Originally posted in our November 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter.
When considering how to get into a state of flow or to use effectuation, perhaps the most important first step is to focus on what we individually have control over. Are you focusing on what others do to you, or are you looking at how your choices and behaviors guide you into the future? These types of questions are central to understanding one’s locus of control.
A term from social learning theory and social psychology, one’s locus of control is essentially how much control you believe you have over your life. Those with an external locus of control tend to believe that, despite their actions, their life is determined by fate, chance, or powerful others. An internal locus of control, however, implies that you take ownership of your life and its outcomes. You focus on what you can control.
For successful entrepreneurs, an internal locus of control is, in many ways, a prerequisite. What is encouraging, however, is that we can work to change our outlook on life. It is important to focus on what we can control to take the first step toward discovering an opportunity. While some of us may not default to this belief, beginning to practice letting go of what we cannot control can help to build the belief within ourselves.
If we are going to tap into the virtuous cycles of effectuation, collaboration, and flow, we need to start by believing in ourselves.