Do You Have An Innie or An Outie? Part 2

Previously on Blog by Bake…

I compared life to a video game and explained how our mindset is a lot like our belly button (read here before you go any further). And then I left you with a cliffhanger and the following question:

Can we change our locus of control?

How we answer that question probably says more about our locus of control than anything else to follow in this post. Remember our LOC is all about how much influence we think we have on what happens next in our lives.

If we have an internal locus of control, we believe we are in charge, thus, we also probably believe we can impact our LOC. On the flip side, if we think life is out of our hands, then we probably don’t have any reason to believe that we can change our LOC.

Expects suggest that locus of control is formed at a very young age and may be influenced by how authoritative or nurturing our parents were. That means that some factors are inborn and there may not be much we can change.

However, as points out, there are certain things we can do make our LOC look more like an innie.

Be Aware of Your Voice

What does our internal monologue sound like? Do we constantly use phrases like, “I can’t” or “I don’t have any say”? Limit the negative self talk.

Be Aware of Your Choice

We may not be able to choose our boss’ attitude, but we can chose how it impacts our day. When we change from “I don’t have a say” to “I may not be able to x, but I can y” we start to realize that we always have a choice. This cracks the door open and allows us to see that do have some influence on what is going on around us. Knowing that we have at least some say helps us feel more in control.

Be Aware of Your Joyce

For the sake of keeping the rhyming headlines going, let’s pretend our best friend is named Joyce. And let’s say Joyce has an internal locus of control. We can use that to our advantage. When we feel like we have no control, we feel trapped. Our inner voice becomes negative and we are blind to our choices. Enter Joyce! We can have our friends help us brainstorm ideas and point out ways that we can, in fact, have a say in what is happening around us. The people who know us best can be great resources for helping us cultivate our innie.

As I said yesterday, we may feel like we are on a perpetual teeter totter, shifting from internal to external locus of control. During those down times, it is important to remember that even when things feel set, we do have some control. We just have to pay attention to our voice, our choice and our Joyce (or Royce or whatever your friend’s name is).

Do You Have An Innie or An Outie?

Take a second and answer true or false to the following questions:

  1. Success is more about effort than it is about luck.
  2. Life is just one big roll of the dice.
  3. If I work hard, I can accomplish my goals.
  4. Because so many things happen outside of my control, I rarely make goals.


Before we go any further, make sure to pay attention to the ones you marked as true. Why does it matter, you ask? Well my friend, there is some evidence that how we answer those questions may determine how much money we make and how long we live.

But we’ll get to that in a minute.

The four questions above all have to do with the extent to which we feel we have control over what happens in our lives. Do we wake up in the morning feeling that we influence the rest of the day, or do we get out of bed and accept that life is all about the outside forces pulling our strings?

If you answered true to questions #1 & #3, you likely have what psychologists refer to as an internal locus of control. That means you believe you have control over what happens next.

If you answered true to #2 and #4, you likely have an external locus of control, which means you feel that you have little say in what is going on and your life is mainly controlled by external variables.

(If you answered true to all four, you probably weren’t paying attention.)

Picture it like this…if life is a video game, are you holding the controller, or is someone else?

Depending on our mood, we may feel like we’re on a locus of control teeter totter. On our best days, we take responsibility for our actions and tackle the video game feeling armed with cheat codes. On our worst day, the controller out of batteries and we complain about that darn Energizer bunny ruining our day.

We all have our highs and our lows, but, like bully buttons, we generally fall into one of two camps…innie or an outie. And this has a huge impact on our healthy, finances and relationships.

Research has shown that people with an internal locus of control are more likely to:

  • Perform better at work and school
  • Be happier in their jobs and lives in general
  • Have better quality relationships
  • Suffer less stress, anxiety and depression
  • Cope better with problems
  • Be healthier
  • Earn more
  • Live longer


I don’t know about you, but I want to live longer, make more money, have less stress and better relationships. So, the obvious question comes to mind: can I change my locus of control?

We’ll answer that next time on Blog by Bake…