Are You In Control?

by | Jul 27, 2020 | Blog Archive

I learn something new most days – or try to – and recently this idea struck me as particularly interesting not only in relation to working with clients, but an “incident” involving a lost school jumper this week!

So there’s this concept in psychology that we have a tendency towards internal or external “locus of control”.

People with an internal locus of control tend to attribute success or failure to their own actions and choices, whereas people with an external locus of control put success or failure down to luck, fate, circumstances.

So I have a child who is just losing everything in 2020, particularly school jumpers 😑

But if you ask him, he hasn’t “lost it” – it’s simply gone, and he has no clue why or how, because he definitely didn’t misplace it. And he’s really unlucky that this just keeps happening to him 🤦‍♀️

Of course I’ve done some “parenting” on this with him, but now I’m even MORE motivated to correct this, (even if it’s more a personality thing), because apparently people with an internal locus of control are observed to achieve more in life, including academically, financially and socially than those who put it all down to external factors.

If we apply this to fitness, people with a sense of control over their lives and choices will tend to: show up and train, even if they have to adjust their schedule, even if they’re busy like everyone is, if they have an injury set back, they’ll adjust their training, they negotiate with family over domestic responsibilities.. they problem solve to get it done. They take responsibility.

On the flipside, there will be:
I’m too busy
Work is crazy
But I have to be home to cook dinner
I can’t because I have a sore XYZ…

Everything seems to happen TO some people.

What if we replaced all of those statements with “I don’t want to”. ? 🤔

They say this is a personality thing and it’s probably true, but I still think you can learn to take control! Like training and nutrition, it takes practice.

I absolutely recognise my own mindset from years ago in some of these statements/excuses. Maybe we can tap into both tendencies, depending on the scenario?

I’m not sure what exactly changed for me but I can 100% hand on heart say I know which life I prefer living.

I’m certainly no expert.


I’d add to all of this that while I don’t think we are 100% in control of everything that happens to us, and things do come up unplanned, we ARE in charge of how we respond to a challenge or change of plans.


What do you think?



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