Category Archives: Control

Losing your confidence

When you have it, it’s just part of the way you are. It’s not something you pay attention to, have to work to develop or protect… it’s just there.

If you lose it it becomes obvious by its absence.  It may not be obvious to others but for you it will feel like it left a gaping hole filled with uncertainty.  Having initially been specific, targeted on one aspect of life, the uncertainty can spread over time.

The downward spiral may have been the result of an initial trigger or event but is quickly forgotten as mundane day to day events become effected.  Alternatively, it may be the culmination of a long term decline.  Either way, there is nowhere to hide.

Recognising how you’re feeling is a start.  Once you recognise it you can start to develop strategies to deal with it.

You feel different.  You’ve changed.  It feels like you’ve lost something, but in many ways the changes may be positive; you may be more open, more sensitive, more aware, more deliberate.

Where will your new skills take you?


It’s your choice

You’ve been dealt a hand, but you don’t have to play it.  Taking control of the hands you play is one of the biggest lessons you can learn.

It’s too easy to convince yourself that luck’s on your side, or to be persuaded to play simply because someone else wants to.

It’s your choice; use it.

Something’s got to give

You don’t have to lose control just because something’s got to give.

When things are coming at you too fast, you’re loaded to full capacity, unable to get on top of it… something’s got to give.

If you don’t make a conscious choice, the decision will be made for you.  Make the call.  Sacrifice something to give yourself space to breath.

Making the selection keeps thing within your control.  You can anticipate the fallout and manage the implications.

Continuing to do everything could have unknown long term implications.  It’s impossible to know. After all… something’s got to give.

Out of control

When time’s getting away from you, running out of control… when you’re one step behind and you don’t feel like you can catch up… that’s when to hit the brakes.  Step away for a few seconds; give yourself a change of scene, space to breathe.

When it feels like you can least afford the time… that’s when to make the investment.  You will reap the rewards.

Relative speed

Risk increases with speed, but it’s not a simple equation.  Often it’s the relative speed that raises the stakes.

Moving at high speed is less risky in isolation, when there are no other parties to consider, no obstacles to negotiate, no variables to weigh up.

The risks increase dramatically when others are moving much faster or much slower; big differences in relative speed.  It takes time to assess the delta, to consider our options and take the appropriate action.  Assumptions can be dangerous, mistakes disastrous.  Considering what’s in front and what’s behind, our attention is split, our vision distracted.

The worst accidents often happen due to differences in relative speed, in cars , on bicycles.  The same issues apply in everyday life: You’re on a roll, but others are moving at a different pace. Relationships fall foul of “moving too fast” (but for whom?).

Speed can be good, exhilarating, liberating, but beware… judge your speed carefully to stay in control, to avoid an abrupt stop.

“Nobody knows”

Sometimes the certainty we’re looking for just doesn’t exist.

We have come to expect absolute answers.  Every question has a definitive answer.  Every search produces results.  We expect to have something solid to work with, something precise.

We find it difficult to accept that sometimes the best answer even the most expert of professionals can provide is “I don’t know”.  They may not be willing to be pushed to guess, or they may realise that suggesting there is more certainty is not fair, sets unrealistic expectations, or lays the foundation for surprises in the future.

In some situations, uncertainty or ambiguity can be exciting, creating suspense, adding to the outcome itself.  In others it can be frustrating, often for the same reasons, but within a different context or frame of reference.

In many cases, time is the catalyst as more information becomes available, or the question itself crystallises.

Patience is the key.  If you can, enjoy the anticipation.  If not, make sure you’re asking the right question, sit tight and, if necessary, work with what you do know.


Sometimes you may feel you lack direction.  You have no target, nothing to work towards.  Often this can happen with little warning, for no obvious reason, and for no fault of your own.

These situations don’t happen often, but they are unsettling and frustrating when they do.

When they occur in the workplace you are unlikely to be on your own.  Others will be feeling the same uncertainty or level of frustration.  You may look for guidance or leadership, but neither are forthcoming.

Often they occur because the organisation goes into a holding pattern, waiting for direction from above.  It may last for a finite period, but that period is unlikely to be well defined and rarely within your control.

It’s no time to be precious or make a scene.  The more prudent approach is to recognise the forces in play, keep your head down and wait it out.

Take control where you can.  Set personal goals to create distractions elsewhere.

These situations are inevitable, they offer little upside.  Live with them, get through them and move on.