Focus on what’s within your control in life & leadership.

When things go wrong, what do you focus on first?

The world outside you


the world within you?

The following is a video and activity overview from Part 2 of the 2020 SRC Leadership Development Workshop. Click Here for Part 1.

Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.

Be The Change

I believe that (self) control is the foundation of effective leadership because in order to lead others, you must first learn to lead yourself.

  • This concept is based on the Internal versus External Locus of Control developed by psychologist Dr. Julian Rotter.
  • CONTROL is also the second “C” in the Thriving Under Pressure Model discussed in my TEDx Talk.

Leadership Skills Development 

CONTROL – Part 1

In the initial control exercise, participants met in groups to reflect and share their answers to the following questions:


CONTROL – Part 2

Next, participants applied the C-P-R Model of Sustainable Mental Health Habits to their own experiences as both students and student leaders.

  • This activity helped them focus on the areas of their life, including mental health habits and stress management practices, that is within versus outside their sphere of control.
  • Click Here for the original CPR Blog Post and Video


C. P. R.

CATCH.   PAUSE.   REPAIR. in action

1. Student leaders first identified their triggers. Including emotional, cognitive, situational, and physical stressors. CATCH

2. Then they practiced taking a time-out (long deep breath) during high-pressure moments. PAUSE

3. Finally, they shared both self-care (fitness, sleep, nutrition) and professional resources (counselling) that help them replenish unmet psychological and physical needs (as outlined in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). REPAIR


Thriving Resources

Control Video

⇒ Watch Here

TEDx Talk
Watch Here

23 thoughts on “Focus on what’s within your control in life & leadership.

Add yours

    1. You always have a way of making me smile! Thank you Brigid for taking the time to watch & encourage. Knowing we’re in this classroom of life together makes all the difference. From Ireland to Canada, and back again, let self-care be at the top of our priority list. All 2020 long. Only then can we give back from a full heart. ☘️💞

  1. Happy new year Andrea & hope you are well. This post seems quite relevant for me at present. I copied your leadership control exercises into one in my journals for reflection. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

    1. I love knowing you are learning and reflecting with us! I was having a tough day last week and I was reminded to “practice what I teach” and focus on the parts of my life that were within my control. Taking a long walk outdoors and having a soulful talk with my Mom made all the difference. Life is the ultimate professor. It’s up to us to receive the lessons. 📚💗

      1. Yes Andrea, I always found during my time as a Health Visitor when supporting & advising families of children under 5 years that it was hard to practice what I taught/advised.

        ‘Who cares for the caretakers & teachers?’

        In retirement I still need to remind myself to take care of me.

        Once a Health Visitor always a Health Visitor. The hat stays on.

        (In the UK, Health visitors are qualified and registered nurses or midwives who have chosen to gain additional training and qualifications as specialist community public health nurses.)

        So glad that getting out in nature & a soulful talk with your mum helped.

        Yes, I agree: life is the ultimate professor.

  2. Dr. D, I think you probably already know that I completely agree with this! The only person you can control is you, whether it be attitude or actions, so these pieces of advice and strategies are spot on and thank you for sharing them.

  3. Fabulous video Andrea. You have such a great way of simplifying what matters into such a down to earth practical manner. It’s far easier to change and control our own inner world than it is our outer. And yes, like you, I believe approaching life in a fun way makes it easier to handle situations. Hope all’s well with you. xx

    1. Thank you so much Miriam! Your feedback and reflections always lift me up. Busy good life over here in Canada. Grateful for each new day to share ideas with fellow bloggers and friends like you Miriam! Fun is the most powerful resilience tool I own. May you enjoy lots of it all weekend long! Andrea 💖🌈☀️

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