When s**t happens; Love it, Lead it, Leave it.

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How to over­come any chal­lenge and access peace, power and prosper­ity right now.

A lot of us are feel­ing the pinch right now. We’re being asked to do more, for less – at work and at home. It’s easy to feel like it’s all too much. So how can we stay inspired and in action when so much seems bey­ond our con­trol? This is my 3-step plan to turn any chal­lenge into an oppor­tun­ity to SHINE. It’s called LOVE IT, LEAD IT, LEAVE IT.

In life, we have stuff we CAN con­trol; for example, what we spend our time or money on, what we say and what we do. When we’re oper­at­ing in that circle, we feel pos­it­ive, empowered and alive. We take action on what we can. Let’s call this our circle of con­trol or influ­ence.

Circle of control and influence

Outside of this circle are the things we CAN’T dir­ectly con­trol but still feel con­cerned about; for example, the state of the eco­nomy, the train run­ning on time, the weath­er. When we’re in that circle, we feel dis­em­powered and in sur­viv­al. We tend to feel stressed and get stuck. This is our circle of con­cern.

Be Unstoppable: Circle of Concern — Circle of Control from Elizabeth Lovius on Vimeo.

In his book The 7 habits of highly effect­ive people, Stephen Covey describes these circles. Interestingly, he says that the more we occupy the out­er circle, the more fear­ful we feel and the less effect­ive we are. Think of some­thing you feel con­cerned and out-of-con­trol about and check this out for your­self.

  • So how do we move out of the out­er circle, and into the inner circle?
  • We can change our beliefs about it – LOVE IT.
  • We can take action on it – LEAD IT.
  • We can just accept what is – LEAVE IT.

STEP 1: LOVE IT – which means change your beliefs about it


IMG_0293Loving what you don’t love can actu­ally be the most chal­len­ging step and offers the most break­throughs, so I’m going to spend some time on get­ting to the bot­tom of this.

Life is made up of ‘things hap­pen­ing’ in real­ity. And that is exactly what they are: just things hap­pen­ing. A dog barks. A baby cries. The sun rises. As human beings, to make sense of life, we apply mean­ings or beliefs about what is hap­pen­ing. It’s the mean­ing or ‘belief’ we give to what is hap­pen­ing that actu­ally causes our reac­tions ‘Dogs are dan­ger­ous. Dogs are great pro­tect­ors…. I’m a bad moth­er if my baby cries. I’m glad my baby can com­mu­nic­ate with me.’ Why do I have to get up so early. It’s going to be a beau­ti­ful day…

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Our beliefs or how we see things determ­ine our actions (what we do). Our actions determ­ine our res­ults (what we get). Our res­ults re-enforce how we see things.  The mean­ings we give things are made up in our head. They are inter­pret­a­tions which, by defin­i­tion, can nev­er be abso­lutely true, only pos­sible or val­id. But we live our lives as if they’re abso­lutely true.

We only have ‘prob­lems’ because we see them as prob­lems. In fact, when we can love what is, we can find peace, power and prosper­ity in any moment. But how can you love some­thing that seems unlov­able? The first step is to sep­ar­ate what is really true…

Think about your prob­lem and answer these ques­tions for your­self.

How you can LOVE IT — which means change your beliefs about it

  • What do you believe about your prob­lem?
  • Can you abso­lutely know for sure that is true?
  • In what way do you know it isn’t true now?
  • When you believe that thought, what hap­pens?
  • What would life be like if you didn’t have that thought?
  • What do you want to believe instead?
  • In how many ways do you know this is already true?
  • Choose the belief that will most empower you.

STEP 2:

LEAD IT – which means take action on it

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Lead it’ is about tak­ing action in the inner circle of con­trol. Having learned what to love in the situ­ation, actions we can take eas­ily appear now that we hold an empower­ing belief. These are invis­ible to us when we ho ld a lim­it­ing belief. It’s like tak­ing off dark glasses and lit­er­ally see­ing things that were not there before. Sometimes, it’s as simple as just tak­ing the action we know to take.

How you can LEAD IT – which means take action on it

  • What is in your con­trol?
  • What actions can you take?
  • What is your next step?

STEP 3: LEAVE IT – which means accept it and let go

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Once we have a belief turn­around and are in action, this is often enough to leave us empowered. However some­times, we still have some­thing that is dimin­ish­ing our peace and power in some way. This means there’s some­thing to let go of. It will usu­ally be a form of resent­ment, res­ist­ance or regret. Letting go means, leav­ing it be, allow­ing it to be the way it is and the way it isn’t without judge­ment or res­ist­ance. Ultimately let­ting go is a choice and that is in your con­trol.

How you can LEAVE IT – which means accept it and let go

  • What are you resent­ing, regret­ting or res­ist­ing that you could let go of?
  • What do you need to accept?

Instant version

Here’s my real-life instant example of LOVE IT, LEAD IT, LEAVE IT. I use it in my life all the time.

My husband’s away at the moment. I live in a vil­lage in Southern Spain where the roads are nar­row and wind­ing. I just scraped the car when try­ing to park. I know my husband’s not going to be thrilled and I’m wor­ried. I’ve got a dead­line to write this art­icle today. Can I love it? No, let’s be hon­est I can’t, but my belief ‘this is a dis­aster and I’m in trouble’…well yes, I can turn that around. ‘It’s not a dis­aster and he’ll be under­stand­ing’ cer­tainly helps me right now. Can I lead it? I could take the car to the gar­age, but I want to write this art­icle today and my husband’s home tomor­row. No action to take right now. Can I leave it? Can I accept that I scraped the car (again) and that I’ve caused dam­age that he may react to? Yes I can. I can accept this situ­ation, stop regret­ting it, res­ist­ing it. I’m going to leave it behind for today and stay in con­trol of today — and not drift into the circle of con­cern of tomor­row.

PS. He was under­stand­ing when I even­tu­ally told him. I waited for the right moment when I was feel­ing centred and empowered, and explained hon­estly what had happened. He said: ‘Oh well, could have been worse!’.

Emma’s Case Study

  • Emma’s prob­lem is that for the next six weeks, she per­ceives that she will be extremely pres­sured at work. Whenever she thinks about what’s ahead, she feels it’s all too much. She wakes at 4am won­der­ing how she’s going to cope. How can she love that?
  • How can Emma lead it? Emma could now see to take on her pro­jects in a way that moved her into the inner circle of con­trol.
  • What can Emma leave? Emma can let go of her resent­ment to her cli­ents for the pro­ject delays, and her regret at again find­ing her­self under pres­sure.

Next steps

LOVE IT, LEAD IT OR LEAVE IT is a power­ful tool. The end game is peace and empower­ment versus stress and feel­ings of help­less­ness. You can use this pro­cess with your­self. Although it’s help­ful to do it the first time with someone who can ask these ques­tions to help guide and chal­lenge you.
When the clouds get in the way, it’s easy to for­get that the sun is still there. A pro­fes­sion­al coach can help you release clouded beliefs and cre­ate new ways for you to turn your chal­lenges into oppor­tun­it­ies and enable you to flour­ish and shine. Contact me for a chat  or vis­it www.elizabethlovius.com.

For a PDF Version: Love it, Lead it or Leave it.

If you want to get deep­er into the pro­cess, here are some great teach­ers I’ve found help­ful.

For the best found­a­tion in under­stand­ing how we exper­i­ence (and can change our exper­i­ence of) life: The 3 Principles

For lov­ing what is: Byron Katie

For being pro­act­ive: Stephen Covey

For for­give­ness and let­ting go: Robert Holden  and Iyanla Vanzant

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