It’s easy to get sucked into the drama of everything that’s happening around us when we go to work every day. It’s also easy to feel overwhelmed and underprepared. There’s changing technology, changing policies, changing people…the one constant is change. Sometimes it feels like the world is full of “villains” and you wish you had a superpower to counteract all the uncertainty and negativity.
Like any superhero, we need something to save our world (okay so that’s a little dramatic, but work with me here – haha). For me, that superpower is WC².
WC² stands for “What Can We Control?”
Putting on your metaphorical super decoder WC² ring is a simple concept that grounds you in the here and now. I use it when I start to feel stress, anxiety, anger, or fear. I remind myself to stop and think about what part of any given uncomfortable situation I can do something about.
As leaders, it’s easy to see how team members can also get distracted by things outside their control. Whether you use WC² personally or help others use it, it works.
Have you ever felt like your mind was spinning out of control? In my newest book, SHIFT to Professional Paradise in Stormy & Uncertain Times, I define this as Fly Away Thinking™️. It’s the self-made “tornado” in our brain that takes external circumstances and turns them into whirling dervishes of fear, anxiety, and frustration.
WC² allows you to move to Funnel Thinking™️. That’s when you take charge of negative, unrestrained thoughts and focus them into a more productive mindset. You create a mental “funnel” that eliminates pessimistic, unconstructive thoughts, and pulls in the ones that are advantageous and constructive. As the name implies, Funnel Thinking forces you to carefully choose and allow into your mind only those specific thoughts that lead to a helpful outcome.
Right now is a great time to make a list of things you can control at work every day. This is very empowering.
Here are a few things I came up with:
- How I respond to situations
- What I talk about during my downtime
- Who I spend time with during breaks
- The effort I put into my work
- How much I learn
- The quality of my work
- The assumptions I make
- The questions I ask
- How much I jump to conclusions
- Time spent on “what if” scenarios
Okay, you get the idea. Focusing on WC² helps YOU (and it also helps everyone you come in contact with).
At the end of the day, you get to pick what you focus on when you’re at work. It’s very easy to join in bad-mouthing others or gossiping about gloom and doom scenarios but really how does that help you? When things haven’t even happened yet why paint a negative picture of what could happen instead of being present in the moment to focus on what is happening?
Because, in the end, our days are made up of what we spend time thinking about. You might feel helpless in stormy and certain times but when we focus on “What We Can Control” (another version of WC²), it’s actually a fairly substantial list.
See you in Professional Paradise!
About this Laudio Community Author
Vicki Hess, RN, Certified Trauma Professional, Top 5 Healthcare Speaker and author, teaches healthcare leaders and staff how to 1) improve & sustain employee engagement; 2) decrease stress & burnout; and, 3) retain valued employees. Ms. Hess works with organizations and associations nationwide through virtual & in-person workshops, retreats, and keynote presentations. Her unique views on employee engagement are evidence-based, relatable and real world. Check out Vicki’s transformational online program for leaders here.