Circle of Concern. Circle of Influence. Another excellent way to become more self-aware regarding our own degree of proactivity is to look at where we focus our time and energy. We each have a wide range of concerns -- our health, our children, problems at work, the national debt, nuclear war. We could separate those from things in which we have no particular mental or emotional involvement by creating a "Circle of Concern. As we look at those things within our Circle of Concern, it becomes apparent that there are some things over which we have no real control and others that we can do something about. We could identify those concerns in the latter group by circumscribing them within a smaller Circle of Influence. By determining which of these two circles is the focus of most of our time and energy, we can discover much about the degree of our proactivity. Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase. Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. They focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. Their focus results in blaming and accusing attitudes, reactive language, and increased feelings of victimization. The negative energy generated by that focus, combined with neglect in areas they could do something about, causes their Circle of Influence to shrink. As long as we are working in our Circle of Concern, we empower the things within it to control us. We aren't taking the proactive initiative necessary to effect positive change. Earlier, I shared with you the story of my son who was having serious problems in school. Sandra and I were deeply concerned about his apparent weaknesses and about the way other people were treating him. But those things were in our Circle of Concern. As long as we focused our efforts on those things, we accomplished nothing, except to increase our own feelings of inadequacy and helplessness and to reinforce our son's dependence. It was only when we went to work in our Circle of Influence, when we focused on our own paradigms, that we began to create a positive energy that changed ourselves and eventually influenced our son as well. By working on ourselves instead of worrying about conditions, we were able to influence the conditions. Because of position, wealth, role, or relationships, there are some circumstances in which a person's Circle of Influence is larger than his or her Circle of Concern. This situation reflects on a self-inflicted emotional myopia -- another reactive selfish life-style focused in the Circle of Concern.
7 Though they may have to prioritize the use of their influence, proactive people have a Circle of Concern that is at least as big as their Circle of Influence, accepting the responsibility to use their influence effectively.
- Fall '16
- sumanth tadepalli
- Proactive, Viktor Frankl, Circle of Influence