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Locus of Control

Statement A: If you set a reasonable goal, you can achieve it with hard work and commitment. Statement B: There's no point in planning ahead or setting goals because too much can happen that you can't control.

Which of these two statements do you most identify with?

Statement A: reflects what’s known as an internal locus of control’ which means that you likely view your future and outcomes in your life as being something that you can shape and have control over.

Statement B: reflects an ‘external locus of control’ which is the belief that what happens to you is a matter of fate or luck and that there is little you can do to change any of it.

These mindsets are on a spectrum and we probably shift around the middle leaning one way or the other depending on the context we’re in (work/home life).

At the moment we’re all in a situation where there have been limits placed on what we would usually be able to do. With that in mind I think it is natural to end up feeling less in control in general and mentally hanging out more towards the external locus end of the spectrum but there are some things you can do to help yourself have a greater sense of control and autonomy.

  • Notice your self-talk

  • When you feel stuck take a moment to remind yourself there are always choices and have a think about what those might be (or ask a friend for an outside perspective!)

  • Set small goals focusing on things that you CAN do and build a sense of ownership from there

  • Remember that consistent effort still counts even when you don’t see desired outcomes materialise straight away

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