Circle of Concern/Circle of Influence


This sounds very mindful at first glance.


  •  Circle of Concern: This space is dominated by dissociative thought and small action. We get lost in thought, wasting time on things we have no control or influence over.


Our default mode activates, focusing on selfish thoughts and concerns. This can be at work, school, home, family or strangers.
Doubt, worry and unworthiness start the thoughts about approval, criticism, finances, or status.


There is no chance for happiness in this space.


*     Circle of influence is a more present pursuit, a more active, productive life. If we have influence on something, it usually is in this present moment. It maybe small, however small current things are mentally healthier for us.

An example: As an athlete, a performer or a salesman, we lose a game, a client or mess up a play. How we react makes all the difference in the world.

If we choose the circle of concern, we dissociate into the what if’s and judge ourselves harshly. Our time is spent thinking, replaying and judging.

Choosing the circle of influence is healthier. Yes, we may replay our performance. This replay is to evaluate what we can improve, then a way to implement the changes.

Circle of concern wastes life, circle of influence lives life.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jeanetteirene on July 22, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Dear Fellow PTSD-ers, This post is invaluable. Within the circle of concern, we put ourselves at the observation and judgement of others, because we are focused on ‘concerns’ (which are subjective items in the eyes of the beholder). “ARe we handling our own concerns? Or are we handling the concerns of others?”. That is a trap, in thinking. In the Circle of Influence, we are outside, being an objective observer to the situation. Then we are asking ourselves if there is something I am able and willing to do (while staying true to my healing), that could add, or influence the outcome of a situation. In this format, I become only a piece of a recipe for a great dish. I am not the chef. I often think, as a PTSD-er, that I have to ‘take’ power, so no one takes advantage of me. In ‘taking power’, I ignore the other participants of the situation, and I ignore their own path to their own growth, by being part of a solution. As I observe situations, I want to not ‘take over’. Instead, I want to just observe an learn to know what is just my ‘part’ (ingredient) to help. Getting out of my ego, to prove my power, is essential for me. Thank you for this post!!!!

  2. I did not connect this to ptsd but wow. Yes circle of concern expands how we avoid fear or become more anxious.

    We take power by being vulnerable. We do not heal with cognitive action, thought.

    Takes a different kind of courage to be vulnerable when anxiety hits tilt and our fight or flight jolts our solar plexus

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