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Dealing with concerns - control the controllables

British Diving and English Institute of Sport (EIS) sports psychologist Laura Cosgrove describes how you can learn to deal with concerns by focusing on what you can control.

Control the controllables

There are always things that concern us, but it is a skill to identify our areas within, and separate to, these conerns (event if that cirlce is smaller!).

As an athlete, you will have heard this phrase before – but learning how to ‘control the contrallables’ is an important skill for dealing with concerns and doubt.

Think of your concerns and influences as two circles.

Circle of concern and influence
  1. Put your concerns in the outer circle.
  2. Write down how you can influence these concerns or the general situation, and put those in the inner circle. Even if you can’t ‘fix’ the concern or situation, you may be able to manage better or help someone else.
  3. List some actions and first steps for each area of influence.

Managing your circle of concern

We’ve come up with a few things to think of to help you with first steps and actions you can take. You might have your own examples – let us know on Twitter and we will share with the diving community.

  • Who’s help do you need?
  • What can you offer to others to help?
  • Can you talk to your friends and family about your concerns?
  • Breathe! Reconnect with the present moment.
  • Use another part of your brain – do a puzzle, play music, speak another language, do arts and crafts.
  • Exercise or stretch
  • Know that it is normal to have more concerns than areas of influence
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