Every one of us has a “perceptual set”, a way of interpreting and finding out causes and reasons for everything that happens in life.
You can make an easy exercise to find out what focus you mostly use. Start with answering the following question in an honest way!
What do I think your health depends on?
- Is it hard work as exercising, eating right, sleeping, thinking right etc? = I
- Does it depend on the availability of quality food available, doctors and personal trainers and money? = E
- Is it casual, depending on good or bad luck? = C
I = stands for Internalizer
You are an Internalizer if you personally take full responsibility for your health, bad or good. Internalizers look at their own actions, inactions, traits and characteristics, and say “it’s up to me”.
E = stands for Externalizer
Whatever happens, an Externaliser takes no ownership of it. They tend to blame others, bad parents, terrible genes, wrong place at wrong time and therefore they totally ignore their possibilities to change. They say; “It’s not me, it’s something or someone else”
C = stands for Chancer
They think that every result or outcome is due to fate, accident or just plain luck. As a Chancer you do not believe that neither you nor anyone else have any input or control over the result of your life. Accidents happen randomly, as well as lucky moments do. Chancers say “it just happens”. It’s their philosophy of life. They have no personal intentions and responsibility and they make no effort to get better.
To what category do you tend to belong?
Ask yourself: who is taking responsibility for what happens in your life? This is not only about your health of course; it touches on every other area of your life. Understanding your control focus influences content and quality of every moment in your life. It affects your work, you as a parent, partner or friend, etc.
When looking into the three different categories it seems that the Internalizer could the best choice. But as usual none of the categories is perfect. There are strengths and weaknesses in all three of them.
For example if you tend to be an extreme Internaliser you can easily blame yourself for everything that happens you might threaten your self esteem. Conversely, if you tend to be an extreme externalizer, you can become a victim for negative thoughts.
It is important to be objective and separate the things you can control from those you can’t. Start from the fact that the only person you can take full responsibility for is you. By doing so you can pay attention to the things you can control, which is most of them.