It's Important That You Believe That What You Do Matters. Here's Why

Aug 06, 2022

It's important that you believe that what you do matters. Here's why

(Photo by cottonbro)

Why believing that they do is essential to change

Every one of us has a unique perspective on life. Some of us believe more than others, that our choices have an effect on the world around us. In 1966, Julian Rotter summed up a series of experiments based on this idea and coined the term "locus of control."[195]

He explained that some people have an internal locus of control. They can recognize that their decisions make a difference to what happens to them. They can see the effect their choices have in the world. 

Someone with an external locus of control, doesn't see the effects of their choices. They are more likely to attribute outcome to fate, destiny, or good and bad luck. They feel less power over their future, that things just happen to them. Of course, locus of control is a sort of spectrum. No one is all one way or the other. 

And there are some very real reasons why a person would feel as though they cannot be an influential force in even small matters in life. If a young person's physical or emotional needs are unmet, they may become accustomed to feeling powerless.[185] The same goes for someone who feels as if they are not heard or that their opinions are not valued. They may develop a more extreme external locus of control.

The power of choice

Oftentimes as a person matures they tend to develop a more internal locus of control. Their life experiences have shown them that certain choices lead to certain outcomes.[184]

"What are the options? What would I choose? And what do I think is the most likely reaction to that choice?"

Learning to recognize where the forks in the road are and when there is a choice, can help develop this feeling of control. This is why recognizing and appreciating the power of the choices is critical to personal development. 

There are things in life that you must choose to do, or it is unlikely that they will happen at all. Beginning an exercise routine. Removing refined sugars from your diet. Positioning yourself for a promotion at work. Setting and defending personal boundaries. The first step to any new habit or choice, is deciding that you will do it

The decision to do something hard right now, that has larger rewards in the future, is a product of an internal locus of control.

What to do when there is no choice

A strong internal locus of control also has another powerful side effect: acceptance. When you examine a situation and realize that you have no control over it, then you have the option to accept it. You may not be able to make choices about the situation, but you can decide how you'll react to it.

If it is raining outside, there is nothing you can do to stop that. You get to decide whether you will stress and get mad about the rain. Or if you will choose to grab an umbrella and get on with your day as best that you can.

People with a strong internal locus of control tend to be more successful and happy. This is because they can recognize when choices are available. They can visualize the expected outcome of those choices, and accept what cannot be changed. They often make decisions quickly and confidently.

Do you think you may be a person who has a stronger external than internal locus of control? Then you are in luck (no pun intended). It's possible to practice and develop your perception of choice and the effects that it can have on your life.

Long story short

Yes, your choices DO matter.  Every day we all experience things outside of our control. Recognize when you have the ability to make a choice, and when you can only choose how you will react. This will help you to feel more in control of your life. 

Now get out there and make some choices!

Continue Your Journey