Locus of Control

In Psychological terms people talk about locus of control, which in a pinch means: who or what is responsible for what has happened or how one feels about what happened.   So often it is hard to recognize our own part in how we are responding to the things happening to us in life.  Most of us tend to live in external locus of control.  From my perspective  external locus of control means that I am swept along by external events.  It tends to sound like: “You made me feel bad,”  “They pissed me off,” etc.  And, the sway of our emotions is moved by external events, something said or done to us, or just something we’re experiencing,  It is a focus on things that we are powerless to control.  External locus is a focus on what you say, you think, you do.  An external focus is if you say something and I don’t like it, you become the problem…

Conversely,  an internal locus of control means, I choose to focus on what I say, think, and do.  You said or did something and my feelings got hurt or I got mad, but my feelings are my own.  This is really hard to do in the real world.  It is especially hard if I don’t like what is happening in a situation.  It is far easier to feel like we are internally motivated when things are positive, example: ‘I made a pie and shared it with friends, everyone raved about how wonderful it was… but, I feel good just with having shared it.’  In actuality I may feel good for sharing it, but I might also feel good because people like what I did, if they had hated it, I might have felt like crap.  External locus.

Part of self esteem, self acceptance, and self love, is learning to shift to a more internal locus of control. We are less likely to have our ships crash against life’s rocks.  We start to believe in our own truth. I made a pie and no one liked it, “yet this doesn’t define me.” I can take the information and learn a new pie recipe, I can decide maybe I prefer to buy pie, I can decide to try the pie on new people and get more of a consensus, or maybe I will make salad in the future.  But, the choice is mine, I am aware, and choosing options for myself.  Internal locus.


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