Circles of Control, Influence, and Concern

Use this diagram to structure conversations with students who are experiencing stress, anxiety, or overwhelm. Have the student identify the parts that they cannot control, i.e. in their circle of concern. Second, have the student identify what parts of the situation may fall into the circle of influence and in their circle of control.


  • Recognizing that it is okay to feel stressed or concerns about a situation but that not all of the elements of the situation may be within their control
  • Identifying which parts of a situation a student can influence, may be able to influence, or cannot influence at all