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Could cultivating an internal locus of control be the key to unlocking your success?
Self-esteem is how we see our identity, self-belief is how we value our abilities. An overall feeling of confidence can transcend many of the challenges we’re faced with in our lives and career. Sometimes we do well, other times less well, but we can continue to believe that we will succeed in most things and in the long run. Positive self-belief creates a good impression on others and is a good predictor of success. It shows an ability to deal with setbacks and to accept both positive and negative consequences.
How can you increase this desirable quality? It’s important to recognise your talents and keep your abilities at the forefront of your awareness. Evidence increases confidence, so it’s worthwhile reflecting on your wins and resourcefulness in troubled times. You probably have a record in the form of; feedback, awards, grades, successfully completed tasks or projects, memories of navigating and learning from difficult times, how you’ve helped and supported others, innovative ideas and recommendations.
Self-belief can also be linked to a feeling that we control our lives rather than being at the mercy of others or fate. This is known as our Locus of Control. This is basically what we attribute events in our lives to.
The Locus of Control concept was developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1954 and has since become an aspect of personality studies.
Internal Locus of Control – attributes success to his or her own efforts and abilities. A belief that people get what they deserve, goals are reached by planning and hard work, practice predicts rewards and personal qualities determine career and personal success.
External Locus of Control – attributes his or her success to luck or fate. A belief that luck is important, you can’t stop people doing illogical or harmful things, opportunities occur by chance and that people with money and power determine how things work out for us.
An internal locus of control makes us feel that we have the power to influence events and are in control of our lives, giving us confidence in our ability to meet challenges.
An external locus of control is partly a reflection that some events are indeed out of our control, but an inflated belief in fate can demotivate us from setting worthwhile personal and career goals.
Setting and achieving a sequence of goals can help confidence by giving us direction and purpose.
Goals can be achievements, like getting a job or more personal goals, like have a fulfilling relationship. It could also be a desire to embody a different energy or cultivate a better mindset. To feel confident about reaching our goals we need to trust our inner resources.
Take a moment to reflect on the personal qualities you have that you trust and value.