Control your inputs in challenging times

Control your inputs in challenging times

“We are not all in the same boat, but we are in the same storm.”

I saw that amazing quote at a conference the other day.

Such a poetic way to describe this journey we’re going through as humans on this planet right now.

I have been giving guest Mindset talks all over the place helping people to find their centre in this storm.

Here’s an excerpt of one I recently did for the Young Professional Women of Australia with my colleague Kate. In this I talk about your locus of control and how we can shift our focus to have more control over our lives even in through challenges.




Kylie: We’ll go deeper into this idea of how you perceive the world affects the world that you live in. There’s something that you may be aware of, this idea of your locus of control.

A reactive focus is focused on all the things that you can’t control – thinking about the media, the economy, the virus and what’s happening in other countries, the borders, the regulations, the government rules and things, whether your family gets sick or not, how you can protect them, those types of things. More broadly speaking, things that you can’t control.

When you focus on all of those stuff which you can’t control, it feels like the world is crushing in on you, and you can get really sucked into the media and sucked into other people’s opinions and all of that. It really feels like you’re being crushed by the world and what’s going on.

The only thing that you have 100 percent control over are your thoughts, your feelings, your speech, and your behavior.

From the other perspective, you can focus on a proactive focus and really think about “What can I control here?”

The only thing that you have 100 percent control over are your thoughts, your feelings, your speech, and your behavior.

They’re the things you can control 100 percent. It’s not dependent on your partner, it’s not dependent on your boss, it’s not dependent on your co-workers. It’s “How do I frame this and what are the things that I’m in control of?” And it’s really the things that are internal to you, you have 100 percent control over.

When you focus on those and become in charge of those, you gain this proactive focus, and then your influence starts to expand.

When you master your own thoughts and feelings, it becomes less important what’s happening in the media, in the economy, in your job, or with your Aunt Meryl. It’s like it’s less important what all of those things are doing outside of you because you’ve got mastery over what’s happening inside of you.

That’s a really powerful skill to master for any job, for any situation, for any human, really. When you have that proactive control of yourself and how you’re filtering things and what you choose to allow in, that’s a really powerful skill to have.

So many of us get caught in the trap of constantly overloading ourselves with information.

Kate: Talk more about that Kylie, this piece around what you choose to allow in.

Kylie: There’s this kind of common view that you need to watch the news, you need to know what’s happening, you need to be aware of what’s going on. To a certain degree that’s true, and depending on your industry, obviously. You need to know what’s happening in your industry.

But I think so many of us get caught in the trap of constantly overloading ourselves with information. And so then we’re scrolling, we’re filling ourselves up with other people’s opinions and other people’s agendas and other people’s ideas.

There’s so much stuff going on in social media about conspiracy theories and anti-vaxxers. It doesn’t really matter right now where you sit on any of that stuff. That’s not relevant.

What’s relevant is the idea that there’s all of these opinions and everybody has an opinion. And the more dogmatic people are about their opinions, the more likely it is to try and pierce your mind or create a reaction in you.

It calls you into a pendulum when you’re getting stuck in other people’s opinions. You either agree with the person and what they’re saying, or you disagree. But when you get caught up in that, it’s taking your mental energy, it’s taking your intention, it’s taking your emotional focus, and so it’s getting you caught up in a drama that really you have no control over the outcome.

Getting caught up with someone else about their opinion or thinking about something that’s happening over in Chechnya or Africa or the UK… you have no control over that. I mean, if you’re a political correspondent or a journalist, maybe you do, but that’s a different thing.

Most of us have zero control or power over making a difference in those kinds of situations, and so we’re getting caught up in all of these things that we can’t control, and it makes us feel powerless. It drains our energy and it drains our productivity because you’re not producing anything. It drains us away.

Getting clear on what is a yes and what is a no for you is critical.

Someone was saying, “How do I stay focused and on point and productive when I’m at home?”

Getting clear on what is a yes and what is a no for you is critical. Just getting really clear on eliminating distractions in terms of media that you don’t need to see, scrolling that you don’t need to see, really culling those things that are not contributing to a positive resourceful state for you, is really a simple and empowering step to become proactive over what thoughts you’re allowing into your head.

Kate: I started to notice a pattern which was wake up, look at social media, get up, cup of tea, turn the TV on, ABC or CNN. And then all of a sudden the vortex is there and you spend two hours consuming content versus an alternative path which is get up, go for a walk, meditate while you’re on the walk, come back, cup of tea, read a little bit, and tune in to a little bit of media like an 8:00 New South Wales press conference. Cut that at 10 minutes and then I’m done and then start my day.

First thing, it was a choice, and I could choose to do either. When I was making that conscious choice that led me to the TV, I knew that that would be a vortex two hours. That was a conscious choice. But secondly, just really observing the impact that they had on everything that followed. So do that, then that’s next thing, that’s the next thing.

Kylie: Cascade, cascade, cascade, cascade.

Kate: Whereas, choose the other path and it’d be 12:00 before I’m even thinking about looking at the media and what the update is for the day and things like that.

The more that we can get focused on what’s going to produce things that are of value to the world, the more powerful we become.

Kylie: Exactly. I remember watching a video of Brendon Burchard. He’s another mindset and productivity trainer. He was saying that your inbox is other people’s agendas, and to spend the morning of your day focused on your big priorities of what you want to create, what you want to achieve, what’s going to help you move forward, so that the freshest energy of your day when you’re in best state is not at all focused on other people’s agendas but is focused on what you need to create, what you need to get done. So, getting your goals done first.

That’s really about prioritising your ability to be creative. And it really requires a lot of strength to be able to say no to those things, and even to say no to your own self that wants to go down a rabbit hole. It’s very appealing, it’s very addictive to go down that scrolling rabbit hole and to kind of get into this thing of looking about the media and feeling like what’s going on and all of this. It feels like you’re doing something but you’re not.

In order to be productive, you need to produce something. You need to produce something that you have at the end of it, like you produce a report, you produce a training. We’re producing something right now. We’re creating something that is of use, that is of value. The more that we can get focused on what is actually going to produce results, what’s going to produce things that are of value to the world, the more powerful we become.

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