WHERE IS YOUR LOCUS OF CONTROL?
“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.” Charles R. Swindoll, Author.
EXTERNAL LOCUS of CONTROL
This refers to the feeling and belief that one’s fate and situation, including health and happiness, are largely controlled by external circumstances over which there is little or no control. Those with a strong external locus of control may feel that they are at the mercy of powerful others, that many actions are pointless, and will be quicker to say, ‘I can’t,’ and ‘I won’t.’ They may remain locked in negative situations, such as those of stress or mental ill health, as they believe there are no choices or courses of action open to them, or that none will make a difference.
INTERNAL LOCUS of CONTROL
To have a strong internal locus of control, on the other hand, is to believe that, although not everything can be controlled, there are always choices to be made, not least in our attitudes and reactions, that affect our health, happiness, life and destiny. When the internal locus of control is stronger, there is a tendency to say and to believe, ‘I can, I will … I’m going to!’
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
In addition to the above, it is easy to see how the locus of control is important in times of success and failure. An external locus of control quickly leads to blaming others, the system, or cursing bad luck, whereas an internal locus of control would put both success and failure largely down to actions and efforts of self.
Those with a strong internal locus of control are thought to enjoy better health, happiness and experience less stress as they are more ready to take action and responsibility in terms of attitudes, frame of mind and how they respond to thoughts, feelings and events.
For most, the locus of control is dictated by long-conditioned habits of thinking going back to childhood. And although it’s easier said than done, when we start to become more aware of our patterns of thinking, we are then in a better position to choose to change them… or not.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
It’s up to you …. isn’t it?
- NOTICE HOW YOU RESPOND to stress. Is the feeling of stress entirely caused by the situation, another person, other people, or is it the internal responses of body and mind to external stimuli?
- BE AWARE of how you talk to yourself. Do you limit your belief in yourself at every step? Are you willing to give yourself encouragement? Tell yourself that you can, that you will … that you’re able and willing to set out and do whatever it is that you decide to do!
- KNOW THAT YOU HAVE CHOICES in every moment. Although we cannot choose to snap out of depression, to suddenly stop being anxious, to not let those intrusive OCD thoughts bother us, to get healthy, to get happy, to lose weight overnight, we can at least decide that we’re going to take action in relation to such things. We can choose to give ourselves the power, and affirm this step-by-step and day-by-day with each action and reaction, believing that they will accumulate and gain momentum to take us to where and what we want to be.
- BE OPEN to your options. Regularly brainstorm potentialities, hopes and dreams, choices, outcomes, and eventually you will incorporate this language of possibility into your thinking, enabling and empowering you to achieve – to live without limits!
STRONGER THAN YESTERDAY