Dying Daily #339: Locus of Control

Our Locus of Control

Our locus of control determines how much power we perceive ourselves as having. An external locus of control leads us to blames others and external circumstances for the things that happen to us. An internal locus of control brings us to believe we have power and influence over what is going on in our life.

I am a fan of an internal locus of control except where it is irrational. There are things that are well beyond our control. Not accepting this can lead to self-hatred or self-criticism on the one hand, or something akin to a God complex on the other. Neither is useful.

Changing the Locus of Control

Shifting to an internal locus of control was the second thing that allowed me to change my life. I remember looking at Tyler one day and thinking about how this poor kid got screwed in the dad lottery, when a new idea suddenly came to me.

What if I did something different?

Exploring this tiny little question led to other questions.

What if I made deliberate choices instead of going with whatever came my way?

What if I had a plan?

What if I chose how I treated people based on who I wanted to be instead of in response to how I perceive them as treating me?

What I created a path instead of choosing the one that looked easiest?

It was magical at first, and a whole new world opened up to me. There were a few hard lessons about the ego along the way, but these were valuable in and of themselves. It was an entirely new way of looking at the world.

Locus of Control and Our Response

At the core of all of it was the Truth that we always have control over our response to the things that are beyond our control. There is an unexplainable power and peace in this.

Do you do things, or do they happen to you?

Where are expressing helplessness when you have the power do something differently?

Are you truly locked into choices and situations, or would leaving them just be inconvenient?

Where is your locus of control?