Did you know that by believing you can do something you automatically increase the likelihood of achieving it?
It's true! And it's more than just feeling confident in your abilities. It has to do with your locus of control.
Locus of control is a psychological framework that describes the degree to which an individual believes he or she has control over situations and events in his or her life. People with an internal locus of control believe that generally their own actions and effort dictate the success and failure they experience in their lives, while a person with an external locus of control believes that generally, factors beyond their control are responsible for their success or failure.
It is possible to be a person that sometimes has an internal locus of control mindset and sometimes external, but for the most part we each fall into one category or the other.
What does this have to do with health? Good question!
Individuals with an internal locus of control mindset tend to think about health as something they have the power to change. They have the power to quit smoking, eat better, and start exercising. These are the people that make goals for themselves and whether or not they achieve those goals, they take responsibility for the outcome.
Those with an external locus of control have a harder time making lasting change to their health. This is not to say that a person with an external locus of control inherently is unhealthy, but if they try and fail to improve their health they are likely to blame an external factor.
Take a minute to think about your own locus of control mindset, specifically when it comes to health.
Which of the following resonates more to you:
1. I failed to lose weight because I was not diligent about eating well and staying active.
2. I failed to lose weight because it was a stressful week and my coworkers went out to eat every night.
If you picked #1, you likely have an internal locus of control. You can own up to the fact that your own decisions led to an undesirable outcome. If you picked #2, you likely have an external locus of control. You are quick to look for environmental factors that impacted the outcome.
Adopting an internal locus of control can be challenging, but it can also be a positive thing! The sooner you commit to the belief that you are in control of your life, the sooner you can actually change it! And as I mentioned at the beginning, by believing you are in control, you have a greater probability of success.
So the next time you have a specific health goal, commit to the belief that you are in control of achieving it and visualize yourself taking the actions that will lead to your success.