The intent of this blog is to provide a greater understanding of what Locus of Control is and how it may affect your life. The proper definition of Locus of Control is our perception of where the seat of power over our lives is located. In easier terms, it basically means it’s the degree in which individuals believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control. Take a minute to think of times when you felt that you had control over a situation, when in fact, it became evident that you had little to no control. The diagram below identifies that there are situations when you have control to make things happen versus other times things happen to you. Here’s a quick example…I have control to book a flight to a destination (making things happen), versus the flight times have been changed by the airline (things happen to me).
Becoming aware and recognizing your internal locus of control versus your external locus of control can prevent psychological distress and negative emotions. In my example above about the travel plans, accepting the fact that my flight was changed by an external factor will minimize my unpleasant emotions. In this situation, although accepting the external locus of control, I can implement my internal locus of control and contact the airline to find out if there is a better alternative offered for my flight. I can choose to get upset about what happened to me, versus accepting it and understand what is under my control. Internal locus of control has generally related to healthy well-being while external locus of control may lead to stress and poor mental and physical health.