Friday, April 24, 2009

Stress, Perception, and Locus of Control

Perception and locus of control are interrelated skills that determine how one handles stress and how resilient individuals are to crisis, chaos, and stressful events. People that believe they have less stress believe that they are in control of their own lives. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) believe “psychological stress is a particular relationship between the person and the environment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well-being” (as cited by McCauley, 2005). Clawson (2006) asks the question, how much do we live life inside-out versus outside-in? Are we living fully influenced by and reacting to our external environment (which creates a victim mindset) or do we feel that we have control or perceive that we have control over our external environment by exhibiting thoughtful responsive actions outward? Darwin (n.d.) states “it’s not the strongest of the species who survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change”. According to Senge (2003) when we live life with an external locus of control, “we are victims of a self-reinforcing crisis of perception – a crisis of our own making”.
McCauley, C. (2005). Stress and the eye of the beholder. Leadership in Action, 25(1), 3.
Senge, P.M. (2003). Creating desired futures in a global economy. Reflections; Vol.5, Iss. 1. EBSCOhost Database.

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