Have you ever thought about how much control you feel you have over your own life? Or do you feel as if nothing is beyond your control? Everything is about the locus of control. It is a psychological term that means how much people feel in control of the events that strongly influence their life. You can know more about it in this blog.
WHAT’S IN IT
- Definition of Locus of Control
- Types of Locus of Control
- How to know your locus of control
- Internal VS External
Definition of Locus of Control
Have you ever thought about how much control you feel you have over your own life? Or do you feel as if nothing is beyond your control?
Your perception of seeing life and the degree of influence from various things that you have over on your own life is called your “Locus of control.”
It is a psychological term that means how much people feel in control of the events and situations that strongly influence their life.
Types of Locus of Control
Depending on people’s belief and thought, there are two types of Locus of Control – Internal & External. Let’s understand them better-
Internal Locus of Control
You have internal locus of control when you believe you are the controller of your own life and your own environment. You believe that your successes are as a result of your hard work, sacrifice and the right decisions that you makes. And you takes personal responsibility for your failures.
When people have an internal locus of control, they expect to determine their own future through their own actions.
People who have this often believe that they are in control of their actions and behavior and believe that their destiny is theirs.
If they believe this, however, people often do not expect to behave according to their inner self or to determine their own destiny.
One of the things you need to know about people with an internal locus is that they can only see their feelings as coming from within. They believe that they have control over their environment and can therefore be influenced by it.
External Locus of Control
You have an external locus of control when you believe that the outside world influences and shapes your life.
You have a strong opinion that your successes and failures are due to forces like “luck”, “fate”, “chance” or/and the actions of other people in more powerful positions. And you believe that you cannot do about it to improve or rectify it.
When you have an external control point, you usually consider your life experiences to be controlled and behave and act as if you have it. Such people believe that their actions cannot change anything, and they believe that anything beyond their control cannot be changed.
They are more likely to experience anxiety, depression or other negative emotions such as anger, fear of failure or failure if they believe they are not in control of events in their lives.
If you have an external control area, you attribute promotion and success to yourself and think that all good and bad things, success and failure, happen because of external factors.
There is no reason for people with an external source of control to make excuses why something has not gone wrong.
They are more likely to experience stress and anxiety as what they consider to be their control, is actually not because they simply go with the flow and react to pretty much everything that happens.
How to Know Your Center of Control
Only a few people among us have a complete internal or external locus of control, but for most of us, it lies somewhere between the two.
Some people will have a completely internal or external locus and many will have balanced views, which may vary depending on the situation.
If your control area is external, it would be easy, even natural, to make external sources responsible for your control. If it is internal, one would find a way to blame oneself for perceived mistakes, but if it is external, one blames oneself.
But there’s a way through which you can check your locus of control. Below given are some questions whose answers will help us to identify yours. Answer the following questions to know yourself-
- Do you feel full control of your life?
- Are you motivated and goal-focused?
- Are you a good leader or at least try to be so?
If the answers to the above questions are ‘Yes’ then you have a strong internal locus of control. You may still accept most situations that you can’t control over. But you’re able to manage them successfully.
Now let’s try it again-
- Do you struggle to accept your authority or mistakes?
- Does any failure bring on feelings of anxiety, stress and even depression?
- If the answers to the above questions are ‘Yes’ then you have a moderate internal locus of control. Now let’s try it one last time-
- Do you tend to give up when you’re faced with disappointments?
- Do you believe that no one has the power to change things?
If answers to the above questions are ‘Yes’ then you have an external locus of control.
Internal Vs External Locus of Control
|Locus of Control||Internal||External|
|Destiny||You think your destiny is in your hands and behave according to your inner self.||You think that destiny is already decided and you cannot do anything about it.|
|Success||You believe any success is due to a combination of hard work, sacrifice and devotion.||You attribute any success to pure chance or to luck, fate, or other factors beyond your control.|
|Failures||You believe that your failures are because of in-experience or bad decisions you made.||You play the blame game for your failures.|
|Power||You believe that an average citizen can also be powerful and have influence on Government decisions.||You believe that the world is run by few people in power and there’s not much a little guy can do.|
|Friends||People are lonely because they don’t try to talk or be friendly.||There’s no use in trying to please people. If they like you, they like you.|
|Behavior||You believe that your behavior is guided by your personal decisions and efforts.||You believe that your behavior is guided by fate, luck or other external factors.|
|Environment||You believe that you have control over your environment and can therefore be influenced by it.||You believe that you cannot control your environment and therefore get irritated or frustrated by it.|
|Attitude||It seems that the internal locus of control encourages a positive attitude towards life.||The external locus of control seems to promote a negative attitude about one’s ability in life.|
Advantages of Locus of Control
It is clear that a person with a high internal locus of control has many advantages and he/she will be happier and more successful in life.
There are many situations where the internal locus is better and others where the external locus is better.
For example, if a person has high internet locus of control, he attributes a certain situation to the effect he has made personally.
On the other hand, one with external locus attributes the failure to circumstances beyond the control of the individual and the other undesirable or uncontrollable circumstances; the person with an internal locus often attributes the failure of the desired goal to poor personal preparation.
Having a locus of control will help you to-
- Develop a stronger mind by working on your self-esteem.
- Take ownership of the situations you face.
- Strengthen your decision-making and problem-solving skills.
- Setting yourself challenging on your personal goals.
- Put you more strongly in control of your career as well as personal development.
- Encourages a positive attitude towards life.
- Encourages you to never give up.
- Discards your belief on luck or fate, and
After reading all the above information, you may think that the internal locus of control is better than the external one as the internal leads to an optimistic way while the external to a pessimistic one.
There are many situations where the internal locus of control is better and others where the external locus of control is better.
This does not mean that external locus is bad or internal locus is good. In both cases it is clear that operating with a locus of control has many advantages and those cannot be neglected.
Since individualism and self-determination are inherently valuable, it can be assumed that an internal locus is preferred to an external locus of control.
If external factors such as perceived competence, knowledge, and world knowledge are ignored, both appear to be mixed goods.
Also, you can read our blog on The Journey method