locus of control
Self Improvement

Life is Difficult or Advantageous: Locus of Control

We all have a different perception of life. One might feel that ‘life is difficult’ while the other might feel ‘life is advantageous’. This contrast in thoughts results in unique personalities. Similarly, we all have a different locus of control which has an impact on our personality.

You may wonder about what ‘locus of control’ exactly means?

Locus of control is a term used in psychology that refers to your belief over the own level of control on your life. In simple words how much you believe that you can control the events by your actions. A book named ‘Phycology and Life’ by psychologist Philip Zimbardo explains Locus of control as a belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do or events outside our control.’

You might have come across various people. Have you ever asked someone about what is life for them?

Some may say that ‘Life is what you make it’ while some may conclude that ‘Life is what happens with you’. These are totally different perceptions of life. These can be considered as two examples of two types of locus of control. There are two types of locus of control, one is internal and the other is external. People can have these two extremes of Locus of control while most of them lie in between these two extremes.

locus of control

Internal locus of control means having confidence that your actions and activities can change a few events in your life. This refers to your self-determination and belief. Tending rewards internal locus of control brings many benefits. These benefits reflect in your life.

For example, you had a poor performance in a presentation. But you believe that if you put efforts you can do much better. Here you take responsibility for your bad performance. This feeling of faith in your actions shows the internal locus of control. Some common characteristics in the people with this type of thought process are listed below.

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Believe in self-efficiency

The people who tend towards an internal locus of control are self believers. They have faith in their plans and actions. Sometimes they may fail, but they emerge out by taking the responsibility of the failure. They put effort into their actions. This adds to their quality which helps them to achieve what they want.


Internal locus of control results in less influence of other’s opinions on you. This is because a person with this type of personality prioritizes self-opinion and gut feeling. This drives them to focus on the activity they want to do. The percentage of changing their own plans because of other’s criticism is less in these people.

Achieve more

‘Self-determination is the key to success’, we all hear this from teachers, family, or mentors. There is no doubt that it actually works. The people with an internal locus of control have a tendency of self-determination. Thus they practically achieve more if they work accordingly. Their trust in their actions boosts them to work hard to hit the goal. They try not to waste time blaming others.

Independent by personality

Most of the people having an internal locus of control have an independent thought process and actions. This results in an independent personality. These people are more confident in taking challenges. They have their own opinion about their actions. This helps them to emerge as a confident person.

Physical fitness

Mental health is related to physical health is not a secret. When we have a sad or anxious mood, our body reflects it. Similarly, when we are happy, we feel a glow of happiness. A person with an internal locus of control tends to be happier. This is because of their independent thoughts and personality. When they fail, they work to achieve something more productive. They have satisfaction with the efforts they made. This satisfaction results in happiness and physical fitness.

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locus of control

In an external locus of control, a person gives importance to the external factors that have an impact on life. These may include luck, chances, other’s actions, and criticism. They believe that life is what happens to you, considering the circumstances and various external factors. They do not believe that they have control over their life.

For example, you take a cab to reach to your office and you get late. If you are a person tending towards an external locus of control, you will blame the cab driver for it. One may blame the traffic, the distance between home and office, or the day. This tendency of considering the impact of external factors in life shows an external locus of control. Some common traits can be seen in these people. These are as follows.

Talk about luck

‘I got it by luck.’

‘You are lucky thus you excelled.’

‘My luck was not good today.’

You might have heard people saying this or you yourself could be a believer of luck. Rarely talking about luck is normal but if you give all the credits to your luck then you could be a person with an external locus of control. If these people come across a failure or success, they think that it is all about luck and fate. Nothing has been controlled by them.

Blame game

These people are quite good at blaming things. This tendency results in not taking the responsibilities of the results. This is not bad every time but when it comes to group works, running away from responsibilities can destroy things. In extreme conditions blaming external factors can ruin relations. When you blame something or someone, you lose faith in it. This may result in a bad impression.

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Lack of self-confidence

When we prioritize various external factors, we move away from the quality of self-determination. The people with an external locus of control easily get influenced by other’s opinions. This is not bad every time but always giving importance to other’s suggestions results in poor self-confidence.

Difficulty in difficulties

When there comes a difficult situation related to finance, status, or anything else, external locus of control can make you feel that the things are hard to deal with. You seek help from people. You don’t believe that there is something that you can do for betterment. You tend to accept what other people tell you. This helps many times but sometimes may pull you in trouble.

Go with the flow

You must have heard people saying that life is not about planning, just go with the flow. This tendency is more common in people with an external locus of control. They don’t believe in planning and fixing things. They think that plans can not sustain because any external factor can destroy it. They like to accept what is coming to them and do not try to change it.


There is nothing like good or bad locus of control. It totally depends on one’s personality and choices. Every type has its own perks and drawbacks. If a person works on overcoming the drawbacks then it becomes easier to deal with various situations.

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