In principle, when I am in conflict with others in my group or troubled by a difficult circumstance, and I want relief, I have basically two choices: I can either work to change things for the better or I can work to accept things as they are. Both paths require effort on my part. Idle complaints, criticisms, or gossip will not really help things and will likely make things worse.
And most things, it’s helpful to keep in mind, I probably can’t change. The only thing I really have power over is my own beliefs and behaviors. If I changed these, would it ease the conflict?
Practical Tip: When in conflict, draw a circle around yourself. Draw it so that inside the circle are the things you can change and outside the circle are the things you cannot:
1. Define the circle of things within your control.
2. Work to change things within the circle.
3. Let go of all that’s outside the circle.
In other words: define your part; take responsibility for improving your part; do not take on other parts.
Work inside the circle—addressing the things you can change—is all about action. It’s about doing things differently.
Work outside the circle—the things you can’t change—is all about acceptance. It’s about seeing things differently.
– Craig Freshley