Psychology of change Factor #5: Locus of Control

If you’ve been following my posts about psychology of change, you know that the first four steps you need to take are: Dissatisfaction, Discipline, Attitude, and Environment.

If you’ve come this far, I have to believe you are sincerely ready to make change happen for you. The next step is identifying the locus of control, which is what you believe to be the cause of things that happen. Who is really in charge here? Are you influenced by the Internal or External locus of control?

With an Internal Locus, you believe that you are in charge. You are the one who makes things happen, good or bad, no excuses. As Robert Schuller explained, "If it is to be, it’s up to me." The internal locus is what drives a person to challenge a difficult situation. Like the person who was told he would never walk again after an accident but manages to do so, the internal locus of control drives a person to achieve results in spite of naysayers.

Conversely, the External Locus accepts that most things are out of your control. The stars are misaligned. Fate has dealt you a bad hand. A Higher Power is in charge. By believing in the external locus, you absolve yourself of blame and give yourself up to "what will be". "It’s not what you know but who you know" is an example of the external locus, because those who believe that Connections trump Effort in the game of life are simply making an excuse for not trying harder.

The external locus is a "creature of circumstance" while the internal locus is a "creator of circumstance". In the psychology of change, it’s essential to know where your locus of control lies so that you can understand the true source of your evolution.

Where is your locus?

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