How to triage your challenges

To triage means to prioritise. If you have attended an A & E department (or Emergency Room in the USA), then you may have experienced the funnel that is triage. The trained staff ask you questions to discern how best to address your medical issue. Are you an emergency, or can other people with more urgent needs go before you?

When we look at our own challenges, we realise that if we simply react instantly to everything that comes our way, we can get ourselves in a pickle. We waste energy on things that we can’t alter and miss opportunities when we do have influence.

Take a moment to slow down and triage your challenges. Ask yourself what type of a challenge am I facing? 

Ask yourself these questions:

Can I control this?

How much influence can I really have over this outcome?


We spend so much time worrying and fretting over things we just don’t have the power to change. In doing so we give away ANY power we had.

There are three types of challenge.

  1. Things we have control over – eg. What we can do and say
  2. Things we have absolutely no control over – eg. The weather
  3. Things that we have some influence over, but no ultimate control over an outcome – eg. whether we win a baking competition.

The third option requires a little more clarification. We often face challenges and goals and feel anxious and stressed about trying to control a desired outcome. With something like a baking competition or sports game, we can do our very best, but we cannot control whether or not we win. This type of scenario happens a lot in life. 

My invitation to you is to identify when your own personal internal goal is in those type of circumstances. I use a method called ‘End Time Feeling‘. I imagine how I want to feel at the end of the challenge, no matter what the external outcome is. This really helps me to focus on me doing my best and not on what I don’t have any control over. I experience so much more personal gratification and satisfaction this way. (Plus, I’m more relaxed during baking competitions-and I do sometimes win!)



When faced with any situation, be it a challenge or not, do a quick scan in your mind- Which of the three categories does it fit into?

Sometimes we can trick ourselves into believing that we can influence things that in fact we can’t. Be honest with yourself.

Practice creating an ‘End Time Feeling‘, which is an internal goal for yourself that you do have control over and can achieve.