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Do you ever find yourself thinking or worrying about things in your life, like: “I should exercise more” or “Ugh, why are all my workmates so hopeless when I work so hard and achieve so much?” or maybe “Why won’t Gorman put that black tote on sale so I can afford it?”
Of course you do!
Now think about which of the following categories your thoughts about life fall into:
1. Within my control and influence (internal locus of control)
2. Outside my control or influence (external locus of control)
Category 1 people
If you tallied up your thoughts and found that most of them fall into category 1 then you are possibly somebody who has a strong internal locus of control.
Why are we suddenly talking about insects, you ask? No sorry, locus not locusts. This means that you probably feel like you control loads of stuff that happens to you.
This can be a good and a bad thing, for example if you do well on a test you’ll toast yourself with a glass of bubbly and congratulate yourself on your terrific abilities.
Look out if you don’t do so well on that test though because you will give yourself merry hell about about it. You have a need for achievement and can feel you’ve let yourself down if all doesn’t go your way.
Category 2 people
If your answers tallied up nicely in category 2 you will be much more likely to have an external locus of control. In other words that test was ridiculous!
The questions were dumb – it was the stupid teacher’s fault you failed! Sounds better right?
It isn’t though, because if you have an external locus of control you are at greater risk of clinical depression. This is because you believe that you have little control over things around you. You might be quicker to blame those you perceive to have all the power, like your boss, politicians and police, instead of believing you have any power to influence change.