We speak a lot on the idea that we all have a set path within the universe. While we may deviate from this path at times along our journey, we also believe that we will always end up at the same conclusion. However, we do not think that the universe has complete control over our lives, and that we must assume responsibility for our actions. This is particularly true when referencing decisions that have negatively affected ourselves, and/or others. This balance between believing that we are the leader of our own paths, versus believing what occurs within our lives is out of our control, is what we would like to discuss within our post this week. We have included a test at the end so that you can determine your own locus of control.
There are two loci of control – external and internal. If you possess an external locus of control, then you believe that rewards or outcomes are determined by either luck or others with more power than you. If you are not successful, you believe that it is due to forces outside of your control. If you have an internal locus of control, you believe that the rewards in your life are due to your own decisions and efforts. If you do not succeed, you believe it is due to a lack in your own effort. In knowing this, we believe that you need a healthy balance between an internal locus of control, and an external locus, in order to receive the “rewards” or outcomes that you are seeking.
If you lean too far to the side of having an external locus of control, you risk the chance of never accepting responsibility for your actions, and may also exhibit learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is the condition that results when an organism has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even when there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards. Also, a locus of control that is too external could lead you to have difficulty taking credit for when you have done well, leading to a decrease in your confidence and self-esteem. Conversely, if your locus of control is too internal, then your sense of guilt may be at an unhealthily high level, and you will find yourself taking blame for situations even when you are not at fault. Or, as opposed to being proud of yourself for your accomplishments, you may always take all of the credit for positive aspects of your life and not put enough value in the support from others. We believe that with a healthy balance between both loci of control, you have a higher chance of perceiving life events in a more positive and realistic way, resulting in greater self-development and productivity. While some events are out of our control, we encourage you not to respond passively and helplessly, or with resentment and blame towards those around you. Despite not having control over the occurrence taking place, you do have complete control over how your react to the situation. Always maintain a positive mindset, and continue to put forth effort and energy towards a task or goal that you want to accomplish. Maintain a healthy level of self-efficacy, or your judgement of your own competence to complete tasks and complete goals. Your perception of a situation, and of yourself, is ultimately what has a long-term impact on your path, and your successes on your journey.
Albert Bandura is the behavioral psychologist known for creating the Social Learning Theory. This theory poses that individuals can learn from merely observing the behavior of others. Bandura also proposed the concept of reciprocal determinism. The idea behind this thought is that human development reflects the interaction among an active person, their behavior, and the environment. Bandura hypothesized that the relationship between behavior and environment is bi-directional, implying that they influence one another. We wholeheartedly agree with this idea, and believe that this also ties into the law of attraction. We are attracted to certain environments, on a conscious and subconscious level, and those social ecosystems influence our behavior. Similarly, our behaviors and actions also attract certain types of people and situations, which then may lead us to continue to gravitate towards similar groups and scenarios. Reflect on the person that you would like to develop into, represent the behaviors and characteristics that fit that image, and you will find yourself attracting more situations, and the environment and support system that you need, to accomplish your goals.
In order to improve an individual’s internal locus of control, which is believed to help increase motivation, attribution training is often implemented. This training involves encouraging individuals to say positive things about themselves, similar to the idea behind affirmations. We suggest waking up each morning, and telling yourself at least 5 positive things to start your day on a strong and confident note. In believing that you have control over your path, through your behaviors and decisions, you will have greater motivation to work towards desirable outcomes, and to believe that you are capable of doing so. You have the power to create your own reality, so take some time to meditate and self-reflect in order to establish what you would like that reality to be.
In the end, we would like to encourage you all to accept responsibility for your actions, reflect on how they affect others, as well as how they translate into the length and topography of your path. We do believe that the ultimate outcomes will be the same, but how you reach the end result, and how quickly and easily it is achieved, will be affected by your choices and mindset. However, we would also like to remind you to not stress about situations that are out of your control, but rather to be proactive and respond to them in a positive way that will help you to continue on your journey productively and grow as an individual.
Here is a test that will allow you to establish where you locus of control lies. We both scored similar, with a 57 and a 61, which is fairly neutral, but also reflects that we may not always take credit for our accomplishments.
Take the test, and share your scores if you feel comfortable. Do you believe that having a balance between an internal and external locus of control is best, or do you believe leaning closer towards one is more beneficial? Share your thoughts with us!
Thank you all for reading, and have a productive week 🙂
Love and Light,