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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

The Basics of The Law of Control

There are laws that govern our success in business and life. We must observe the power of these laws and use them to help propel us forward and help us get what we want as elite-level performers.

Today I am going to share with you The Law of Control, which basically says:

You will feel good about yourself to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life.

If we were to look at the reverse of this success law, we would feel negative about ourselves to the degree we feel we are not in control of our life or perhaps even that we are being controlled by other people or random outside circumstances. One of the first things any performance coach needs to study in order to help clients is the importance of the feelings of control as far as performance is concerned. The term “locus of control” is the term used to describe this. The place where your control primarily resides in any part of your life.

If you are a person who feels you personally make the decisions that determine the direction of your life, then you have an “internal locus of control.” If you feel your boss, your bills, your experiences growing up, your health, or anything else controls you or holds you back from what you want to do, you have an “external locus of control.”

The location of this control center of your thinking is a critical element in determining your personal direction, execution, and results. People who have an internal locus of control, those who feel they are the ones starring their own direction typically tend to be high and elite level performers. They also tend to possess lower stress. On the other hand, people with an external locus of control, those who feel life is being dictated to them and controlled by others, tend to have higher stress and lower performance. Many years of research and study by cognitive professionals have concluded that this sense of control is absolutely necessary for anyone to reach elite level performance status.

There are a couple of additional items to consider also with this success law:

1. Change will happen no matter what you do

It’s not only inevitable but it’s also unavoidable. Further complicating things is that it’s accelerating. You cannot always predict it and its effects, but you can rest assured that it will affect every aspect of our lives. It’s also a little scary for the majority of people. Many people tend to avoid change of any kind, this is why planning and vision are so important because if you are not setting the course for your life and career, surely someone else will be doing it for you!

2. Controlled change leads to greater execution & results than uncontrolled change

If you have a target you helped set that you are working toward every single day, it will virtually guarantee you will feel better about it and you will accomplish more than if you didn’t. You automatically exert a greater sense of control if you helped put these targets in place.

3. Taking control of your life starts with taking control of your thinking

Your ability to select the thoughts you think, and to determine the direction of those thoughts is the starting point of all targets and dreams you desire. This leads to more happiness and fulfillment. Elite level performers have made it a habit to only think and talk about the things they want and desire. Lesser performers spend much of their time thinking and talking about what they don’t want. Remember what we’ve learned with other success laws, what you think and talk about most of the time is going to show up in your life and career.

What you can do with this law right away:

Examine your life and career carefully and target the parts of your life that cause you the greatest amounts of anxiety, stress or frustration. See if these are areas of your life in which you feel you have little to no control. The starting point of dealing with anything is to identify it and locate it.

Dedicate yourself to make a decision in each of these areas, to be all in or be all out, to do something or to stop whatever you are doing. The act of making a decision should reduce your stress and increase your feeling of power and control.

Above all, remember, you are where you are because of yourself. It’s because of your own decisions and control, it is up to you to make different and better choices and decisions about the direction of your life, career, and performance.

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