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Internal Locus of Control vs. External

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    Along my life I have met many people who viewed the world or the environment around them completely different than I do. Some believed that luck, chance and the environment had the majority of control over the happenings in their life and others believed that the whole world is in their hands and their futures are what they make of it. These 2 types of people are said to be either internal or external.

    Externals being the ones who believe they have very little control over their destinies and Internals being the people who believe that their efforts make a difference. After completing the “What Controls Your Life” questionnaire I received a score of 4, which makes me an internal. Having an internal locus of control has its advantages. Research shows that these people seem to be successful in more aspects of their lives than externals.

    Internals have a more optimistic view of the world and are more prone to set their goals higher because they truly believe they can do it. For example, an internal might choose to apply to an Ivy League school even though their grades aren’t quite up to par because they believe they can work hard and improve their grades. While an external with the same grades might choose to apply to an easier school to get into because they believe that nothing can be done about their grades so there’s no point.

    Internals are always seeking ways to improve their lives. If they are unhappy with the way something is going in their lives then they are more likely to search for solutions to resolve their problems. Externals don’t really make the move to change things in their lives, they accept it as destiny and unchangeable. This in turn leads to higher stress levels in their lives because they don’t know how to deal with difficult situations so they don’t even attempt to work it out. Additionally, internals are also better listeners.

    I can definitely agree with this one because I always take interest in what others have to say and am able to understand without judging. Although some things in life really cannot be helped, I believe the greater part is without a doubt under my control. My social, academic, and family lives could probably use a few changes to make them better. One thing you can do to manage your control better in certain problems is to step outside of the situation, write down a list of solutions you can come up with, pick one and stick to it.

    One more thing you can make sure to do every day is remind yourself that there is no point in stressing over something that has already happened, so the next thing to do is to find a solution. Another change anyone can make is to try new things and change it up a little. For example, I like stability and routine but in order to take more control of my life and the future it creates I have to take some risks and step out of my usual boundaries. All in all, I’m proud to be an internal and will certainly try to implement some of these changes in my life.

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