Take charge of your life with 4 easy steps

Do you sometimes feel like you’re not in control of your own life? Do most situations leave you feeling lost or helpless? If that’s the case, you need is an internal locus of control.

Locus of control is where you believe the control in your life comes from. When you have an external locus of control, you see people or factors outside of yourself as ‘controlling’ your life. Conversely, having an internal locus of control means that you believe you have some control over the events in your life. You know you can’t influence everything, but you believe you can manage your own actions and thinking processes.


So how can you operate from an internal locus of control? Here are four tips I give students in my Positive Psychology training courses:


Believe you can have an impact

What you believe matters. If you think you can change your circumstances, you will take positive action to do so. Start by asking yourself, “How can I have an impact on this situation?” The more options you believe you have, the stronger your sense of empowerment will be. 


Monitor and manage your internal dialogue

Many people with an external locus of control say things like “I can’t” or “I don’t have a choice.” When you hear the voice in your head saying things like this, challenge it. Say, “Wait a minute, I do have a choice.”


Turn off the automatic ‘Yes’

Do you often find yourself trying to please everyone or saying ‘yes’ to everything without a second thought? It’s time to change that.


In certain situations, if saying ‘no’ outright isn’t an option, use your negotiation skills.


Find new ways to do things

Developing an internal locus of control involves changing your patterns of thinking and behaviour. It helps to view things from a fresh perspective and to try new ideas.


Taking charge of your life can be as simple as changing your mindset. As Charles Swindoll once said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” When you start believing you can achieve the things you want, the road to success suddenly becomes less bumpy.


Find out more about the power of managing your mindset.  

This is an important skill for smart professionals who want to build positive relationships. In my book, Difficult People Made Easy you will gain a range of skills for maintaining your personal power and operating from an internal locus of control. Even when other people behave in challenging ways. The book includes tips and techniques for:

  • Staying calm around difficult people
  • Establishing and communicating your boundaries
  • Sending clear messages about what you will and won’t tolerate – without sounding offensive
  • Planning what action to take when faced with chronic toxic behaviours at work

Visit my website to order your copy of Difficult People Made Easy today


About the author of this article 

Eleanor Shakiba is a positive psychology expert. She trains and coaches people in high-intellect professions – such as academia, education, project management, research and development, and engineering. Her expertise in teaching social and emotional intelligence skills makes Eleanor a highly sought-after facilitator. Find out how Eleanor can help you and your team.