The term ‘locus of control’ refers to whether you feel your life is controlled by you or by forces outside yourself.
People who believe that what happens to them is a result of chance or environmental factors and is unrelated to their behavior have an external locus of control. If you have an external locus of control, you believe your destiny is mostly controlled by external forces such as luck, God, the gods, or fate.
Whether you lose the weight or make an investment depends on practically everything under the sun – except you. Victime stance isn't a good strategy for success.
People who believe that they have control over events in their lives are said to have an internal locus of control. If you have an internal locus of control, you believe your actions, thoughts, behavior, and attitude generally controls your destiny.
Those with an internal locus of control are apt to be healthier, less stressed and living more balanced lives.
There are several studies that link stress and locus of control.
Most stress in your life comes from your perception of not being in control of a situation. When you perceive that you are in control of a situation the probability is that you will be less likely to perceive the situation as threatening or stress inducing.
People with a more internal locus of control tend to feel happier, freer, and less stressed. They experience less of the damaging chronic stress that can come from feeling powerless, consequently they also enjoy better health and are more satisfied with life in general.
With an internal locus of control, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities.
Take Action To Develop An Internal Locus of Control
1. Recognize that you always have choice to change your circumstances. Even if the only change you can make is in your attitude, it’s still a choice.
2. When you feel stuck, create a list of all possible actions. Don’t evaluate, just brainstorm and write things down.
3. Ask friend to brainstorm with you in order to get more ideas that you may not have initially considered. Don’t discharge these ideas right away, just write them down.
4. Evaluate the list, estimate each one opportunity and decide the best action for you. Leave others as alternative options. You could be surprised about the amount of choices you have in a given situation.
Create a habit to seeing new possibilities in each situation not only when you feel stuck and frustrated.
Realizing and acknowledging that you always have choice (even if the choices aren’t ideal) can help you to change your situation, or accept it more easily and consequently perceive the situation as challenging and stressful.