What does it mean to take control of your life?
Do you believe you have control over the outcome when faced with a crisis in your life? Or do you believe you’re merely a victim of things beyond your control?
Have you ever felt that you’re being swept along by life, unable to make any positive changes?
A long time ago. I used to feel powerless. I had the impression that making changes was beyond my reach. And I had no control over the events of my life.
For a long time, I felt as if my life was spinning out of control. And this complete lack of control has caused me a lot of anxiety.
Then something incredible happened. I discovered an unbelievably simple startegy to take control of my life, and things began to improve.
It was at that point that I started to take control of my life.
What does it really mean to “take control of your life?”
To take control of your life simply means having control over the events that affect your life.
Think about the countless moments in your life when you felt lost and vulnerable. And it feels like everything is crumbling in front of your eyes. How many times have you told yourself:
“I’ve lost control of my life!”
I can imagine how frustrating it is when you have put in the effort and tried your best. And yet, despite doing everything that you possibly can, nothing seems to be going your way.
I understand that feeling because I have been there. That is why I have to share this unbelievably simple technique with you. So that it can also help you take control of your life.
Before I tell you what this unbelievably simple technique is, indulge me a moment. I want to tell you how this technique came about.
If you are seeking to gain greater control over your life, you don’t want to miss this next part…
In the 1950s, psychologist Julian Rotter was working on his theory of personality. He was curious as to how a person’s past experiences, perceptions, and beliefs influenced their reactions to life’s obstacles.
Rotter wanted to know why some people engage in self-defeating behavior. On the other hand, he is also amazed by how certain people handle hardship with such confidence.
With the information he gained from this finding, he aspired to promote positive change.
In short, he wanted to find out more about personality orientation. Your personality orientation is determined by how you interact with your environment.
In his research, he discovered two types of personality orientations.
One is based on the belief that one can control events by one’s own efforts. The other personality orientation thinks that the future is determined by forces outside of one’s control.
Rotter called this the “locus of control.” It refers to people’s perceptions of how much control they have over their own lives.
If you believe that you’re responsible for the events in your life, you have an internal locus of control. You believe that you are in control of your own destiny.
If a person with an internal locus of control failed a driving test, he would bear full responsibility. Rather than blaming external factors, he would take responsibility for his poor exam performance.
A person with an external locus of control, is more inclined to defend a poor grade. He’d probably say the test was too difficult or that the teacher graded it incorrectly.
People who believe chance, luck, or fate influence their lives have an external locus of control. They believe that forces beyond their control dictate their lives.
In summary, an internal locus of control helps you take control of your life.
Let’s explore how this ground-breaking revelation can be applied to your life.
The locus of control is a belief system. It is the degree to which you believe you have control over the events that shape your life. And you can link the reasons for your success or failure to this belief.
If you have been feeling like you have no control over your life, this truth alone can be very empowering.
This is a concept that will not only shift your mindset. It will put you in the driver’s seat and help you take control of your life.
You may not always have control over what happens in your life.
But you do have power over how you react to it. You have control over how you live. And how would you like to proceed from there?
Rotter believed that everyone could alter their personality. So, this simple technique requires you to shift your mindset. Just change the way you think.
Fortunately, there is a little-known skill that you can use to literally shift the way you think. It is called reframing.
Or change how you respond to a situation. And your behavior will change. It only takes a shift in mindset.
And your life will transform and you will be in control.
Sounds too simple? Too good to be true?
But wait, it gets even better…
If you have been feeling like a victim, giving in to unpleasant circumstances and situations, think about this…
According to Rotter, the locus of control is learned. You are not either one extreme or the other. The majority of people fall somewhere between the two extremes.
This indicates that having an external locus of control throughout your life isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Let’s take a look at the definition of control to see what it implies before moving on.
Control is the ability to influence people, events, and actions that would directly impact results. Having defined what control actually means, you will realize that you cannot control everything in your life.
Consider what you have control over and what you don’t. Can you distinguish between events that occurred as a result of your actions and those that did not? And what about those that are controlled by external forces.
When you can distinguish between what you have control over and what you don’t, you are ready to take control.
One way to remind yourself that there’ll be things or events that are beyond your control is The Serenity Prayer:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
Now, one last thing to do before you shift your mindset to gain greater control over your life. Let’s take a look at how people with internal and external locus of control think and act.
As a hypnotherapist, I get to see the effects of the locus of control in my clients. Those who have an external locus of control appear to be more anxious and depressed.
Clients with a strong internal locus of control appear to be happier and more optimistic. They also appear to be more optimistic and recover from failures more quickly.
There are some differences between those with an internal locus of control and those with an external locus of control.
You’ve looked at both the internal and external aspects of the Locus of Control mindset. If you’ve always operated from an external locus of control, now is the time to make the switch.
And this unbelievably simple technique is all you need to help you take control of your life. You will discover that making this small change in your mindset will enable you to do more in your life.
It is all about perception. You can change the way you perceive things. And it is up to you to see the good or bad. To be positive or negative.
You can alter your perception with just a simple tweak in your mindset. When you change how you perceive things, you can manifest the results you desire in your life in the blink of an eye.
(I may be exaggerating a little, but I believe you get the idea).
Another aspect to look into to take control of your life is awareness. With awareness, you will begin to realize that you have a choice. And with the power to choose comes the power to change your circumstances.
This is the first step toward assuming control.
Next, learn everything you can about the mindset of someone with an internal locus of control. Then, do whatever it takes to acquire the mentality.
With this simple technique under your belt, it is time to put this new-found skill to the test. Choose something in your life that you are unhappy with. It doesn’t have to be anything major.
For example, suppose you want to throw a get-together with your family after a recent squabble. All parties involved must be communicated with, and their expectations and emotions must be managed.
Make a solid plan for how you’re going to take control and deal with it. Start by creating a list of things you know you won’t be able to control. Weather and physical distance are two factors over which you have no control.
Then write a list of the things you have control over. Generate a checklist of as many items as you can. There will be a lot of things over which you will most likely have some control.
Finally, consider the items over which you may or may not have some control. What else could you do to expand your sphere of control?
To take control of your life, you must take the initial step toward creating a stronger internal locus of control.
While you strive to achieve more control over your life, there will undoubtedly be situations beyond your control. How can you adapt your reaction to situations where there is nothing you can do to change the situation?
Remember, it’s up to you to manage your emotions and choose how you feel.
The degree to which you have control over your life is often only as good as your perception of it. When you trust in yourself and your ability to control your life, that control increases.
Be conscious of the fact that you have a choice. You have the power to shift your mindset so that you can achieve the results you desire in your life.
Strengthening your internal locus of control can be beneficial to your overall well-being.
What steps are you going to take to gain more control over your life with this simple technique?