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Locus of Control Activity


The Locus of Control activity enables us to focus on doing what matters in our lives. It helps us to gain clarity what we have control over and what we can change. It supports us in determining what behavior we can change and in letting go of what we cannot change.

How to do it

  1. Think of a situation or a theme in your life that carries an emotional charge and that you would want to work with.
  2. Take a piece of paper in landscape format and write the situation/theme you are working with on top.
  3. Split it in half with a vertical line. On the left-hand side write: “Under my control;” on the right-hand side write: “Not under my control.”
  4. Allow yourself to feel the sensations and emotions coming up with the situation/theme.
  5. Acknowledge thoughts as they arise. Validate all thoughts as normal processes of your mind.
  6. For all perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs, decide whether the corresponding behavior is under your control or not.
  7. Write the thoughts down in the corresponding column.
  8. Once you have completed the table, allow the sensations and emotions that are arising.
  9. Tear the paper in the middle to split it in half along the middle line. Crumple up the side “Not under my control” and throw it away.
  10. Keep the side “Under my control” and choose small steps to work with towards a rich and meaningful life.

Things to watch out for

  • Make sure you are well rested when you engage in this activity.
  • Pay attention to HALT states: It is good to hold off the activity when you feel: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or T These states get in the way.
  • It is important to acknowledge sensations and feelings as they arise; the activity is not to distract yourself from your inner experience.

Get the Locus of Control Handout

You can do the activity on a plain piece or paper or simply print out this handout.

Download Handout

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