“NO DRAMA LLAMA.”
What is one way to keep the drama out of your life? Apply internal locus control.
What is Locus Control?
There are two parts to locus control: internal and external.
When you apply internal locus control, you know you are in control of your outcomes because of the choices you make and how you handle your situations. When you apply external locus control, you tend to blame outside forces for ways things turn out in your life.
What does this look like?
Internal-“It is up to me if I want to succeed at things.” “I can improve my relationships by setting boundaries.” “The only person I can change is me.”
External– “Why does everyone make things so hard for me all the time?” “How come they always do me wrong, no matter how good of a friend I am?!” “If people didn’t make my life so difficult, I wouldn’t have to be so stressed all the time!”
The differentiation? One is accountable and the other blames and does not take responsibility for how their own actions caused distress.
People with internal control are always looking for ways to improve, learn and are solution focused. People with external control blame other factors for personal failures or hardships.
Benefits of internal locus control?
To name a few…
Less likely to be a victim of your circumstance
Higher self esteem and confidence
Healthier and fulfilling relationships
Impulse control and emotional regulation
Less stress, depression, anxiety and anger
So how do I gain locus control?
Have awareness and reduce negative self talk. If you are constantly thinking, “why me?” “she did…” “if only” and other similar thoughts, then you will need to first start with shifting your thoughts to positive, accountable, and leading more with I thoughts.
Recognize, in most cases, you do have a choice. You have a choice over the way you think, feel and behave. If you decide to think horribly about your situation, then you’ll probably feel anger. If you decide to grow from your situation, then you’ll probably feel empowered.
Realize you DO NOT have control over other people’s thoughts, emotions and actions. It is not your responsibility to make sure they are happy. You are not capable of changing how they feel and behave. The only person you have control over is yourself. So give yourself a break. If someone isn’t the biggest fan of you due to an unknown reason, breathe. You aren’t in control of that person. The person you are in control of is yourself and the way you handle your situations.
So next time the drama llama comes running your way, throw some internal locus control at it and say “no drama for me llama, I am in control!”
Live mindfully, hopeful and persevere.
Until next time!
Claudia Stanley, LMSW