Your locus of control, is often used to define the degree of which you believe that you, instead of external forces have control over your outcomes in life. It also focuses on what sort of elements in life which you seek to gain control over. It could be control over the internal, of yourself. It could also be that you seek to control the external more, those things that lie outside of yourself.
I think this is an important concept to cover, as it can impact how you perceive the world around you. It can change how you react to life’s ever changing situations, with all of its twists and terms. If you are able to gain a more internal locus of control, it can help with both keeping calm and taking ownership of your life’s path.
What Makes an External Locus of Control?
The first locus I shall describe is that of the External Locus of Control. As in understanding both types, it makes them easier to identify and explore in your own life.
If your locus of control is more external, you are more likely to seek to control the world around you. You are also more likely to be affected by changes in the world around you due to this. Additionally you are more likely to attribute things in your life, and your own reactions to events happening around you at any particular point in time.
An example of what it can look like with an external locus of control would be blaming external forces for things going wrong. Potentially this may be a bad teacher when it comes to performance in a test. It could also be blaming forces around you for your mood at any given time, be it your family, the grey British weather or so forth.
There are quite a few drawbacks associated with having a more external locus of control. For a starter, it is incredibly difficult to control things outside of yourself, at least with any degree of reliability. Life is quite random, and always has twists and turns so it is inevitable that something will arise that you did not foresee. In focusing solely on trying to control how the world around you acts at any given time, it makes life much more nerve wracking and anxiety inducing, as you will always be worried about what may wait around the corner.
What Make an Internal Locus of Control?
Now I have briefly discussed what makes an external locus of control, what about an internal one? In short, it is the opposite of an external locus. Where your focus is instead on controlling yourself, and how you react to situations around you . About focusing on what you can improve personally in order to increase your fortune in the world. To build on yourself and take full ownership of yourself and how you approach life.
An external locus of control comes from the understanding that the only thing you can ever completely control in life is yourself. That no matter how the world around you acts, that you are still able to alter your perceptive in relation to events as well as have some control over your reactions to these events even if doing so can be quite difficult.
This actually helps in relation to being calmer and more at peace in life, as you are less concerned about the chaos around you, as after all you cannot fully control it anyway. Accepting this can be quite freeing, as it means that all you need to truly focus on is your own mind without having to constantly stress about attempting to control an infinite amount of external forces.
Ways to Help Build an Internal Locus of Control.
So, what sort of ways could you go about building a more internal locus of control? What things can you think about in order to potentially change your perspective in this regard?
- Focus on what you can improve.
When something goes wrong in life, it is best to focus on what lessons could be learnt from the event and what aspects you can potentially improve on for next time. While there are occasionally things that go wrong due to factors fully outside of your control, there are still lessons that can often be learned from them. In looking for the lessons that can be taught by life setbacks, it allows you to grow from every setback instead of just being beaten down.
- Take note of what is not fully under your control.
It is important to be mindful of areas in life that are not completely under your control. In doing so allows you to instead focus more on what it is you could do about them and how you could react to the situation. It allows you to focus instead on building yourself constantly instead of waiting for the perfect circumstances to finally move ahead with your plans.
- Be mindful of how you react to situations
In being able to control how you react to the world around you, you first need to be able to realize how you react to it. This allows you to begin to dissect why it is you may have reacted in any given way, and potentially impact and alter your outlook if needs be. Or simply even be able to properly listen to your emotions and gut feelings and react accordingly if required. Being mindful of your mind, allows you to both listen to what your emotions are telling you, without being utterly ruled by them.