By Melanie Prince, CMSA President 

In the face of adversity, barriers or challenges, personal agency can posture one to overcome any of these.  Personal agency is reflected in one’s Locus of Control. Is your Locus of Control internal or external? J. Lake (2020) describes locus of control as “the degree to which people believe they are in control significantly influences their attitudes toward difficult circumstances, affects resilience, and determines choices of coping strategies.”  Lake (2020) uses this figure to depict the concept.

Source:  Person centered Care

People who have survived tragedies, overcome medical crises, or transformed permanent injuries into extraordinary physical functioning have personal agency that represents an internal locus of control. They face challenges head-on and seek ways to become their best selves. Though observation I have also witnessed an element of Grit in people who have overcome what may have seemed to be overwhelming challenges.

Angela Duckworth’s research at University of Pennsylvania shows leaders identify grit as the primary predictor of success (Gordon, J. 2017, p. 169).  While I have studied Duckworth’s research from the perspective of leadership, I believe that her edicts can apply to life in general. Duckworth talks about passion and perseverance, about moving forwarding in the face of adversity and having a sense of purpose.  These qualities in combination with having a strong internal locus of control sets one up for the best possible success in overcoming challenges, barrier and adversity.

Is your Locus of Control internal or external?