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Day 13: In Control or Outer Locus of Control?

by Jan 13, 2021HOAM Insights, Life, Psychology0 comments

Have you ever had the sinking feeling that, instead of being in charge of your life; your life is out of control and there’s nothing you can do about it?

I can remember busy times when other people’s agendas, needs, wants, and opinions seemed to be what was steering my life. And the ride was making me carsick!

Insight from Psychologists

Through the Hero On A Mission (HOAM) process I’ve learned that psychologists describe this phenomena as experiencing an “outer locus of control” rather than an “inner locus of control.”

When that outer locus of control is predominant, I believe I don’t have agency in my life.

In other words, during these seasons I don’t tell myself what to do and how to do it. Instead I surrender that agency to someone or something else.

And I’m not talking about surrendering agency to God here. I’m cool with that [check out the P.S. below]. I’m talking about surrendering my agency to human beings and other human-fueled forces.

When that’s the case I feel…

  • Trapped.
  • Powerless.
  • Alone.
  • Discouraged.

Agency and Suffering

When you or I believe we don’t have agency in our lives we suffer. It makes life just plain hard.

I’ve been there several times in my life. I don’t want to go there again.

Yesterday I mentioned that I can feel that my work is about to really take off. I’m going to have tons of opportunities emerge—all good.

But I’ve lived long enough to know that I can’t do it all. I’ve tried. This is my tendency. I’ve failed. I must not go there again.

My Morning Routine Benefit

My HOAM practices have become an important part of my morning routine.

I’m noticing that this new aspect of my morning routine is giving me a strong “inner locus of control” to manage—with God’s help–what’s coming at me.

It serves as a yellow light at the intersections of my daily life that help me slow down, be alert, and avoid needlessly crashing.

I believe it will help me manage my life in the future. I won’t lose my agency like I have before.

I have hope. This is going to be critically important for me.

But, I also wonder if I’ll have the courage to say “no” to the many good opportunities that will overwhelm me if I’m not careful.

Only time will tell. Do you think I’ll make it?

Do you think you will?

P.S. Let me show my cards. You deserve that!

I’m a person of faith who loves all people. Including those with no faith or weak faith or other faith. But as a person of faith, my point of view is that God wants all people to live and enjoy agency in their lives.

My view is that agency is a gift given by God to all humans. When used well, my life flourishes and I experience a freedom that God always intended for me.

I believe it was intended for you too. But that is a whole other blog. Maybe I’ll write it one day.

Glen Stevens

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