Area Of Control and Area Beyond Control



Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. ~ Epictetus

When we feel we are not in control of our life, we feel stuck and don’t take action towards our goals. In these rough times it’s crucial to remind us of our locus of control and continue to work on areas that we have control and act persistently. There are several philosophers who have extolled the concept of ‘locus of control’. In my view, Dr.Stephen Covey summarized it very well by coining phrases – ‘Circle of Control and Circle of Influence’.

The simplest version I have used in Coaching or Training sessions is AOC and ABC.

AOC = Area Of Control

ABC = Area Beyond Control

 Let’s take an example how it applies to me as a facilitator before or after conducting a training session.

Area Of Control – that I can do something and deliver my best performance.

  • Preparation and rehearsal
  • Enthusiasm while speaking
  • Quality of the presentation material
  • Knowing audience’s needs through surveys/assessments

Area Beyond Control – that I have no direct control on.

  • Audience’s interest level
  • Audience level of understanding
  • Participants liking my talk
  • Praising comments from the participants

Once I know what’s in my control , it brings me a sense of peace and an unwavering focus on those areas. I don’t have to derail myself by worrying about things that are out of my control.  This idea has worked for me umpteen times!  It will work for you as well… and trying this technique is in your AOC 🙂 That’s the exciting part.

So the next time around, when you sense discomfort about any area of your life. Please remember AOC and ABC – and remember to remember that you just need to focus on AOC – areas that you control and take some action!

 PS : I acknowledge the pictures from the internet.