Whether or not you’re in control of your ‘locus of control’ can mean a lot when it comes to achieving your career goals and achieving life satisfaction in general.
What is ‘locus of control’? It is a personality theory originally developed by Rotter (1954) which states that a person’s place or locus, mental notion, or perception of control is either ‘located’ outside their control or inside their control. The terms external locus of control and internal locus of control were coined to denote these meanings.
Do you feel as though you are in control of your life and your career goals? In other words, do you feel that you can influence the results and outcomes of your life? Are you able to manifest those things in your career and lifestyle that are important to you?
If a person with an external locus of control fails to receive a promotion at work and they blame it on their insensitive boss or too stiff of competition, then they are unlikely to perceive themselves as having a sense of agency and personal power to act on and to control their environment. As a result, their efforts are minimal and their actions to steer their career strategically and proactively are limited.
Likewise, if this same person has an internal locus of control they are unlikely to make such excuses for themselves, and instead they will take 100% responsibility for their situation by strategically problem-solving ways in which they can increase their chances for a promotion in the future, either at their current company or elsewhere.
Do you think you have an internal or external locus of control when it comes to your own life and your career goals?
Just remember, for every single circumstance that you cannot control, there are at least 100 or even an infinite number of other circumstances that you can control.
While there will be events that occur in our lives that set us back in our careers or lives in general, we can still make choices to control our attitudes, choices, actions and so forth. So, instead of focusing on the things that stand in between you and your career goals, decide today that you will focus on your own personal sense of agency, and that you will take action in areas that you can easily move forward with.
Here are three ways to take control of your ‘locus of control’ and to adopt an internal locus of control.
1. Have a vision, purpose and meaning to your life. This means setting goals and intentions for what you want in your life, and creating your own motivation to ensure that you can follow through with your dreams regardless of what barriers you run into. Try my goal setting and motivation program by clicking here.
2. While you might not be able to control a particular situation or circumstance in its entirety, what small pieces might you be able to influence? Dr. Nick Hall in his program called Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life, suggests that taking some little small action is better than none at all, even if your efforts result in no concrete or visible change.
Pull out a sheet and paper, and brainstorm 10 different ways that you can exert some form of influence or control over your environment or situation, today. What haven’t you tried yet? What might work even if you believe it won’t work? What paths are open for you to run forward in? In what areas are you not being held back from achieving your career goals? Can you take a small step there?
3. Talk to someone who can encourage you and help you adopt a new perspective. Whether it’s a friend, family member, counsellor, coach or consultant, you might need someone who can challenge your belief or way of viewing your situation.
Sometimes by adjusting the lenses through which we perceive our lack of control we can find new meanings and new ways of acting on our career path, which in turn can help us build some momentum. Read more about how to overcome your limiting beliefs here.
Contains a collection of amazing resources and websites that will inspire women. One of my favourites is their listing of TEDtalks.
My Inspiration Lounge – http://www.myinspirationlounge.com/home-mainmenu-1.html
Jam packed with amazing content and organized by various subject matter including entrepreneurial, parenting, wellness and more!
Inspiration Peak – http://www.inspirationpeak.com/links/pages/Best_All-Around/
Very unique content and perspectives that will motivate and inspire you.
The Four Hour Workweek – http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/
Don’t just read his blog, purchase his books. Enough said – he thinks outside the box and will help you to experiment with your own life success!
The Daily Motivator – http://greatday.com/nmot/previous.html
Great short articles each day that will motivate you to adopt new perspectives. Lots of other great resources as well.
Motivation to Move – http://www.motivationtomove.com/
Includes awesome podcasts and ideas about keeping yourself healthy, fit and on the move!
Tina Turner – Proud Mary
Tina Turner – Simply The Best
Cher – Believe
Cher – Strong Enough
Wilson Phillips – Hold On
Roxette – The Look
Roxette – Dressed For Success
What a Feeling – Irene Cara – motivational songs
True Colours – Cyndi Lauper – motivational songs
Celine Dion – The Power of Dreams – motivational songs
Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston – When You Believe – motivational songs
You Gotta Want It – motivational songs
Britney Spears – “Stronger” – motivational songs
Yolanda Adams – I Believe I Can Fly – motivational songs
Yolanda Adams – Never Give Up – motivational songs
Break My Stride – Matthew Wilder
Do you have a long list of dreams and goals that you hope to achieve one day?
