Don’t Stress About Things You Can’t Control

Don’t Stress About Things You Can’t Control

I like in the UK near the local tourist attractions of Box Hill, Leith Hill and a quaint town called Dorkingm which is in the wonderful Surrey Hills in Southern England. For most of the year, Dorking is a sleepy little market town with just enough people to keep it interesting, but not too many to make it crowded. It suits me very well.

Once a year, there is a large sporting event organised which comes though our town called Ride London This is a large cycle race and event which starts in London, comes out through Surrey up the 2 local hills and then heads back into London for the sprint finish. This year, the event takes place today, 29th July.

Elite cyclists
Ride London comes to Surrey.

What has this got to do with stress?

Well, for the last 6 weeks or so, the UK, along with much of Europe has been experiencing a heat wave. On Thursday, temperatures reached 33-35 degrees Celsius (which was way too hot for me) and we have had very little rain for all that time. We have not had weather like that in the UK for ages. People have got suntans, are going on ‘stay-cations’ and the beaches have seen more visitors each weekend than they have for years.

Local summer fair organisers have been clapping their hands, ice-cream sales have rocketed and the grass has turned yellow! (OK, that will recover). The people organising Ride London must have been counting their blessings.

However on Saturday, (yesterday), after a prolonged spell on unusually dry weather, the heavens opened and we have had storms, high winds and torrential rain since midday Saturday and for the whole of today. The “traditional British summer” has returned in earnest.

heavy rain
Storms and torrential rain have hit the UK this weekend.

No one can control the weather. It’s one of those things that just happens.

So the elite riders have had to race today ‘up hill and down dale’, through torrential rain for 100 miles. And it’s not just them, they are also joined by over 100,000 cycling enthusiasts who also complete the course, and many supporters, friends and families who line the streets along the way, cheering them on.

Watching them on the TV coverage, my heart goes our to them. It is not perfect cycling weather – and I’m not a cyclist. After all the fine weather we’ve had, there seem to be more water drops on the camera lenses than cyclists on the road, but they are doing a wonderful job of avoiding the puddles, not slipping in the wet and maintaining their focus on doing what they came to do – get to the finish and win the race. Or at least, get to the finish!

So What’s The Point?

The point is that there are sometimes things you can’t control which can get in the way of your goals. Today for the cyclists, it is the weather, but tomorrow for you, it could be a letter, an emergency, a power-cut, computer malfunction or anything else you care to mention.

Outside influences could affect your health, your family, your house, you possessions, anything. And it could be nothing to do with things you did or did not do. Sometimes, unexpected or negative things just happen.

What’s important is to recognise that there will always be things that you can’t control. In every situation, there are things that are in your control and things that are out of your control.

In reality you cannot control anything except yourself and your reactions to situations. Everything else you can prepare for, and plan for, but ultimately YOU cannot control them. You can only control yourself.

The same is true for everyone starting an online business.

You can make plans, follow a raining program if you have joined one, do everything that is asked of you but still you do not have ultimate control of everything – if Google change their algorithm, you can gain or lose traffic overnigh

Just think of all the variables that you are dealing with in an online business, that you don’t have control over:

  • search engines
  • international law
  • local law
  • supply and demand
  • electricity supplies
  • affiliate programs
  • backlinks
  • things that go viral – or don’t
  • other people’s blogs
  • social media trends

and I’m sure that’s just the “tip of the iceberg” as it were.

There are always hazards you can’t see or plan for.

But all is not lost – what’s important is how you deal with it.

What makes the difference between success and failure is simply down to how you react to the situations that life throws at you. That will determine whether you get through it or fall at the first hurdle.

Do you give up, get angry, feel hurt or rejected, moan about how unjust the situation is and lose yourself in self-pity; or do you just get up, and carry on – riding through the storms?

Your reactions will determine your success.

