WHERE IS YOUR LOCUS OF CONTROL?
A person’s locus of control is basically the beliefs you have about your successes, failures, and circumstances in life. It is the degree you believe that you have control or not, over the outcome of events in your life. Your locus of control is either external: (my life is controlled by external circumstances, forces, and fate beyond my control) or internal: (my life is controlled by my actions and my responses to my circumstances).
After reading this, you may find that you are a bit of a mix. You may have an internal locus of control in certain areas of life such as your work or relationships, but when it comes to different areas such as your finances, health and fitness, you may have a more external locus of control. Think about the different areas of your life and see where you resonate when reading these two descriptions:
EXTERNAL LOCUS OF CONTROL:
You feel you have little control over your life, your circumstances, and what happens to you.
You tend to blame others, God, and outside forces for the negative outcomes in your life.
You don’t believe that your efforts have the capacity to change your situations.
You have a sense of learned helplessness.
You believe that success only happens because of chance, luck, or fate.
In your view, people rarely get what they deserve.
You think it is not worth having goals or making plans because there are too many things outside of your control.
When situations are difficult, you feel hopeless and powerless.
You struggle with anxiety, depression, and have higher levels of stress because you feel you are not in control of your life.
You believe that individuals have little influence over the events of the world.
You say things like, “It’s too hard to succeed,” “It’s just not in the cards for me.”
You believe external circumstances will control your future and you really don’t have a choice.
INTERNAL LOCUS OF CONTROL:
You are more apt to take responsibility for all of your actions.
You work hard to achieve the things that you want because you believe that your efforts matter.
Your success in life has little to do with luck, it’s more contingent upon your efforts, abilities and dedication that you put into whatever is in front of you.
Your motto is, if you work hard and commit, you can achieve most anything.
You believe that every action has a consequence.
You have a high level of health because you believe it is in your control and you take intentional actions to keep it there.
You are happier and more independent than most people.
You have a strong sense of self-efficacy or belief that you can do something.
You are very successful at whatever task is in your hands.
You have a higher need to achieve than most people.
To you, there is no such thing as fate or destiny, it is all about what you create and the actions you choose to take.
You believe that for the most part, in the long run, people get what they deserve in life.
You are less influenced by the opinions of other people and carve your own path.
You will say things like, “I know it’s up to me,” “I have to learn how to become more successful,” and “I am responsible for everything that happens in my life.”
You believe that you are the “Captain of your fate” and the “Author of your destiny.”
APPLYING IT TO YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS
Your view of control, whether it be internal or external, has a direct affect on your fitness life. See if you check any of these boxes:
My whole family is obese; therefore, I will be obese.
It doesn’t matter what I do or eat, I will always gain weight.
I don’t have the genetics to put on any muscle.
It’s too late to start exercising. I’m too old.
I wasn’t born with skinny genes.
I’m not lucky like other people to have great health. There’s nothing I can do.
My job is making me unhealthy.
My weight and fitness are within my control.
I can start right now being successful with my eating habits.
If I continue to put the work into my fitness program, I will see results. My hard work will lead to positive outcomes.
I may have more barriers to overcome than other people, and I can still be in a better place with my health and fitness so I will do what it takes.
There are other people out there who have struggled and conquered their weight problem, I can too!
While I may have more obstacles to overcome than other people, I choose to take action and will continue to improve my health.
Although I have a sedentary job, I can make other choices to do small amounts of fitness throughout the day.
TRANSFORMING YOUR LOCUS OF CONTROL:
1. BE AWARE OF YOUR THOUGHTS AND CHOICES
Awareness is the first step to change. What are your dominant thoughts in the areas where you are stuck in life? What choices are you making in your attitudes and beliefs?
2. BRAINSTORM OPTIONS
If you are feeling trapped, tap into your creativity. What are some positive actions that you could take? If you were a healthy, fit person – what would you be eating and doing on a daily basis? Brainstorm any and all options with no judgement. You may discover avenues you never thought of.
3. WHAT ULTIMATELY SERVES YOU?
While it is much easier to put a blame stamp on a person or circumstance, it will not change your life for the better. If you believe your outcomes are out of your hands, you are less likely to make any changes. However, if you believe that you control your outcome, you are more likely to take action and ultimately change your life. You want to decide on the best course of action.
Our locus of control can be a self fulfilling prophesy. When you believe that your actions will not have much of an impact on your future, then you will not put in much effort. However, when you believe that your actions make a difference, then you work to create the outcomes you desire.