Anytime you’re ready, Facebook Live. Hi, gang. Happy hump day, Wednesday. Yes, another Wednesday has come around, the sun again. They happen so quickly, Wednesdays, I don’t know why? What did I want to talk about tonight? I want to talk about how you can control what you can control. So at the moment, for many people in the world, we’re feeling a little disjointed. It’s like something’s a little bit off. And I’m feeling it sometimes, but I know a lot of people and a lot of my clients are feeling it a lot of the time, is that everything’s just out of control. So there’s no point doing anything, because it’s all a mess, and “Oh my god, nothing’s working, so I’m just going to quit. Ah! Stop, stop, stop, stop.” And we don’t have to do that.
But I understand, because there’s so much trauma involved for so many people, and I’m not even talking about the people on the front lines, people that are just reading the news or their Facebook feeds, that it’s very traumatic for a lot of people, so they’re feeling out of control. So therefore, they throw their hands in the air and go, “It’s all F’ed. Why bother?” Or they go into a chaotic, almost like a tribal, have to control anything I can. So then it’s this over the top controlling the minutiae of life, which gives them a sense of control, but isn’t really actually controlling anything, if you know what I mean.
So I went through an exercise today with someone that I wanted to share with you guys, because I think it’s really powerful. Okay? And it’s about looking at the crap, and then looking at what we can control and how we do that, and what we can put in place to actually feel better, to be able to control more, to succeed in something, to maybe achieve some of those goals we had to say goodbye to or thought we had to say goodbye to, et cetera. So I’ll take you through it.
So the first thing I want you to do is a brain dump. Now, I’ve done a couple of lives talking about brain dumps, but Google it, find it in samanthaleith.com, if you go into the blogs where all these transcripts are, or in the Facebook feed. So brain dump essentially is a big piece of paper. And you can either do an A4 piece of paper or a journal. Or sometimes I like to do them on colored pieces of paper that I put out on a table. Sometimes I use those massive great post-it notes. You know, those big ones that you stick on a wall. I like those.
And I want you to just write down everything in your mind at the moment that you think is going wrong, everything. Doesn’t mean if it’s so far off your blanket, off your little rug of control. It could be, politics is going really bad. It could be, the stock market’s going really bad. It could be that you hurt your foot. It could be that you could only get an appointment with the GP you didn’t like. Anything, anything that you feel is going wrong, I want you to write down. Really important, because you know, your brain is not a storage system. Okay? We need to get that stuff out.
So once you’ve written all of that down, and it might take you five minutes, it might take you all day, you might actually have that piece of paper there and you just keep referring back to it and writing another and going, “Oh that’s right, that’s all shit too.” And write that down as well. I want you to write them down, all down, okay?
Then I want you to shake it all off. You know, as Taylor Swift sings, I want you to shake it all off. Then, what the important bit is here is, I want you to go through all those things and with a different colored pen or a marker, or circle it, you might be a visual person, you want to do a little star or a little flower. You might want to actually take that list and type it up, which I don’t recommend because I think part of the power is the writing. And coming from someone like me, who has crap handwriting, that finds it really hard to read anything I do, as you’ve seen firsthand when I do these lives and I can’t read my notes, is the power in the writing is really, really, really good.
So I want you to take that brain dump of hideousness and I want you to categorize it. And again, just bear with me, because you may be listening to me and thinking, “Sam, that just seems ridiculous. That seems a whole lot of work.” I promise you it’s worth it. My pinky promise. Categorize it into things that are in your circle of influence. So it might be something about you physically. It might be something about your business. Some things that you think, “I’ve got a little bit of control over”, like how much income I’m generating, because I could go and get more clients. But then it’s also about the clients. So it’s kind of on that 50/50 list.
And then there’s a list of things you have absolutely no control over whatsoever. So you can’t control whether the government goes back on how long they keep JobKeeper available for. So if that’s one of your frustrations, that’s got to go on your, I can’t control it list. Okay? You can’t control what Worldometers is putting up every day, what’s on the news, anything like that. So those things that are way out of your zone, they go on that third list.
Then I want you to burn that third list, because there’s nothing you can do. Get rid of it, tear it up, burn it, have a little saging ceremony with it, whatever floats your boat, put it in your InSinkErator with some tealeaves, doesn’t matter, but get rid of that list. You’ve got it out of your brain. You can’t do anything about it. Get rid of it.
