Who Controls Your Life?

I listened to a fascinating program last night about Julian Rotter who is an eminent Clinical Psychologist. He wrote and studied a great deal about what he termed ‘The Locus of Control’ and posited that it was either Internal or External.

An Internal Locus of Control means you are taking responsibility for the fact that you have an influence over everything in your life, and External Locus of Control means that things happen to you which you can’t control.

In NLP we call this the ‘Cause and Effect’ equation.


The problem with being at the Effect side is that you are not in control of things, you become a victim to life. Now I realise that shit happens! Of course I do… bad things have happened to me too – here’s an example:

My Business Was Insolvent 3 Years Ago.

‘Effect’ thinking says:

  1. When I bought the business I was conned and paid too much
  2. When the person I bought off left they told me nothing about how to run a business
  3. There is a recession on
  4. I can’t find the staff nowadays
‘Cause’ thinking says:
  1. When I bought the business I didn’t do enough research, so next time I am going to ensure that I research all investments thoroughly
  2. When I bought the business I didn’t ask the right questions, so next time I will ensure that I am curious and I’ll seek the advice of professionals
  3. People are not prepared to spend money, so what can I do to change my ‘offering’ and my marketing to be relevant for the times
  4. The right people for my business are out there, so how can I communicate better so that I find them
(FYI – this business is now back doing exceptionally well!)
Being at ‘Cause’ does not mean that you blame yourself for things, it means you accept that you have had an effect, no matter how tiny, on everything that happens. This is a VERY empowering thing to think and believe.
So next time something ‘bad’ happens, manage your state and ask yourself:
  • “In what way did I influence this?”
  • “What am I learning NOW about how I might do things BETTER and differently in the future?”
Listen to the program on BBC iPlayer, it’ll open your eyes to the power of controlling your mind and why we all need to think differently. The only thing the program doesn’t talk about is how to change… and that’s where NLP comes in! Happy Listening,,,,






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