Circle of Influence

The Circles of Influence concept was developed by Stephen Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). He goes on to explain that proactive people focus on things they can control whereas reactive people focus on things outside of their influence and mainly on what other people control. The concept is a fundamental aspect of personal development and proactive living.

The Circle of Influence can be divided into two primary categories: the “Circle of Concern” and the “Circle of Influence”. The Circle of Concern encompasses all the things we care about but often have limited control over them. While the Circle of Influence consists of the things we care about, and we can control them. We are able to make a real positive impact through our actions, attitudes, behaviours, decisions and interactions with others. By focusing on the Circle of Influence we can maximise our effectiveness in a personal and working environment.

How to use the Circle of Influence?

  • Don’t let the issues in your Circle of Concern overwhelm you, identify what you can control within your Circle of Influence and concentrate your energy on these areas.
  • Proactively improve yourself and your relationships within your Circle of Influence as this will ultimately influence your Circle of Concern in a positive way.
  • Expand your Circle of Influence by building strong connections and investing in your personal growth.
  • Embrace challenges within your Circle of Influence to help you grow within different situations and environments.
  • Create a ripple effect in those around you by demonstrating proactive behaviour and taking responsibility for your actions.

The Circle of Influence is a versatile concept that can and should be applied to various situations such as personal development, time management, leadership, stress management, problem-solving and fitness goals. Start to ask yourself questions to visualise and document what you can and cannot control. What do I want to focus on within my Circle of Influence? What “noise” do I want to ignore in my Circle of Concern? How do I want to be perceived? What will help me influence this change?













To conclude, the Circle of Influence is a very powerful model that can guide us in our personal and professional lives. Our influence also has the potential to extend beyond our immediate surroundings, creating a positive impact on a larger scale. Focusing on what we can truly control and actively seeking to make a difference within the sphere, will lead to positive changes, behaviours and relationships leading to a more fulfilled and purposeful life.