6 Tips To Help You Focus On What You Can Control

Here are some habits I have used when I have been faced with challenges, and uncertainty. If you are going through a challenge or an adjustment period, here are 6 things that can help you navigate more efficiently:

1. Face The Challenge Head On

Oftentimes we’re so worried about the outcome that we don’t want that we never face it head on and create a clear plan for how to move forward. When were faced with that challenge or need to make an adjustment we have to first take personal accountability, and then ask yourself, if I continue to do what I'm doing, will I have any regrets? In that question notice I said what “I’m doing” not focusing on anything externally. When you focus on you and the actions you can take you will be more prepared to attack your challenge.

2. Determine What You Can Control

Determine the items and actions you can control, and focus all of your effort on those habits moving forward. It's important to have a "now what" mentality. No matter what the challenge is, we need to respond with ____ happened, now what am I going to do to influence the next outcome, and not waste anytime focusing on what already happened.

You can't control the outcome but you can ALWAYS control the inputs that influence the outcome that you want with your habits, consistency, and effort.

3. Seek Advice, not counsel- Differentiate between complaining and problem-solving

It’s important to be aware of our thinking, and the things we are talking about especially in moments of uncertainty and stress, or challenge- are the thoughts we’re having productive?

Replaying conversations in your head or imagining catastrophic outcomes over and over again isn't helpful. But solving a problem is. Instead of replaying the facts back in your head over and over, ask yourself how you would advise someone who asked you.

Are the conversations your having with others productive, are you getting advice, or explaining what happened and venting. So many times in our social circles we focus on the things we can’t control, without being aware of it. So pay attention to how and what you talk about when your going through challenges. If you are actively solving a problem, such as trying to find ways to increase your chances of success, keep working on solutions.

If however, you're wasting your time gossiping about the past, or complaining to others how it should be, or having a victim mentality, it’s time to change the channel in your mentality. It's important that you are able to acknowledge and be aware when your thoughts aren't productive and when you're having conversations with others that aren’t productive so that you can make the necessary adjustments.

4. Develop triggers

A trigger is something that signals to you what you should be doing. In moments of challenge and uncertainty and stress, create triggers around the actions you need to take, and for how you need to think to accomplish your goal.

I created triggers for all of my habits, pre-practice, post practice, off days I created triggers for how I operated so that I didn’t have to think, and so that my efforts wouldn’t be controlled by my emotions, or how I was feeling on a day.

It’s also important to have a phrase or mantra that helps you to get refocused in those stressful moments to help you shift your mindset.

5. Reflect & Learn

As athletes there will constantly be new challenges, so we want to learn how to master our responses to them. Reflecting back on times when you’ve both had outcomes you’ve wanted and undesired outcomes are key to gaining wisdom and insight. Again the key here when reflecting is to reflect on your actions, your energy, and your effort, not to reflect on the outcome, or anything else that you have no control over.

6. Create a plan to manage your stress

It’s important that you have a consistent game plan for how you will manage your stress so you can operate more efficiently. Create a game plan for all of the things you can do to overcome your challenge, with when and how you will do it. This point is so key, because when your consistently executing your game plan with everything that you can do to be at your best, you won't feel stress, and uncertainty in those moments of challenge. You will have full confidence in your preparation because you've put yourself in the best position for success.


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