What is your Locus of Control? Huh? My what of what? Don’t worry, we’ll get to what that is and why it’s important soon. But first…
A few weeks ago I wrote a guest post for Dan Erickson’s blog entitled Take the Sixty-Day Blog Challenge.
I asked Dan to do a follow-up post…and explain the Locus of Control. In addition to blogging, Dan also writes songs, poetry and has written two books, A Train Called Forgiveness and At the Crossing of Justice and Mercy. He’s also an on-again/off-again runner like myself.
Take it away Dan!
In his guest post on my site, Matt challenged readers to blog for sixty days.
The premise of Matt’s article was that blogging can change your life in positive ways in sixty days. Do you believe that?
Writing regularly makes you a better writer.
You become more focused and disciplined.
Blogging carries over into your workplace or business in a positive way.
You make new professional and social connections.
You build a platform and gain social media presence.
You become an authority on a subject.
What Matt didn’t tell you is that I was going to be checking up, making sure you’re on track.
So how’s it going?
Maybe some of you took Matt’s challenge seriously and you’ve been faithfully blogging a few times a week. If so, congratulations. Keep it up. You’ll discover the rewards.
But I’m willing to gamble that some of you have not been so productive. If you fall into this camp, my question for you is, “What’s holding you back?” I’m also willing to gamble that what might be holding you back is an External Locus of Control.
Stop making excuses
An External Locus of Control is when you believe that events in your life are caused by uncontrollable factors such as the environment, other people, or a higher power.
Here’s an example: Whenever Johnny fails a test he always has an excuse: He didn’t feel good, the room was too noisy, the test was unfair, but he never admits the truth. Johnny didn’t prepare for the test.
We all use an external locus of control at times. But if you’re regularly making excuses as to why you can’t blog a few times a week, you’re a chronic excuse-maker. Unless you were wiped out in the recent Colorado floods, recently suffered a serious health condition, or you’ve been incarcerated in solitary confinement, you don’t have many valid excuses for not taking, The Sixty-Day Blog Challenge.
The answer is within you
You guessed it. Use an Internal Locus of Control. An Internal Locus of Control is the belief that events in one’s life are caused by controllable factors such as one’s attitude, preparation, and effort.
Example: When Johnny failed the test, he admits that he didn’t study enough. He resolves to make a better effort. He works with his teacher to understand the concepts. He studies for 20 minutes a day. Johnny aces the next test.
Do you see the difference?
Chances are if you’re not taking Matt’s Sixty-Day Blog Challenge it’s because you’re using an External Locus of Control. You’re saying things like:
I don’t have enough time.
I don’t know what to write about.
My writing isn’t good enough.
I hate to break it to you, but you’re an excuse-maker. But you don’t have to be. When we learn to operate from an Internal Locus of Control we throw our excuses out the window. And it’s easier than you think. It’s a simple habit, and you can create a new habit in a matter of days.
So if you’re off to a slow start as a new blogger, I’ve got a solution.
Blog for Eight Days Straight!
You’ve heard it before. It takes eight days to develop a habit. So if you’ve found yourself struggling with blogging a few days a week for sixty days, raise the bar. Blog every day for eight days. That might just be the push you need to get started. So give it a try. But don’t stop after eight days. Keep blogging. You’ll be glad that you did.
How have you found success in switching from an external to internal locus of control?
22 thoughts on “Your Locus of Control”
I would love to hear from anyone who took this challenge and is a new blogger, blogging regularly. I think it’s always interesting to hear the stories of those who have begun that adventure. Anyone have stories to share?
I’m interested too. I know a few people from his blog were pushed to start one.
When I think back to where I was 60 days in…yes, it was life-changing.
Wow, I remember: within sixty days of starting my blog, I started writing my first book on the blog. That was life-changing.
Thanks for reminding me of my on-again/off-again running status, Matt. I’ve been “off” lately and it’s starting to show. It’s time to get back on a program. Maybe you need a post a sixty-day running challenge.
I think you should 🙂
Although my blog feels so much a part of me now, your post got me thinking about how long I’ve been blogging, so I went back and looked at the date of my first post – May 2011.
In reviewing those early posts, It’s very true how blogging regularly makes one a better writer. In fact, I think I may just hide a few of those early blogs – LOL.
I’m with you. I look back at some stuff and cringe…but it’s all a part of the process.
Yup. I deleted a bunch of my real early stuff, because I changed the focus of the blog.
I’ve been at it about the exact same length of time, Bill. And I agree that we continually improve with time.
This blog struck a chord with me.
We know we’re excuse makers, most of us. We struggle along, writing with that joy that often comes at the start of things we know are good for our souls. We write for a year, faithfully. Seth g. Would be proud. And no one reads our writing.
Other than the encouragement we get via blogs or, if we are fortunate, friends, everything in our lives pulls us away from what has become a pointless exercise, or at best a moderately enjoyable hobby. Us excuse makers want to be different, but we read blogs like this one and we have to simply agree. Yep. I’m an excuse maker.
Now what? There’s laundry to be done.
Most of us are Katherine. It’s just a matter of to which degree and whether we still act on our intentions and requirements.
Acceptance is the first step to recovery. 🙂 I really can relate with how you feel about writing. I often feel the same way. Sometimes it seems it’s all in vain. That’s why I tend to write creatively for myself first, and then I add some writing I hope others might find useful.
Thanks, Dan, you’re so encouraging! I think I’ll copy your technique and get my creative writing done to feed only me, then maybe I’ll be able to write something useful for others, too.
If it were easy, everybody would be doing it – onward!
Great post Dan. Very easy to blame outside circumstances instead of taking personal responsibility.
Yes, even the most productive of us can make this mistake from time to time. But when we take responsibility it can help us stop making the same mistakes over and over.
I take full responsibility for my slow-down in posting. I’ve been working on some other projects, but I’m responsible for how I allocate my time. This mindset is what I look for when I’m evaluating potential coaching clients. Those who look externally for the solutions are tough to coach, those who look internally are a breeze!
So true. No guilt for posting less. Just keep doing it!
Sometimes we have to choose priorities, too. I’ve cut back a little on posting over the last year, but I do keep a consistent schedule.
You learn something new everyday. Discipline in anything will bring about results and gratification. Easier said than done… While I write almost everyday, I need to get back to my manuscript that is collecting dust. Thanks for the nudge, guys.
Dust it off Floyd!
This was a cool read, thanks. I think the self-accountability thing is huge, relates to so many things beyond blogging, how we process what we experience, whether we learn, whether we change. The thing about writing regularly is something that’s been on my mind of late too. Was reading an interview with the sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury (so prolific) and he talked about the same thing.
Writing rewires your brain (no science to back that up, just a belief). That can only help someone like me 🙂