5 Steps to Gaining Control Back

“Help, My Business Is Out Of Control”

As a coach I cannot tell you how many times I have had conversations start like this. People striving to grow a business, stressed from not obtaining the results they were hoping for, worried if they can provide for their families. The list goes on and on.

This is not exclusive to business. We hear this inside of our personal lives too. Life doesn’t go as planned or there becomes a myriad of challenges stacking high and we begin to feel overloaded, overwhelmed, anxious, and when that happens, we can’t think straight.

Today, I thought I would share five steps we can do to gain back control of whatever situation you are in, whether professionally or personally.

When Life Goes Haywire… Count to 5

It is inevitable. Something won’t go as planned. The key is to know what to do when it becomes uncontrollable. I have found throughout the years five solid principles that have helped me talk myself down or help others talk themselves down off that proverbial ledge of quitting.

Business failures. Relationship failures. Self-care failures. Any of these can occur in life, will occur at some time, and for some will all happen at the same time.

Regardless of when it happens, how we respond to the situation speaks volumes to ourselves and those around us. We may be seen as resilient or responsible. People honor those who persevere through trials because we all have them and when we get through one of them, someone is always encouraged.

Although, as we go through situations, we feel alone, or when we see others going through something we tend to implement avoidance methods (Read that blog HERE).

The five steps are to slow down, assess, consider, plan, and act. Simple enough to execute on any situation. In fact, after you read this, I challenge you to think back on a situation that went out of control and see if (perhaps subconsciously) you implemented these five steps!

Slow Down

When stress shows up it is an indicator that there may be some loss of control (even if for a moment). Physiologically our fight or flight shows up. The more control we have, the more fight we employ. As that control fades, we often scurry away. Sometimes we must because of safety, however on most occasions we will have a certain amount of time before we act.

The straightforward process of slowing down will help us regain control. Take for example, writing this blog. I have a deadline (self-imposed) that I may not meet. That creates a loss of control to the creative process. I may suddenly feel that my best will not come out.

Take a moment, breathe, stop what I am doing long enough to walk through the other steps to keep going.

Ok, now that I have taken a moment to slow things down, like my mind racing towards a deadline I can look at the second step.


This step is critical. Let’s continue with the example of writing this blog. I start by asking myself the following questions:

What’s the leeway?

What’s the consequence?

What’s the origin?

Use these answers to think. Step three.


Here we get to weight in on the answers to the questions and decide what to do next. Thinking critically will put us in the right mindset. It allows us to make better choices, leading to better decisions and ultimately better outcomes.

Is the deadline to write the blog hard or soft? Who will be affected if I don’t finish the blog by the deadline? Is the stress coming form internal or external sources?

In this scenario the deadline is soft, no one is immediately affected, except me if I don’t finish. The stress of the deadline I put on myself because I want to post content. Time for step four.


Now, we take all the information we have and develop a plan to execute on. For most if us this step is simple. The challenging work comes inside the first three (more on that in a moment).

For the plan to work a simple solution is to present three practical solutions. If you control the outcome, then this will be simple. If the outcome of the situation is out of your control, then presenting three possibilities for another person to choose from puts the control in your hands with the other person believing they have the control – this is a great conflict management tactic.

Now, that your plan is in place, there is only one thing left to do…


Time to implement. Do whatever it takes to start.

If you’ve taken the time to walk through the first three steps, planning is easy which means taking action should come naturally.

The time frame for slowing down, assessing, and considering will vary depending on the situation. At times you may be expected or must make an instant decision. Other times there will be time to digest the situation.

The more conscious we become of these steps the more unconsciously we will learn to walk through them.

People will call you resilient… You will be. You’ll feel it. You’ll overcome. The choice becomes yours. The control is back.


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