Then I want you to concentrate on the list of the things that you can control. So let’s go through a few examples. One of your things might be, you’re tired. One of your things on your frustration list at the moment, it might be, you’re tired. And you look at that and you think, “Why am I tired at the moment? Okay. I’m tired at the moment because I’m so stressed with everything that’s going on in the world, so I’m Netflixing and a bottle of wine every night.” you’re going to be tired.
So what I want you to do is go, “Okay, well, what would I need to do to not be tired?” And then I don’t want you to overthink this. I want you, for every one of those points, to write down maybe one or two things that could help you. So maybe switch off the TV at 7:00, maybe have a bath, maybe stop at a glass of wine, whatever it is. Just pick a couple of things that could help you be less tired, because that’s that one thing that you can control.
Let’s go with another example. You’re frustrated because you haven’t finished a few of the things that you said you were going to do. You had some goals for 2020, and we’re now in May, and you’re like, “Oh, the world’s gone to hell, so I’m never going to achieve anything.” You know, drama, drama voice. We can all do it. I’m good at it. Well, okay, so what was one of those goals I wanted to achieve? Okay, I wanted to learn how to run five kilometers; using myself here as an example. Okay, so what are a couple of things I would need to do in order to get that goal back on track? Set my alarm half an hour earlier, buy some new sneakers, just a couple of little things that you can control. So I want you to do that for everything that is on that list of things that you get to control. So then we put that list aside.
Then we go to that fuzzy middle list. The one where it’s like, “I can control a little bit, but I can’t control it all because other people are involved.” That kind of thing. And on that list, I want you to do… I should have drawn this up, sorry. I want you to have the note, so “I need more income”, for example, so “I need more clients” is one of your frustrations. So I want you to have two little columns and one is what you can do about it and what you need other people to do about it. So what you could do about it is make five more phone calls every day. What you can’t have control over is people actually buying. So what doing this list gives you, it gives you a tangible thing.
And again, for each item that you’re really frustrated about, that you got out in your brain dump about going to hell at the moment, one or two things, maximum three, because you don’t want to overload yourself, for each of those items of the things that you can control. So picking up the phone, finishing a sales page, letting all your customers know that your shop’s free opening on the weekend, getting that proposal that you said you were going to get done. For me, in the last couple of weeks, it’s been doing a whole lot of video, it’s been doing other stuff. You might need an appointment with a specialist, and it’s kind of out of your control because you’re not sure when restrictions are going to be lifted, but you also need to make the appointment. So write down what you can do. And then there’s a space for what someone else has got to take care of.
Then you’ve got those two lists and you’ve got those two pieces of paper that have on them the things that you can do. Then what am I going to make you do? I’m going to make you diarize those things or prioritize them, whatever works for you.
So for some people, they like having a little to-do list or a little card every day that says, “I’m going to do these five things today.” For other people, as you know, I’ve been trying to diarize everything and put everything in my calendar and go, “Okay, in this 15 minutes, I am actually doing this task.” So whatever works for you. But I want you to take all those things that you can control and those things that you can do, and make sure they happen. And I swear on a stack of personal development and business books that this will work.
So you want to get all that negative, “Ah, I can’t control anything” stuff out of your brain. You want those three pieces of paper. You want to burn the one that you can’t do anything with. You want to write down all the things you can do about the things you can control. And then on that middle list, write down what you can do about bits, and then write down what you’re expecting or needing other people to do in order to make that perfect scenario happen. Then diarize it, then do it.
But, and here’s my but here, you know the joke, “I like big butts and I cannot lie”, it only works if you actually do it. Yeah. So that writing down all the stuff that’s frustrating you at the moment, all the stuff that you’re feeling out of control with, you’ve had to let go off, “It’s so frustrating because, well, it’s just not working how I want it to work,” all that stuff, it’s a bit like having a big bitch fest to somebody, getting all of that out. It is not going to improve unless you do something with it. It’s like trying on those pants, and they don’t fit, so you have a big bitch about it, and then you eat the cheesecake. Actually, not me, because I don’t like cheesecake. I don’t know why I don’t like cheesecake. But you know what I mean? You actually have to do something with it in order for it to work. However, you will feel a great sense of release for just having got it out. Okay?
So they are my tips for getting back into perspective about the things you can control and doing something with it. Because it’s a crazy world at the moment, and I want you all to feel like you are in control of what you can control and to let go of the stuff you can’t. No point being frustrated.
Have a great night, and I will see you all tomorrow.