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Locus of control

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

What controls you? Is it circumstances on the outside, taking place around you, or is it what you believe and who you choose to be, on the inside? In psychology, since the 1950's, the term locus of control has been used to describe what people identify as the major focus of influence in their lives. Each person has either an external locus of control or an internal locus of control that determines their thinking and actions. If a person has primarily an external locus of control, they are influenced mainly by those things taking place around them. If circumstances are favorable, they will be and do well. If however, circumstances are less than favorable, they will be and do more poorly, as they believe they are primarily controlled by circumstances. A person who has an internal locus of control will be mainly influenced by what is happening within them. Regardless of circumstances, their focus in on who they choose to be and what they choose to do. They see the choice to always be theirs, regardless of what is happening around them. They may not like difficult situations any better than anyone else, but they do not believe that they are controlled by those situations. They are controlled by what they choose to be. A person with an external locus of control only does as well as their circumstances allow. A person with an internal locus of control does well, because they choose to do well, regardless of the circumstances. They do well even when their circumstances do not. One person will primarily be affected by circumstances, the other will have a greater effect on their circumstances, due to what they choose to be and how they choose to respond. As Bob Beaudine, CEO of Eastman-Beaudine recruiting agency states, "we either choose to react emotionally or to respond strategically". An outer locus of control will often cause a person to react emotionally, based on whether or not they like the circumstances, whereas a person with an inner locus of control will be more prone to respond strategically, based on what they consider to be the best response, in alignment with who they want to be. When choosing how to think and respond to situations, always remember that "we are rapidly becoming who we will be"? The most important question is "who will I be glad that I was"? For further training on developing the best version of yourself and your team, please contact me at

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