The Locus of Control concept was first introduced in 1954 by Julian B. Rotter.
Locus of Control is a measure of how much control one actually has over the outcomes they are are pursuing in their life – outcomes such as wealth, health, happiness, long-term relationships, careers, dreams and goals.
Locus of Control is accepted by most experts to be a culturally dependent trait, meaning it is dependent upon the country you were raised in.
Locus of control is broken down into two separate belief systems:
- Internal Locus of Control
- External Locos of Control
Internal Locus of Control
Those with an Internal Locus of Control mindset believe their own decision and actions control the outcomes of their lives. For these individuals, a hard work ethic and sound decision-making are rewarded. It’s really a merit-based mindset.
External Locus of Control
Those with an External Locus of Control mindset believe that external factors control the outcomes of their lives. For these individuals there is not much one can do to affect the outcomes they desire. Fate, random chance, luck and other external forces determine all of life’s outcomes. Hard work and sound decisions have little to no effect on life’s outcomes.
Individuals raised in countries with a high Internal Locus of Control, have political and economic systems that promote freedom and individual merit. These countries have more entrepreneurs, are more business-friendly, have tax systems that favor entrepreneurs and businesses and produce more self-made millionaires.
Individuals raised in countries with a low Internal Locus of Control, have political and economic systems that are collectivist in nature – communist or socialist leaning systems. These countries have fewer entrepreneurs, have more stringent regulations on businesses and individuals, higher tax burdens and produce fewer self-made millionaires.
There are many individuals who live in countries where freedom and individual merit are rewarded, who nonetheless believe they have little to no control over the outcomes of their lives. These individuals have been indoctrinated to believe they have a low Internal Locus of Control.
And that’s a big problem.
When you believe you have little to no control over the outcomes in your life, it really doesn’t matter what country you are living in. This limiting belief will hold you back and keep you in poverty, even in countries that reward merit.
Do you believe hard work and good decision-making are rewarded?
Or, do you believe luck, chance and external forces dictate the circumstances of your life?