When you are dealing with a challenge in your life, do you feel that you have control over the outcome, or do you believe that you are a victim of outside forces?
If you believe that you have control over what happens, then you have what psychologists refer to as an internal locus of control. If you believe that you have no control over what happens, and that external circumstances are to blame, then you have what is known as an external locus of control.
People with an internal locus of control:
- Are more likely to take responsibility for their actions.
- Tend to be less influenced by the opinions of other people.
- They do a better job when they are allowed to work at their own pace.
- They usually have a strong sense of self-efficacy.
- They work hard to achieve the things they want.
- They feel confident in the face of challenges.
- They tend to be physically healthier.
- They are happier and more independent.
- They often achieve greater success in the workplace.
People with an external locus of control:
- Blame outside forces for their circumstances.
- They often credit luck or chance for any successes.
- They don’t believe they can change their situation through their own efforts.
- They frequently feel hopeless or powerless in the appearance of difficult situations.
When people feel that they have no control over their situation, they begin to behave in a helpless manner.
The Locus Control Theory says that you feel positive about yourself to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life, and you feel negative about yourself to the degree to which you feel that you are controlled by some external force, or influence.
Most stress, anxiety, tension, and psychosomatic illnesses come about as the result of the person feeling out of control, or not in control, of some important part of his/her life.
If you feel that your life is controlled by debts, or your boss, or ill health, or bad relationships, or the behavior of others, you will suffer stress. Stress will manifest as irritation, anger, and resentment. If you don’t deal with it will progress to insomnia, depression, or illness of various kinds.
You can have either and internal or external locus of control. That is, you can feel that you are in charge of your own life, happy, positive, and confident, or you can feel controlled by others and feeling helpless, trapped, and much like a victim.
Well how can you take control of you life?
Taking control of your life begins with your thoughts.
How you think about the situation determines how you feel, and your feelings determine your behavior. Self-discipline, self-mastery, self-control all begin with you taking control of your thinking.
There are two ways you can get control of any situation:
- You can take action, and do something to change it.
- You can simply walk away and regain control by letting go of a person, or situation.
It is so important for you to know exactly what you want, because the self confidence that comes from feeling in control is why a person with a clear purpose, and a plan, always edge over someone who is vague and unsure.
Dr. Josefina Monasterio is a certified life coach, fitness expert, and nutritional counselor based in Vero Beach, Florida. She holds a PhD in Adult Personal Development from Nova University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Boston University. Dr. Josefina is also a certified Yoga Therapist from the World Yoga Society of Calcutta, India, and host of Healthy Power TV’s “The Dr. Josefina Way.”