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Control the Controllables - Are you considering what you do well?


We have all seen, heard and read numerous messages on how to keep a positive mindset through this period of uncertainty, isolation and changed way of connection. For some of us, this has meant our livelihoods have been placed at risk and for many our passions have been uprooted and removed, with substantial doubt over their return.


Particularly for those balancing the new paradigm of working from home, being a pseudo teacher, having all the kids at once and meeting the restrictions put in place, is beginning to create a challenging environment.


We have been provided with support from our organisations through mental health first aid thinking, to help us be effective or reduce the fear and concern that has been created by our current circumstances.


This week the term "Control the Controllables" reappeared on the radar. It is not the first time I have heard of this concept. Having been a rugby league referee for 25 years and 15 years at the elite level in Australia, it was a term that I had drilled into me when I began at the age of 16 and throughout my career. This was a weekly occurrence with the ever present disappointment or exhilaration of being appointed to your match. The lived experience was one of technical competence, what could I do better to be in the higher ranked game or what wasn't I doing to be considered for those perceived important games.


However, it was only this week when I really took the time to digest what that meant for me. Potentially because I am attuned to it now that I have pushed into educating others on personal wellbeing and skillset, rather than the task orientated focus of achieving high performance in the elite sport dynamic.


The importance of this time is the opportunity to self reflect on who we are and not just from a technical competency perspective. It is a great time to understand how this manifests in your own lived experience.


Some potential thought starters could include:


What questions are we asking of ourselves to create an environment where we know what we do well?


How does this feed into our thinking about the future?


Who are the people that would invest in positivity for the future?


Once you have reflected, discussing and engaging with friends or coworkers to keep those positive bonds strong and seek external feedback can be a valuable opportunity to evolve through this time.


One of the best tools for understanding who we are is finding our strengths and leaning into those. Their are plenty of tools that you can utilise to find what you enjoy, engage with or do well.


One tool that worked well for me is the Gallup Strengths Finder. It formed a great framework for what I naturally gravitate to and has continued to inform choices and thinking.


Another you might choose to look at is the SWOT analysis. It costs nothing for you to do and much of it allows your own self reflection as well as starting point to create conversations with positive outcomes the result.


By focusing on strengths we keep engaged with the best of who we are. The ultimate outcomes may be in doubt or hard to see through the negativity that exists. In encouraging relfection on those positive attributes we begin to plan, discuss and adapt to whatever our new future looks like.


By focusing on strengths we keep engaged with the best of who we are. The ultimate outcomes may be in doubt or hard to see through the negativity that exists. In encouraging reflection on those positive attributes we begin to plan, discuss and adapt to whatever our new future looks like.



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