What’s within your control?

Locus of Control is a key ingredient in both stress hardiness and mental resilience.

Knowing the difference between what is within your control and sphere of influence and what to let go of and surrender is a daily process and wellness habit.



What’s within your control?

This was a question I actively explored with — high school students during a thriving under pressure presentation (Video), college students during a leadership training session (Video), and educators at a student success conference (Video).


High School Students


College Students





Student Leaders



  1. Make a list of things that are beyond your control.
    Areas of your life that drain your energy, motivation, and passion for life.
  2. Next, make a list of moments and situations that lift you up.
    Areas where you create impact.
  3. Focus on these impact areas of your life. Surrender the rest. In doing so you create time and energy for what matters most.

37 thoughts on “What’s within your control?

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    1. Your comment reminded me to do the same!

      And also a lesson that I teach in my wellness class based on the concepts of classical conditioning and logotherapy (founded by Viktor Frankl)

      “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

      — Viktor E. Frankl, a neurologist, psychologist and Holocaust survivor



      One more thing to love about blogging Annette! We meet each other in a place of support and strength.

      1. I learned to enter tasks while at the zen center

        Doing laundry, preparing the clothes to make everyone look the best, calms me,

        I become the shirt I am hanging up. Time evaporates, a chore disappears

        Or I have meditated enough that I can take three breaths and be here

        I can meditate sometimes in the middle of chaos

        Thanks for your insight

        1. So much to learn from your mindfulness techniques!

          Your blog is a testimony to this Marty.

          Simple. Serene. Sustainable.

          “I become the shirt I am hanging up. Time evaporates, a chore disappears:”

          GENIUS 💡

          1. Thanks for the kudos

            Simple. Serene. Sustainable.

            Well from the inside it is complex, anxious and confusing

            My followers get the ups and downs of the journey

            1. That’s the beauty of life. And why I love your blog so much Marty.

              We can be both simple AND complex, serene AND anxious, sustainable AND confusing. The key is to love ourselves unconditionally independent of appearances and states of mind ☔️ ☀️

              “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” ― Pema Chödrön

              1. Thanks, you are too kind

                My mindfulness/PTSD blog calls for action, it is a place I envisioned for those who are doing the work and looking for direction or a mentor.

                I tried to fill in the voids I experienced in my journey.

                Now I share more of my daily challenges

                Andrea, you influence so many young minds with passion.

                They r lucky

              2. You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” ― Pema Chödrön

                My weather has a hurricane

                Sarcasm is my vehicle of choice to cope

  1. Being present with my circumstances and realizing the only thing I can really control is my reactions and my attitudes–such great words of encouragement. Thanks for the insights, my friend.

    1. Thank you for underscoring the importance of reaction x attitude!

      A frequent conversation in psychology class.

      Especially in response to failure, frustrations, and disappointments.

      This includes the professor too! I am human after all. Failure happens daily!

      Your comment also reminds me of this quote —

      “Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us.”

      Wishing you a fabulous rest of the week!

      Now is all we have.

      Andrea 🌳 ☀️ ✨

  2. Learning to surrender and accept, we would like to change many things in our world.
    As an empath, its so easy to allow oneself to get caught up in other people’s stories, including the world-wide ones.

    It took me a long while along my journey of discovery in understanding we can only control ourselves, our thoughts our actions. And be responsible for ourselves, no one else’s.

    So today I control the volume and visuals and the pace.
    Taking space and time out to breathe in peace, living in the now moment much more.

    You then find calmness, as you let go of wanting to control something that isn’t even within our control or change.

    For we can only control and change ourselves at the end of the day..

    Loved listening to you with your class..

    Sending much love 💙

    1. “Today I control the volume and visuals and the pace.Taking space and time out to breathe in peace, living in the now moment much more.”

      Your words give me peace Sue. Thank you for the love and support. And for taking the time to watch the video.

      Full circle reminder that we are not alone in our quest for equanimity in the ever-changing weather called life. “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” ― Pema Chödrön

      What comes .. also goes.. ⛈☀️ 🙏

      Coming back to centre and reconnecting with community always helps. Grateful for you!

      1. Great quote Andrea,
        Keeping ourselves grounded with boundaries, while helping others see their own gifts and inner strengths.

        You dear Andrea inspire many, to tap into their inner guidance to hold their centres .
        Which in turn holds communities together. 💕🙏💕
        Many thanks.

    1. Thank you Eliza! I am back in the classroom again for the Spring Semester and I often begin the class with “Life Lessons” 🌎 before jumping into the academic lessons. 📖 This post was based on a high voltage discussion about how truly powerful students are — independent of outer circumstances. “Be The Change”

    1. The last line was based on an experience I had at Huron College at Western U when I was an undergrad all those years ago. I life lesson I pay forward in my classroom when students become overwhelmed at the beginning of a semester. (Currently in Week 2 of Spring Semester) That professor at said to us “You have a choice — Varsity Sports. Social Life. Good Grades. Pick 2. Or else expect to fail at all 3” Nobody ‘gets’ everything.

        1. OMG VJ ! I cannot believe how much we have in common. .. It was my calculus professor. He made me fall in love with integers and and derivatives. Because he taught them through the lens of life.

  3. Focus on the moment at hand. We can do all the planning and scheduling but we can only live in the present moment and make the most of it.
    Have a wonderful and inspiring day, Andrea ☀️💛😊

    1. Your blog always helps me stay in the moment Syl! Thank you for taking the time to read and share. I cannot imagine a better way to be in the flow than writing.

      They key for me is to put my ‘perfectionism’ on hold while writing. Easy for me when I’m making videos. Harder for me when writing.

      Which is why my posts.. get shorter and shorter.. and my psychology articles are limited to 400 words now. It helps me find the ‘sweet spot’ of presence.

      Something you have mastered on your blog!

      Something I put my foot down about with the publisher of this magazine…

      Less. Is. More.


      BE HERE NOW 🧘‍♀️ ✏️ 💻 🖊 💕

  4. It’s tough sometimes having some things outside of our control. For me it helps to be able to talk with those I’m close with if I get anxious about it. Another great post xx

    1. I love how you turn to your support team Christy! I do the same.

      I often say to people close to me —

      What about this situation is ‘real’ and what about this situation is exaggerated by overstimulated mind?

      The key is to trust the people around you to see for you when sometimes you can’t. And be willing to do the same for them too.


  5. You’re so very welcome and just know that your posts are always rewarding no matter the length. They are timely pick me ups. So true…Less. Is. More


    1. You’re the best!! Professors need motivation too.

      And you just gave that to me x 100! Thank you Khaya.

      My love for teaching psychology comes from years of practicing as a psychologist.

      One day I woke up and realized that the best way to support youth was to give them the power to “fish” for themselves.

      Wishing you a day filled with abundance and peace!

      Dr. D 💕

  6. Life got much more stable and happier when I understood that the only thing I need to have control over was my mind. Stress diminished when I stopped trying to control things which were beyond me.
    Everything cannot and should not happen my way…God has given each individual a brain let them use it in the best way they can. People do spring pleasant surprises when given an opportunity to be on their own.
    Always a pleasure reading your thoughts.
    Stay blessed…keep inspiring…keep healing..

    1. Your final two sentences captured my heart ♥️

      and this part —

      “Life got much more stable and happier when I understood that the only thing I need to have control over was my mind.”

      Brings Peace ☮️ And underscores the powerful message of BE the change.

      Thank you Jas 🙏 ☀️

  7. Aaah, another brilliant article! Thank you. A very popular prayer came to mind: “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
    the courage to change the things we can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference. Blessings, Peter.

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