The Circle of Concern and Influence

JT - Focus on what you can control, and don’t waste energy on the things you cannot.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

~ Serenity Prayer

Let’s face it, life can be challenging. We all have things in our life that challenge us – whether it is people, situations or the environment we live in.

One thing I have come to realise over the years of working with people experiencing change is how people choose to respond differently to change. They focus their time and energy on things they have control over, instead of wasting their time and energy on things they don’t.

The Circle of Concern vs The Circle of Influence

In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey talked about the concept of Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence.

The “Circle of Concern” includes the wide range of concerns you have in your work and life – including health, family, finances, national debt etc. Everything you include inside the circle is a concern and matters to you and everything outside the circle is of little or no concern to you.

The challenge with the Circle of Concern is you start to realise some of the things you are concerned about are outside of your control and some are within your control.

For example – you may be concerned about the health of a family member or the economy, however can you really do anything about it?

This is why it is important to identify your Circle of Influence within your Circle of Concern.

Your Circle of Influence are the things that concern you that you can do something about. For example – you may be worried about climate change (i.e. circle of concern), however what can you do about it (i.e. your circle of influence).

Adding the Circle of Control…

Personally, I would add the Circle of Control within the Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence, so it just makes it clearer to article the power of choice. Subsequently – the diagram would look like –

Over to You…

So now you know about the Circle of Concern and Influence, how are you going to apply this knowledge? You might like to invest some time reflecting on the following questions –

  1. Where are you currently spending the majority of your time? In the circle of concern or influence?
  2. Are you currently being as personally effective as you can in your life?
  3. What strategies or tools could you use to help you transform your life?

Feel free to share in the comments below, any questions or comments you might have.

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?

Reference –

Covey, S. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. New York, USA: Simon & Schuster.

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