Making decisions and staying on track
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"To identify internal or external LOC the easiest way is to ask yourself  'how do you know when you have done something really well?' "

Have you ever wondered where people get their motivation from? Or how they can stay so motivated? And why some people never seem to need anyone to help them with their decisions?
 
Which camp are you in? The one who just makes a decision and gets on with it or the one that needs to check with others before you hit the streets?
People draw their motivation from different sources: their external world or from within themselves. This is called Locus of Control. Once you understand this it really helps to know why you do or don’t feel motivated to make decisions.
 
Those with an Internal Locus of Control get their motivation from inside themselves and reference themselves to see have well they are performing.  What happens to them they feel is as a direct result of their actions.  They will create a set of criteria and judge how well they are doing against them.
 
Those with an External Locus of Control are motivated by feedback from the outside world. What happens to them is a result of what other people or events do to them. They are influenced by others and may experience inertia or overwhelm until someone is available to guide them in the right direction.
 
To identify Internal or External LOC the easiest way is to ask yourself "how do you know when you have done something really well?"  Someone with an Internal LOC may look at you slightly confused and say "I just know" or tell you about the criteria they selected and judged themselves against. Internals also say "I think" a lot and point to themselves when answering a question. By contrast, someone with an External LOC will answer with reference to other people's view or opinion.
 
Take a deep breath and ask yourself which you are. There are no right or wrong answers. 
I was working with someone new recently and we were presenting together. To me she seemed the most motivated and confident person I had ever met and then she asked me "how am I doing?" She confessed that she often needs to know that things are going well. That makes her an External. Whilst I on the other hand am very Internal and wouldn’t think to ask. What I learnt was that maybe I should ask so that I get feedback.
 
When you are trying to move forward and feeling stuck it could just be that you have always checked in with others and now you have to make all of the decisions yourself and it feels a little scary.
 
Steps to staying on track:
1. Ask again do you need to check in with others before you do something?
2. Find yourself a trusted accountability buddy.
3. Ask them for support.
4. If you are an Internal tell them that you usually make decisions based on what you think and that every once in a while you would like to tell them what you have done and ask for feedback.
5. If you are External tell them that you usually rely on others for validating your decisions and that when you ask for this they are to say "what do you think you should do?"
 
By trying to understand your usual modus operandi and trying to motivate yourself in another way you will have a greater chance of changing the way you think and moving things on. Have a go. I promise you if you are like me and hate to ask you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can learn.
 
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