We will all face similar challenges along the way, like the cyclists in the storms today – it’s your mental attitude that keeps you going forward. It’s about taking what life gives you and growing anyway, despite the odds. Not all the seeds we plant fall on the soil, but some will thrive anyway. The same is true of you – you always have a choice.

Poppy growing on a rocky site.
Some seeds persevere and succeed.

You can succeed, as long as you don’t get stressed about the things you can’t control – there are too many of those to mention, so acknowledge them, find a solution and move on.

If you find this difficult, then you can ask yourself some of the questions below to help:

  1. What can you do to regroup, learn lessons and see how you can make progress despite the situation you’re faced with?
  2. Is there anyone who you can approach for help?
  3. Do you need more training to overcome the situation, or just a shift in your mental approach to it?
  4. Where are the new opportunities that you are not seeing in the situation?
  5. Do you need more resources? If so, how can you get them?

If you want quality answers, you have to ask yourself quality questions, and those do not include the victim mentality questions of “why me?” or “what did I do to deserve this?” These questions just keep you wallowing in the situation without seeing the opportunities that are undoubtedly there.

So take heart, look at the rain, however torrential it is and then smile – it’s much cooler riding in the rain anyway!

The road is full of pot holes that you didn’t make, but keep a clear head, steer through the obstacles in your way, and the finish will be a sweet sight (or perhaps even a website!) indeed.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

And congratulations to Pascal Ackerman for winning the men’s elite race; Kirsten Wild for winning the ladies’ elite race and to the 100,000s of other riding for personal reasons or to raise money for charities too.

And I can’t leave out congratulations to Geraint Thomas for his Tour de France win either, which just goes to prove that helping others win, finally does pay off.

Well done to you all. Cheers!

Please leave a comment below and let me know about situations you’ve overcome in your own life.


Winners never quit and quitters never win

Setting SMART goals worksheet and tips

How to stay motivated – focus on your WHY

Failed – don’t beat yourself up

Why failure is a good thing


  1. Hello Gail what can I say but yet another fantastic article. That is so crazy about the weather you had there. Your article is what I needed in the online world it does get stressful and you are so right there are just some things I cannot control except how I react to it. I love your list of actions that can be taken to maybe help the situation. As always I will return for future readings. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi David
      Thanks so much for your kind comments and I love the fact that you keep coming back for more! 🙂 I’m glad you liked the post and found it relevant to online marketing. There are so many things that we can’t control in life but many of us spend too much time worry about them. Accepting them and moving on is a great way to refocus on the things we can control.
      Hope all is going well for you and speak to you soon I hope. Gail

  2. What an inspiration those cyclists are! It would do us all well to remember their example when we face obstacles in life. Attitude really does make all the difference!

    1. Hi Kayla. You’re so right in that attitude is everything. I love Box Hill but I wouldn’t want to cycle up it! 🙂 LOL. Seriously anything is achievable with the right mindset and one step at a time is OK for me.

  3. This is some great advice! While we know some of this day to day, it’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of what we’re doing with work and family!

    Your post is great everyday advice! As you say, only worry about the things you can control and take action are awesome words of wisdom and a great reminder to all of us.

    Thank you for writing this great post!

    1. Hi Mark. I totally agree with you that most of us know that we can’t control everything day to day, but we also forget it easily too. Glad you found the article a good reminder of some simple truths. Wishing you all the best and thanks for taking the time to comment. Gail

  4. You are right it is wasted energy to stress over things you can not control. Thank you for your helpful tips.

    I like the approach of stop and ask yourself these questions. Good touch and it really helps to take back control of your own power.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Jennifer. Thanks for your comment. Glad you liked the questions too because I truly believe that if you ask yourself the right questions about anything, you’ll get the right answers – trouble is, many of us are scared to ask ourselves those difficult questions sometimes. We all have immense power that we can tap into if we want to. You might like some of the blogs on my other niche site at: if you like more self-improvement things too. All the best to you. Gail

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