“If Only….”


Planning by the Siberian Swan Method.

I recently read an article informing us that the first migrating Siberian swans have arrived in Britain, marking the official end of summer. Experts warning their early appearance signals a harsh winter ahead.  According to folklore, if the Bewick’s swans arrive early then Britain could be in for a cold winter.

What usually follows such an article is a flurry of other articles to back up this prediction using other signs of nature, such as an increase of red berries on bushes, leading us to wonder what winter will bring. But how does such information actually help us?

We all know that the seasons change and that winter calls for us to be prepared for harsher weather conditions. So once we have prepared to the best of our ability, what is the point on dwelling on the predictions of how harsh it may or may not be or even blaming the experts if they get it wrong. These are things that are out of our control.

As that well known Philosopher Billy Connolly put it ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes’.

This can be applied to our lives in general; we know that events will occur and we need to concentrate on what is within our control and/or influence rather than worrying about what is outside of that. Spending our lives worrying about things that we cannot control or influence saps our energy and stops us being productive and proactive. If we work on the things that we can do something about we will become empowered and find that our areas of control and influence actually increase.

Knowing we are responsible – ‘Response-able’ – is fundamental to our effectiveness so we need to make sure our thinking and our focus reflects this.

 Think about the things that you focus on in your life. Are they within your control and influence or are they outside of that? Does your focus result in blaming and accusing others? Are you just reacting to situations? Do you have increased feelings of victimisation?

Are you Focused or Reactive?

Do you say, “I will be happy when I have…”, If only I had….”, If I could just have…”, “If I had…  If you recognise any of those things in your life then you focus on events that are outside of your influence or control.

So what can you do that will help you get back in control?

The first thing you can do is to smile and authentically and calmly accept that some problems are outside of your control; learning to live with them even though you don’t like them will make sure that they stop controlling you. Consciously recognise when you deal with events differently, congratulate yourself that you have made a choice rather than the old reaction. Change your language to: “I can….”, “I will….”, “I am…..”

Set clear goals that will develop you towards what you want in life rather than focusing on what you don’t want. 

 If you need help in achieving this mindset or you want to learn new methods to bring more control to your life then having a series of Coaching sessions or attending an NLP Personal Growth training course which deals with such issues will definitely benefit you.

We know that we cannot always predict the weather accurately but you know that you can prepare for whatever the winter may bring. I have my shovel and blanket in the boot of the car and my focus is on what I can control and influence in my life. Do you?