I recently wrote about kudos and the effect of receiving “unwarranted” kudos had on me. You can unpack that post so many different ways, entirely up to you. For me, it was why have we become so needy of external validation? Plenty of wise words have been written about feedback, encouragement, social media’s use of reactions and what that is doing to us as individuals and as a society.
I thought back to my college days and a compulsory Introduction to Psychology course in which we explored a concept called locus of control, basically “the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control.”
If your locus of control is internal or that you believe you control your life. If your locus of control is external, your life is controlled by outside factors which we cannot influence.
The reality probably is that internally, we gravitate between an internal and an external locus of control, giving rise to thousands of quotes in the vein of:
“It’s not what happens to you that matters but how you react to it.”Google Search above – About 9,770,000,000 results (0.72 seconds)
Reading back many of my posts, I realise I am mainly in the internal locus of control school and I love that. While external validation is nice, I don’t need it, nor seek it. I do things because I can and I hold myself accountable to me for this. True, sometimes it can feel pretty lonely, just doing things, not even knowing if anybody noticed. I mean, how many times have I posted something somewhere on social media and get zero reactions? Does that mean that what I posted was not “good enough” or “relevant”? Hardly.
But here are my real questions. What determines whether you have an internal or an external locus of control? Is it nature, nurture or both? Can you change your perception of degree of control? Should you want to change it? And importantly, how do you change it?
So many questions, so much to ponder. I have a long flight ahead of me so let’s get thinking.
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