I pose this question twisting the term “locus of control” developed by Julian B. Rotter, an American psychologist, in 1954. Locus of control is a concept looking at the degree to which a person thinks they have control over dealing with things happening in their lives versus outside influences dictating the outcome.
People who focus too much on outside influences, may blame others, fate or bad luck for their situation. They tend to say things like "I have no choice" or "They make me feel guilty if I don't do this." Such thoughts have likely developed over long periods of time and tend to be great contributors to feelings of anxiety and depression.
I am not saying one should totally focus on the self, in all situations. Certainly, there are events and circumstances brought on from the environment, that can throw us a wrench sort-to-speak; and some are bigger wrenches than others. Many people even have to deal with a whole toolbox full of wrenches that have been thrown into their lives. Some are traumatic, some are painful, some are horrific, or all of the above. And sometimes it really sucks, is not fair, etc. etc. etc. Yes, absolutely do we need to pay attention to these outside circumstances, events or influences and deal with them appropriately.
And that’s the key right there. We Choose how to react; how to deal with what has been given to us. Maybe we are not able to choose all of the outcome, in things that are beyond our control. But we can focus on the things we can control. This can help us feel better; less anxious or depressed.
Sometimes it’s hard to look at our own ways in which we can keep ourselves stuck and sometimes we don’t see choices. It can help to talk things through with a counselor.
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I am a Nationally Certified- and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Idaho. With over eight years of experience, I specialize in counseling and consulting with adults of all ages, facing anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, grief & loss, life stage issues, stress and more.