that you “don’t have the time” now, then you’re simply lying to yourself. What you mean is that your health and wellness isn’t high on your list of priorities at the moment. Or the external factors of rising costs means you can’t afford to go to the gym or invest in PT sessions.

That doesn’t prevent you from focusing attention on health and wellness. Go for a walk outside in ‘nature’s gym’. I like to walk in nature with my dog, but I understand that might not be possible for some of you city dwellers, but there’s always somewhere interesting to walk to, even in the city. You can work out from home with whatever equipment you have at hand.

Lorne training

Like I’ve already said, we’re in a rough situation together right now. It will cause problems, issues, and challenges down the line if we don’t take care of our health and wellness. If left unchecked it could divide relationships, cause even more stress, or suicidal thoughts and depression for some. There are all sorts of internal reactions to the external force of all the negative news headlines. There’s no sense in getting worked up about it. That’s just wasting energy that can be better spent on what is controllable.

So how about take that energy and improve the situation within yourself and work on something of value to yourself. Build some stronger and more productive habits. If you don’t know how to develop habits then read the book, ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg,

Power of habit

After that read ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear. This is a groundbreaking book, and one of my favourites. Clear shows that minuscule changes can grow into life-altering outcomes. He reveals simple life hacks and dives into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience. There’s a lot of inspiring stories of Olympic gold medalists, leading CEOs, and distinguished scientists who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy.

Atomic Habits

So what if you don’t like reading books? Then read with your ears using Audible which is about £10 a month. That may be a better learning style for you. Can’t afford £10 a month? Then try listening to podcasts.

What happens when you read or listen to a book or take on some form of educational content? It makes you think differently. It might even make you think differently about a situation that might be troubling you right now. And if you start to think differently then you might begin to act differently.

Now you might be the kind of person who doesn’t like to learn, who’s not solution orientated and doesn’t give a fuck then that’s fine. This message is not for you and I don’t judge you for that. Maybe it will be for you one day.

This message IS for you if you’re ready to navigate through it. Now’s the time. Why? Because ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ is just kicking the can down the road.

Some might need a bit of help to control the controllable.

If you’re feeling trapped, If you’re feeling stressed, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, if you’re struggling then speak to a professional. If it’s really intense and you’re having crazy thoughts, thinking about harming yourself then speak to the Samaritans. They are a very professional organisation of the right types of people who are there to help you. Much respect to them.

Now that’s the extreme level. However, if you’re just feeling the pinch a bit then why not spend this time learning how to manage that stress and pressure a wee bit better and learn some holistic techniques and tools, strategies, process, programmes. Learn how to reprogram yourself.

Start a new cycle because this is the thing that I know. Every person who I know who’s happy and content in their life, even in the situation that we find ourselves in just now. Every single person that I know who is successful, by their own measure, works on themselves constantly.

As Jim Rohn, the globally renowned master motivational coach said,

“Work harder on yourself than you do anything else.”

Why wouldn’t you want to do that? If you’re unhappy about a specific thing in your life then do something about it. Don’t just sit inside, feeling sorry for yourself. I know it’s shite.

My message today is intended as one of hope. To think about the future and how we’re going to rebound from this internally. We’re all on this bus. We might be getting off at different stops but we’ll get off it eventually.

So please, work on controlling what you can control right now and you will find that route to a positive outcome. If you’re going to start working on yourself, then please let me know in the comments.

“Strength for Life”


Davie McConnachie

Davie McConnachie is Scotland’s leading health and wellness coach, multi-award-winning gym owner, motivational speaker and the founder of DMC Fitness, a fitness education facility known as the premier choice for 1-2-1 personal training. He has inspired thousands of people to fall in love with fitness – his true purpose and mission in life.

Diving into the world of fitness and wellness has helped Davie to deal with his own trauma and inner demons. He, overcame many dark times using his own unique methods to continue his cycle of healing.