28 Things You Can Vs Can’t Control to Stop Worrying

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Have you been meaning to list down things you can control and stop worrying?

Lately, life seems overwhelming. And so, I’ve been thinking about all the things that I can control. So, I took out my Self Care Journal to organize my negative thoughts. (It was also a great opportunity to test my product as I wish to promote it lately).

I turned to one of the ‘Worry Circle’ sections from this journal and listed down things I cannot control vs things that I can control. I picked up some ideas from this blog post to fill up my journal.

Self Care Journal
Worry Circle from my Self Care Journal

One of the best ways to stop worrying is to categorize things you can influence (e.g., your actions, decisions, thoughts, or attitudes). It lets you focus your efforts in a specific direction and reduce feelings of helpfulness. This is comparatively better than wasting energy worrying about things you can’t control. This is why, I’ve made this list for those who’d find it helpful.

Printable worry journal free PDF
List of things you can and cannot control: Free Download

Things You Cannot Control

1.How others respond or behave towards you.

2.Other’s opinions about you.

3.How others interpret your behavior.

4.Other’s unrealistic standards about you.

5.How they behave towards you.

6.How someone communicates ineffectively with you

7.Someone’s willingness to change.

8.Company layoffs.

9.Fluctuations in the market economy.

10.Redundancy in your job role and responsibilities.

11.Societal pressure

12.Someone’s standards of perfection.

13.Other’s reaction to your decisions.

14.Unexpected health crisis

Things You Can Control

1.Communicating your expectations, limitations & standards.

2.Establishing boundaries with others.

3.The level of effort you put into meeting others’ expectations.

4.Assessing your behavior in alignment with your goals.

5.How you adapt to the changing expectations of others.

6.Advocating for yourself (requesting a promotion, negotiating salary, expressing personal needs).

7.Setting achievable goals.

8.Improving and updating your skills.

9.Maintaining a strong network of professionals to explore potential jobs.

10.Developing the ability to adapt to changes in the workplace.

11.Setting expectations for yourself.

12.Plan and manage your finances after calculating periods of job instability.

13.Prioritizing self-care.

14.Communicating your expectations, limitations, and standards.

How to Use the List of Things You Can Control to Stop Worrying?

I suggest my clients make use of this worry circle where they can journal things from the list to better tackle their worries. On the left side of the circle, you must put things that you can’t control and on the right side, put things that you can control. This helps put things into perspective and frees your mind from engaging in unnecessary worry (e.g., thinking about how others would react to you, and so on).

Worry Chart Printable

Some Examples of How to Stop Worrying

Jason and Emily have been in a long-distance relationship for the past two years. Emily is worried about their communication pattern and what the future holds. She takes out the worry circle and lists down things she can’t control: How Jason responds to her messages, what he wants to do with the relationship, and how he expresses his feelings. She also lists down things she can control: Setting boundaries aligning with her communication expectations, her preference for daily check-ins with each other, and expressing her need for empathy from Jason. She also can set commitment boundaries—Her expectations from long-term relationships and intentions for the future.

Sarah is worried about an upcoming job interview tomorrow. She takes out the worry circle to analyze her concerns. On the left side of the circle, she lists things she can’t control: Her impressions of the interviewer, other candidates who seem more qualified than her, and technical issues during the interview. Then she lists down things she can control: Her research about the company, showcasing her skills and experience to the interviewer and keeping a positive mindset. Based on this list, she was able to create an action plan to let go of worrying and focus her energy on specific actions based on things she can control.

Hope you found this useful. If yes, please let me know your thoughts in the comments or drop me an email and I’ll respond back to you 🙂

Worry Chart
Self Care Journal for For Anxiety, Negative Thoughts, and Everyday Worries

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