Most ambitious women do, however I can bet you that a lot of women haven’t taken the time to prioritize their dreams and goals in such a way that they can truly become focused and productive. This is not an easy task and it requires a lot of reflection.
Here are 4 Reasons to Prioritize your Dreams and Goals
1. Limited Time: Everyone has a limited amount of time during the day. We can’t create or add more time into our day but we can prioritize the ways in which we spend our time.
The reality is that many women are working eight hours at their day job while trying to pursue some of their career goals and personal projects on the side.
This isn’t an easy task when you consider all the demands we have on our schedules such as our children and their activities, exercising, working over-time, relaxing, spending time with friends and family, and so on.
With limited time, don’t you want to be certain that you are focused on the right goals, – the ones that will bring you the most pleasure, happiness and success?
2. Big goals = big efforts! For women who have really big goals and dreams they can’t waste time diddling and dawdling around. They need to be focused.
Working toward the attainment of big goals usually requires specific expertise which often times means hiring consultants and/or a team of people to help you realize your dreams.
In some cases a lot of research, reading and specific education is required. If your efforts are scattered on achieving several completely unrelated big goals all at once, then chances are you aren’t taking enough action steps to move quickly enough toward any of those goals. As a result you will probably lose motivation, momentum and confidence.
3. Great Achievements Require Knowing Your Strengths: Another reason to prioritize your goals and dreams is so that you can ensure you are choosing goals that are aligned with your strengths.
If something is your strength then it means you are passionate about something and skilled at it. You need passion and skill to be successful at achieving a goal.
When a woman knows what her strengths are, she is going to be much more confident and enthusiastic about pursuing her dreams because she knows that the odds of success are that much more in her favour to achieve something extraordinary.
4. Do you Love it Enough to Risk a Lot? Achieving a big life dream is going to require that you be open to seizing opportunities as they present themselves to you.
This requires that you be open to taking big risks and experimenting with actions that can often be scary for women as they enter the terra incognita with their dreams.
You’ll be presented with many opportunities which bring with them a financial cost, an investment of time, energy, resources and support of other people around you.
When you are crystal clear on the fact that this dream is worth it to you, then you’ll be much more likely to take the necessary risks that are needed such as: investing your own money into an opportunity, hiring a consultant, coach, researcher, employee or whatever it is that you need to invest your money, time and energy into.
In addition, if your big goals are career related, and if you are wanting to turn your dreams and goals into something entrepreneurial or infopreneurial, you will be faced with the tasks of opening a company, creating a website, developing a logo, printing business cards, finding a niche and so much more – all things that require time, energy and come with a cost sooner or later (if you want to be competitive).
All of these tasks will only get completed if you are the passionate driving force behind them!
So, this is yet another reason to prioritize and choose your goals carefully, so that you can accomplish big things for yourself and the rest of the world. For these reasons, you want to get clear on what sorts of goals and dreams you should be putting a lot of time and energy into.
So, hopefully you are convinced on the reasons why you should prioritize your goals and life dreams. If you’re super serious about setting goals that are aligned with your strengths, you’ll want to purchase my most recent book How Smart Women Achieve Big Goals, which is full of powerful questions that will help you develop clarity on what goals you should be focusing on.
Alternatively, if you want a quick-fix, you can begin prioritizing your goals by jumping to step 2 in my free online goal setting program!
What is the biggest distraction in your life?
Contrary to what you might think, it is not your iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail or MSN account. What then is the biggest distraction for women?
The biggest distraction for women is that they lack a clear sense of focus in their lives. Not having a goal or big enough dream to inspire them to take action and become fully immersed in their lives leads them to being distracted with less important things.
You see, – distractions will always exist in our lives because it’s a normal part of life, and therefore we can only minimize our distractions at best. The difference between someone who is not productive versus someone who is productive, is that the latter person is productive despite their distractions because they have a crystal clear idea of their life vision, dreams and the tasks that they need to focus on in order to make those dreams become a reality.
Once you are focused on what truly matters to you, and once you have a sense of urgency about what you want to achieve, then distractions won’t be such a problem for you.
How can you identify your passion and find out what you should be focusing on? Click here to try my goal setting program or if you think you know what your goals are, then try prioritizing your goals to gain further clarity. Best of luck!