“In order to live a life of purpose, do not focus on the size of your audience; focus instead on the circle of influence God has given you.” 

 ― Rosette Mugidde Wamambe

Life is full of challenges; this is a fact everyone has to face. We come across many challenges in our life with family, society, or situations. Being worried and handling stress is a part of human life.

However, the way you handle them illustrates how much control/influence you have on yourself. Various individuals react contrastingly to different circumstances.

But the most productive and satisfied people are those who handle things wisely, not emotionally. As they concentrate only on the things that they can control and leave those which can’t be dealt with.

Circle of Influence is a great concept which explains clearly how one can take charge of your life and be in control. Read on to know why ?

Why We Worry ?

Worry and stress are part of human nature. No matter how much you try to ignore it, you can’t.

We stress considerably over even simple things like going out shopping; he/she starts to stress imaging a scenario where it be heavy traffic, or in which somebody breaks into my home and, so forth. And these situations create a feeling of inconvenience and uncertainty.

What you can do is to prioritize, know things that are worth your concern and that comes under the circle of control.

Dr. Seth Gillihan from Psychology Today believes that the primary reason we continue to worry is simple.

Consciously or not, we often believe that worrying is the right thing to do. Looking at our past, when we worry about something and believe it results in a positive outcome. Our brain pairs the feeling of worry with the fact that we will get our desired result. That dreadful feeling can motivate us into action and might help solve the problem.

Circle Of Influence And Circle Of Concern

A circle of concern is everything in our life that affects us, and we don’t have any influence over them. A circle of influence undertakes everything within our life that you think you can do something about. Then, there’s a circle of control over which we have complete authority.

If you want to read a book or not, that’s under your control. But you have no control over whether your friend reads the book. You can try to convince her but can’t control her.

focus on circle of influence

The above image clarifies the whole idea. The outside circle represents the circle of control that affects us physically and emotionally in both personal and professional ways. 

But things happening in your circle of concern are not getting you anywhere. People waste their time on things that don’t concern them. They act irrationally.

Focus on the events that concern you, not on those that don’t. Take some examples, somebody accomplishes something differently rather than you would do, agonizing over the weather and worrying about other things like that.

Pondering over these things causes you to feel baffled, irate and you are defenseless as you can’t directly influence them. And all it does is beat the person out for no reason.

You control your thoughts, body, and the way you act. This the best play to start with the circle of influence. Being in your circle of influence means doing things that you can do and stop complaining about things you can’t influence.

Benefits Of Focusing On Your Circle Of Influence

Understanding this baseline concept is important. I will share some tips that will help to stay in your circle of influence. 

The first one is to quit worrying about others. This will help you stay in your circle of influence. Just accept other people and acknowledge their actions as they are the same as you. They have their circle of influence as you have yours, and that’s the reason they did something or didn’t do something.

Plan your things. This will help you avoid situations that could end you up in your circle of concern.

The actual power of the circle of influence is how you act in your circle of influence, and things will work out for you. You will feel a sense of progression and momentum in your life.

 In a proactive approach, your circle of concern will shrink if you keep practicing to be in your circle of influence and you will see great opportunities in your life and eventually:

  • You will feel more control in your life.
  • With less worrying, your actions will leave a bigger impact on what to do.
  • You will be happier every day.

Spend as much time as you can in your circle of influence. To understand the significance of this concept you have to realize why we need it. And that is because of a tendency to worry.

Focus on Things You Can Influence

So, we get to know that we should invest most of our time on things that come within the circle of Influence. 

focus on circle of influence

We should spend a moderate amount of our time in our circle of influence. For that, we should interact with individuals consistently. Smart people spend most of their time in the smaller circle, the circle of influence.

Here are some tips and techniques worth trying to set your actions in accordance with smart people:

Practicing a proactive approach

A proactive mindset is a profound trait for smart people. Practicing it, they achieve their goals, broaden their vision and the scale of their accomplishments. People with a proactive approach know their priorities and put their efforts on the right things. 

Proactive people emphasize their efforts in the Circle of Influence. They put their endeavors into the things they can do something about. Accepting responsibility for their behavior is a trait of proactive people. The nature of their energy is positive, widening, and magnifying, triggering their Circle of Influence to upsurge.

Reactive people in contrast focus their efforts on the Circle of Concern. Focusing on the problems like the environment and other people’s weakness over which they have no control.

Reactive people reprimand others for their behavior or use their personality as a crutch or shield. This wave of negative energy combined with negligence causes their Circle of Influence to shrink.

Reactive people worry about external circle issues neglecting the issues they can actually put their efforts into. In contrast to that proactive people put all their efforts into solving the issues within the circle of influence.

Improve your frame of mind

No doubt this might be difficult, but the key to accomplishing your goals is being in the circle of influence. Maintain a proactive mindset; this is where determining a course of action within your influence helps significantly. 

One must prepare himself for the worst scenarios. Like becoming unemployed or economic breakdown, in these kinds of situations, only those survive who practice a proactive approach. Instead of worrying about things they can’t do anything about, they focus on ways to stabilize themselves

“If there is no solution to the problem, then don’t waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem, then don’t waste time worrying about it.” ― The Dalai Lama.

Circle Of Influence Exercise

In his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey gave an insight into the concept of the Circle of Concern and Influence in an intriguing way. People usually feel that things over which they have no control are far more than those which they can control. 

To get them to overcome this feeling of anxiety and stress, we use the tool of the circle of concern and influence introduced by Stephen Covey.

Steps To Follow

step 1

Pick a sheet of paper and draw a larger circle. That will be the circle of concern. Point out the things concerning you, write them in the circle of concern. Things like climate, economy, your competitors, traffic, other’s behavior.

step 2

Now draw a circle in the middle of the big circle that will be your circle of control. Write down the things you can actively control in the circle of control.

step 3

Now focus on the things you can influence. People think there are very few things they can control and have no control startles them.

step 4

In this way, you can get a good idea in no time about things you have no control over, but you can influence them somehow.

Get Our FREE Circle of Influence Worksheet below to improve your circle of influence ....

circle of influence worksheet

Growing your influence is the primary purpose of this exercise, so consider if there are concerns that you neglect or you make a fuss about nothing?

There might be concerns you put in the wrong circle, think of something to grow your influence over them.

Brainstorming will help you in creating influence over your concerns.

For example, concerning the Entrepreneurship gala on how to get your boss to cancel it is vague, however, if you ponder over it, you can consider approaches to make it successful for your organization's development. Pass over your idea to people who have more influence in that department.

Your circle of influence will grow at a faster pace than that of the circle of concern after this exercise. It can be done individually or by making a team. Get rid of worries in your life, stop worrying about things that don’t come in your circle of influence. 

Eventually, you will be happy. That's what Circle of Influence does, it takes your worries away by focusing you to think about things that come under your influence. This is what proactive people do.


Now that you know about the circle of influence and control, it’s up to you how will you practice it.

Ponder over questions, like

  • In which Circle are you spending most of your time ? 
  • Would you be able to impact an issue outside of your circle effectively ?
  • Have you found peace with things outside of your circle of influence or not ?
  • Which problems are causing anxiety and stress? Are you concerned about the right things ?