Why do some people seem to be able take all the hits that life can throw at them and come back grinning and swinging? You know, the kind of people who can reframe ‘problems’ as ‘challenges’– and truly believe it.And yet there are also people who take a hit and just can’t seem to recover. It often gets worse, sucking them into a downward spiral. They feel the stresses of life much more keenly and are much more affected by it.These people tend to share one common characteristic: a lack of self-efficacy and an external locus of control.
Self-efficacy is a form of self-confidence; it refers to the degree that you believe that you are capable of achieving your goals.
Locus of control refers to whether you believe that internal or external factors are most responsible for determining the outcomes in your life.
If you have an internal locus of control, you believe that it is factors inside you that will determine the course of your life. Conversely, those with an external locus of control believe that external factors are the primary driver of their life. An internal locus of control is tied with a higher level of self-efficacy and vice versa. From reading the definitions above, I’m sure you can put together a mental picture of a person that lacks self-efficacy with an external locus of control.
Does that person seem like the type that is primed and ready to tackle the myriad challenges of life? The answer is self-evident.
Since most stresses are external, if you believe that external forces are most responsible for the direction of your life, then each stressful event can seem like your life is just spiraling downward. And if you don’t believe in your own capability to reverse its direction, that’s a double whammy of stress.
If this describes you, it is possible for you to change. Unfortunately, you can’t just snap your fingers and develop high levels of self-efficacy where there was none before. It will take a lot of hard work and self-reflection.But know this: getting there is absolutely worth it, and when your mindset is right, the rest of your life will soon follow.
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