Very often, we look at the very successful people in life and think they came from very privileged backgrounds. We look at Oprah Winfrey and think she had it made – She was born in poverty, sexually abused as a child and pregnant at 14, her infant son died at childbirth. We look at Sylvester Stallone and think he had it easy – He had half his face paralysed and spoke with a slur as a result of a botched delivery during birth, was homeless for a period of time struggling to survive acting in small roles in films. Steve Jobs was not a billionaire by right of inheritance but a belief and hard work produced the first garage-produced apple computer and the rest was history.
What makes these people so different from us ? Its not that they were extremely gifted in some ways (some of them even had huge obstacles like Stallone’s slur and partial face paralysis made it very difficult for him to be a credible actor). They did not believe there is a set way of doing things but rather believed in themselves and their ability to find a way.
Attitude – Locus of Control
In Psychology there is this term locus of control which guides belief. Individuals that believe his/her behaviour is guided by fate, luck, family background or other external circumstances (Oftentimes limiting) belong to those with a stronger external locus of control. While those who believe that his/her behaviour is guided by their personal decisions and efforts are those with stronger internal locus of control.
If you had skipped a workout due to work. Do you blame your boss for piling on the work or yourself for skipping it? Both are very valid reasons but the framework behind each reason is vastly different. When we blame external factors , we are carving a portion of what we can control to other people of things, it becomes your boss and nature of your work that needs changing and not you as a result you feel powerless and unable to change things (Developing this uncanny ability to come up with excuses all the time for failure).
The power of Choice
If we attribute skipping a workout to something within our control and take responsibility for it, we actually have a choice – and it is by knowing we have a choice that we begin to exercise our own personal power. it’s not work that forces you to give up going to the gym – You chose to skip gym over work. The keyword is “You choose” rather than XXX forces me to do something.
When we skip a workout, there are quite a few things within our control, is the workout time unsuitable ? Is the workout time too long ? Did you plan your work well and achieve efficiency ? Can you foresee times which you have to stay late and overcome this ? All these are controllable to some extent.
Blaming the boss and work are things you can’t change much(unless you change your job and you can’t have full control over where you end up) and its far better to take accountability and be flexible in our approach.
Increasing your control over situations
Another important thing about the locus in control is that the more you exercise your own ownership over your problems the more your control over aspects of your life increases – It expands what you can control. This is important because whenever you accomplish something like losing your first five kilos, it creates a kind of cycle which resonates the “I can do this” – confidence. Small success build into greater successes, and if by accomplishing goals through planning and sheer hard work, you are actually telling yourself that you are capable of more and better, your mind believes in this – and your sphere of control expands.
Go out and get what you are worth
The most successful people are those who can manage their minds and have a good history of small successes, who do not give up due to setbacks and are flexible in their approach. They have a greater sphere of control and influence over themselves because of numerous victories and goals that they accomplished.
They have stretched their limits and mind, and once you stretched the limits of your mind on what’s possible, it can never return to its original constrains (which is a good thing !). They will not blame circumstance and will find a way no matter what. And to quote our favourite boxer again
” If you know what you’re worth, Go out and Get What Your Worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you aren’t where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that.”
You ARE better than that, we deserve far more than what we are capable of right now. Start by building what you can control, start by building up your body and health (entirely within your control), gain enough confidence to create small successes and stretch yourself by accomplishing goals that align with your purpose pushing the envelope further and further each time – and get what you are worth.
- Endeavoring to Live (tgipaleo.com)
- Locus of Control (English Version) (preconflictcontrol.wordpress.com)