What's Your Locus of Control?
Are you responsible for your own success? Or does control often feel just out of reach?
Welcome to Mind Tools' video learning series.
How much control do you feel you have over your own life? Are you firmly in the driving seat? Or do you feel as if you're always at the mercy of forces beyond your control?
The way you perceive the degree of influence that you have over your own life is called your "locus of control."
You have an internal locus of control when you believe you're in charge of your own life and your own environment.
Your successes are down to your hard work and the decisions that you make. And you take personal responsibility for your failures.
But when you have an external locus of control, you believe that outside influences shape your life.
Your successes and failures are due to forces like "luck," "fate," "chance," and the actions of other people in more powerful positions. And you feel that there's not much that you can do about it.
Few people have a wholly internal or external locus of control, and most of us will sit somewhere between the two.
Why not take our quiz to identify your own locus of control?
You can pause the video here, then play the rest afterward to find out what your results mean.
If the quiz reveals that you have a strong internal locus of control, you'll feel in full control of your life. You're motivated and goal-focused, and chances are you're a good leader, too. But, you may struggle to accept authority, and any failures you experience could bring on feelings of anxiety, stress and even depression.
If you have a moderate internal locus of control, you'll probably accept most situations that you can't influence. But you're still able to manage them effectively.
The degree of control that you feel you have will likely vary from day to day, and will depend on the situation.
If your results show that you have an external locus of control, you may tend to give up when you're faced with disappointments, because you don't believe that you have the power to change things.
But you do!
Develop a stronger internal locus of control by working on your self-talk. For example, by using positive affirmations.
And take ownership of the situations you face by strengthening your decision-making and problem-solving skills.
Setting yourself challenging, personal goals will also help to put you more firmly in control of your career and personal development.
To learn more about your locus of control, read the article that accompanies this video.