Written by: Vince Morales, Senior Level Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Locus of control is a personality trait that refers to the extent to which individuals believe they have power over their lives. People with an internal locus of control hold themselves accountable for successes and failures by believing in a direct correlation between actions taken or decisions made versus outcomes received. Conversely, those with an external locus of control feel that factors beyond personal influence, such as luck, fate, or others, dictate life events instead.
Internal and external locus of control have distinct differences. Here are some key points to consider
Internal locus of control is a mindset that influences how people approach life. Those with this outlook believe in the power of their actions and decisions to shape their destiny; they take responsibility for successes and failures while remaining optimistic even when faced with challenging situations. This perspective also fosters resilience as individuals are more likely to persist through adversity rather than give up hope too quickly. Ultimately, having an internal locus of control can lead to greater confidence since one feels empowered by one's choices instead of relying on external factors beyond our control.
"People with an internal locus of control hold themselves accountable for successes and failures by believing in direct correlation between actions taken or decisions made versus outcomes received." – Vince Morales
External locus of control is the belief that factors beyond an individual's control determine their life outcomes. This mindset often makes people blame others for failures while giving up easily when faced with challenges. As a result, they tend towards pessimism and anxiety.
To illustrate the differences between internal and external locus of control, consider these examples
Internal locus of control refers to the belief that one's actions determine their outcomes. Examples include students who attribute failure on an exam to lackluster studying habits or individuals who consider themselves lucky because they take calculated risks. Another example is people who believe controlling weight requires a combination of diet and exercise regimens. All these instances demonstrate how internal locus of control influences behavior patterns differently.
External locus of control refers to the belief that external factors determine one's success or failure. It can manifest in various ways, such as attributing a poor performance on an examination solely due to prejudice against them by their teacher, believing they are unlucky all around, or considering genetics responsible for being overweight instead of taking personal responsibility through lifestyle changes and dieting regimens.
These perspectives indicate low self-efficacy levels, which may hinder growth opportunities if not addressed promptly with appropriate interventions like therapy sessions or coaching programs explicitly designed towards improving mindset shifts towards an internal locus of control where individuals take ownership over their lives rather than relying heavily upon outside forces beyond their control.
Acknowledging that locus of control exists on a continuum, with most individuals falling somewhere between its extremes, is crucial. There is no right or wrong way regarding having an internal versus external locus of control, but the impact can be significant nonetheless! Those with more internality tend towards tremendous success and happiness compared to those holding onto externality as their primary outlook.
Vince Morales, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Vince Morales is a mindset, self-image, and resilience coach. In addition, he is skilled in leadership consultation and development. From April 2016 to June 2017, Vince was a homeless veteran in San Diego, CA. While homeless, he made a powerful decision to change his thinking and mindset, launching into life coaching. He developed a niche for resilience and mindset coaching. The growth of his business ultimately led to the end of his homelessness. Vince is the Founder of Validus Coaching & Consulting, formerly Zoe Transformation. His story has been featured in online articles and online news outlets all over the U.S. He is a certified John Maxwell Team Coach, Trainer, & Speaker, as well as a motivational speaker. In 2021, Vince earned his Master's degree in Psychology of Leadership from Penn State University and is currently a doctoral student pursuing a Ph.D. in Performance Psychology. He is a 2020 inductee into The National Society of Leadership and Success.