Developing an Internal Locus of Control

Here’s a very interesting concept called Locus of control which can have a very big impact on one’s success in life.

Locus of control gives an idea about the extent to which an individual feels that he/she is in control of their lives and things that are happening to them.

In the context of Locus of Control (LOC) There are three types of people in this world:

  1. Luck LOC people
  2. External LOC People
  3. Internal LOC people

Let’s have a look at each type and the consequence of being that type:

1. Luck LOC:

People who have a ‘Luck LOC’ believe that everything that happens to them is a matter of luck. They are firm believers of Fate, Destiny, Luck, God, etc and believe that that is what controls everything and they have absolutely no control on their life and what happens to them.

2. External LOC: 

People who have an ‘External LOC’ believe that everything that happens to them because of others. It could be their parents, teachers, colleagues, friends, boss, customers or practically anyone but not themselves. They too like the earlier case, believe that they have very little or almost no control on what is happening to them.

3. Internal LOC:

People who have an ‘Internal LOC’ in contrast to the above two types have a firm belief that they themselves have a high degree of control on whatever is happening in their life, and if anything Good or Bad is happening it is due to their action or inaction.

Let’s now understand the outcome of the above three types of LOC.

Luck LOC people when confronted with failure or success, simply attribute it to their fate, destiny or god. Success too is attributed to Luck and same is with failure. They never take ownership of their actions, and happily declare that things just happened because it was destined to happen that way. They also do not take any action to correct the situation apart from hoping that their luck would be better next time. Some people  will probably pray to god more or increase their offerings to god for him to bless them with better luck next time.

External LOC people end up attributing their success or even failure to other people. If they succeed, then it’s because of others (that’s ok in a sense since it at least looks nice and humble) but when they face failure, they blame others for it. They blame their parents, teachers, boss, company, country, policies, environment, other events etc. etc. the list is endless. They are experts in playing the Blame Game. Everyone else is responsible for the problem except they themselves. These people too, don’t take any corrective action.  They just hope that others will do the needful and others will behave better and be more supportive next time.

Internal LOC people in contrast, are the ones who take ownership for whatever has happened in life. Whether it is success or failure. In both cases, they take ownership. When faced with failure, they never blame others or their luck but instead think about what incorrect action THEY took and how THEY can do it better next time. They identify specific actions that need to be taken and implement those.

In my view, to be successful in life, we must have a dominant Internal Locus of Control. I am not saying that we must take 100% blame. That would be unreasonable, since circumstances, other people  and luck do play a certain role at times. but that can be limited to 10% -20% or at the most 30% . However, majorly we must take ownership for our actions and our decisions and their outcome, and then identify what WE need to do differently next time to lead us to success.

Wish you a wonderful day ahead !!

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One Reply to “Developing an Internal Locus of Control”

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