Locus of control is allocation of responsibility for events in your life. Do you feel like you are in control of your environment and the outcomes you are getting, or do you feel helpless and frustrated as if you were caught up in the river of life? Do you think that your achievements are the direct result of your efforts or, perhaps, just plain luck?
Your locus of control — internal (I am in control) or external (things just happen to me) — has some serious consequences. It defines your behavior, your reactions, your motivation, and much more. While both extremes are unrealistic, people with internal locus of control tend to be more hard charging and, as a result, more successful than those with external locus of control. The drawback of internal locus of control is that internalizers tend to blame themselves even for things that were obviously beyond their control which may also lead to anxiety and depression. On the other hand, people with external locus of control tend to be unmotivated and irresponsible. They will blame others for everything. Because they feel so helpless they may feel extremely unhappy as well.
It’s time to take a test and see where you stand when it comes to your locus of control. Taking this test may be a real eye-opener, but make sure to be as honest as you possibly can when answering these questions. Please evaluate each statement below using this abbreviation key (you need to evaluate each statement for the results to be reliable):
D+ Disagree Strongly
D- Disagree slightly
A– Agree Slightly
A+ Agree Strongly
|It is my responsibility to make the most of my talents and abilities.|
|I don’t get started with a project unless I believe that success is possible.|
|I don’t plan much in advance because you never know what happens next.|
|Climbing the corporate ladder is more about being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people than doing a good job.|
|Most people breakup because they don’t make any effort to work on their relationship.|
|I rely on my health providers to get well and/or stay healthy.|
|Unless you are willing to get out there and actually meet people, you will always be lonely.|
|Rich and famous celebrities are there because they were lucky.|
|If someone dislikes me, there is nothing I can do about it.|
|Good relationships and love can be lost because of external factors, and there is nothing we can do about it.|
|I often feel trapped and helpless.|
|My friends and family know me better than I know myself.|
|Whether or not I get promoted depends on the mood of my supervisor more than my efforts.|
|Most so-called overnight successes are really the result of years of preparation and work.|
|In order for me to be healthy, I need to change my lifestyle and watch what I eat.|
|If two people are not in love with each other, they usually can’t be happy together no matter how much they try.|
|Generally, my friends and colleagues acknowledge my accomplishments.|
|I know how to convince people to give me what I want.|
|The person I am today is the result of what my school and parents taught me.|
|Although there are things beyond my control, I will still do everything I can to get the results I want.|
|I worked hard for all good things I achieved in my life.|
|Whenever there is a problem or a conflict, I always analyze my own behavior first.|
|The way I feel about myself is defined by those around me.|
|I am highly independent and enjoy taking decisions.|
|My health issues have nothing to do with my lifestyle.|
|Most of the time, great projects fail because of some external events beyond one’s control.|
|Managers and supervisors are responsible for poor results of their subordinates.|
|I often feel that I don’t have any control over my personal relationships.|
|I know how to get people to like me.|
|If my spouse falls out of love with me, there is nothing I can do.|
|It is my responsibility to manage my own life well.|
|I often can’t see the motives behind others’ actions.|
|If someone fails at something, it is probably because they didn’t make enough effort to succeed.|
|Most of my problems were caused by other people.|
|I can improve my well-being by exercising, eating well and managing my emotions.|
|Hard work is the best predictor of success.|
|I feel that I am the one responsible for my own satisfaction and happiness.|
|I could never figure out why some people liked me while some others didn’t.|
|I am a self-reliant person.|
|No matter how much I try, I don’t receive any credit for what I do.|
|There were situations in my life where there was no solution.|
|I wouldn’t be where I am today if not the help and support of other people.|
|Most of my problems are the result of my laziness and/or ignorance.|
|Whenever I face a problem, I tend to go with the flow and see how everything will pan out without my interference.|
Your result will appear here.
High overall score (over 70/100) means that you have an internal locus of control; it means that you tend to hold yourself responsible for the most important events in your life. Even when it’s something seemingly beyond your control, you tend to look for ways you contributed to the situation or think how you could have protected yourself or done better. Whenever you need to explain the outcomes in your live, you look to your own actions or the lack of thereof, your own characteristics and habits. Generally, you believe that it’s up to you to be happy, successful, or whatever your goal may be. The higher the score, the more in control you feel.
Low overall score (below 40/100) means that you have an external locus of control. Whatever good or bad happens in your life, you take little ownership of it. You hold external events and other people responsible for the outcomes in your life — your parents, the government, your spouse, anyone but yourself.
Although those with high overall scores may be unrealistic at times, they are generally happier than people with external locus of control. Because externalizers believe in their own inability to affect the course of their lives, they spend a lot of time feeling depressed, anxious, and frustrated.
High score: you tend to believe that your professional success is the result of your hard work and persistence. Similarly, you believe that your failures in this area are the result of your own laziness, ignorance, inaction and negligence.
Low score: You tend to blame circumstances and other people for your failures. Even when you succeed, you tend to think you were simply lucky this time and that couldn’t repeat it again if you had to.
High score: People who score high in this area tend to blame themselves for negative outcomes in their lives. Even when their loss was caused by something beyond their control, they feel that they could have foreseen it coming or that they could have prepared better.
Low score: People who score low in this area take no ownership of any negative outcomes and place their blame entirely on external sources.
Family and romantic relationships:
A high score in this area indicates that you feel responsible for whatever happens in your family life or your romantic relationships. Should a disagreement arise, you are able to handle the situation and find a compromise.
A low score on this scale means you tend to blame your family or your partners for any negative experiences. During the times of conflict, you feel completely helpless and frustrated.
A high score on this scale means that you have an internal locus of control when it comes to your professional pursuits. In other words, you believe that you are making a difference and that your achievements are the result of your personal efforts.
A low score here means that you believe that success at work is more about being in the right place at the right time and/or being liked by decision makers in your company. This belief makes you much less likely to make any effort and actually achieve something because you are already convinced that your efforts don’t really make any difference.
If you scored high here, you believe that you have a great deal of control over development of your relationships. For example, you might believe that you can get people to like you and trust you. Because of this belief, you are more likely to be proactive in building a network of friends and are less likely to feel lonely.
People who score low here usually have very few friends and may feel isolated.
If you scored high on this scale, you believe that there are many things you can do to improve your health or to prevent health issues from appearing in the first place. This puts you in a more resourceful state where you are more likely to seek for solutions and feel more optimistic.
People who score low here typically rely on their health providers and don’t see any way they could participate in their recovery process.