Man, I remember being 5 years old…and having Dial-Up internet in my house.
That familiar “woooshing” sound when trying to connect to the Internet rings in my head like yesterday.
Twenty-ish years later, that time seems like the Paleolithic era.
Smartphones, watches, all sorts of doo-dads that connect to the Internet effortlessly are now par for the course.
As such, the rate of change has rapidly increased bringing with it a sense of a loss of control. More namely, a loss of self-esteem and self efficacy.
The amount of information on the Internet is doubling every 12 months (soon to be 12 hours).
Inflation is rising while wages remain flat (decrease in purchasing power).
Take this however you may… but it’s now easy to see why so many people feel as if they lack control and things happen to them instead of for them.
Now more than ever, it’s time for you to step up as a man and establish your locus of control and build your self-confidence/self-esteem
The benefits of developing a strong locus of control are many….
- Increased feelings of security
- Increased ability to think clearly when making decisions
- Increased peace of mind
The last one by itself? Totally worth the price of admission.
In this article you’ll learn:
- Why it’s more important than ever to develop a stronger internal locus of control and increase your self-esteem
- The hidden factors that prevent you from doing that
- How to start building it today
What is an Internal Locus of Control?
An internal locus of control is very similar to self-reliance…but self-reliance is a puzzle piece while an internal locus of control is the entire puzzle.
An internal locus of control is the lens through which you filter your experience of the world.
Someone who has an internal locus of control believes that they have an effect on their environment, instead of just giving up and giving in.
Internal: I don’t know how to do this. But I can learn.
External: Wah wah wah! I wasn’t given the geneticsssss! I wasn’t born into a rich family, I’m not good looking enough, I’m not smart enough, etc. etc, etc, *Peanuts teacher talk here*
Internal: I wasn’t dealt the best hand in life but I won’t envy others who have a better hand than me. I’ll do the best with what I’ve got.
External: GENETICSSS!! I DON’T HAVE THE GENETICSSSS!
I guess you get the point.
The Global Tidal Wave
As I mentioned earlier...the only constant is change.
All of these economic and informational occurrences don’t happen in a vacuum, they affect lots of people (as you have already experienced yourself).
Before the Information Age came and flipped everything on its head, we lived in a time where we could rely on external forces to help provide for us and our needs.
Pension Plans… Social Security… Job Security… Government… College… Churches…
All these external forces created an environment of relative stability.
These things I mentioned above are either nonexistent or slowly decaying, leaving the individual very few resources at his disposal.
All of these factors are even more pronounced for our generation, the “Millennials” (…god I hate that term) due to the fact that most of us haven’t even had the time to build up a foundation to protect against this.
If we want to do well, succeed, and prosper in this new economy….this new desert landscape, we have to develop a greater internal locus of control.
This sounds all peachy, but there’s a problem:
There’s many factors at play that prevent someone from developing an internal locus of control and self-esteem.
Not only are we getting hit by the global tidal wave…but we also have certain factors at play against us.
We have unique factors that affect us more so than previous generations. Here’s some of them:
- Wider spread of information and opinions leading to “analysis paralysis”
- Lack of a cultural focal point that everyone can rally around and agree upon
- Massive student loan debt upon graduating college
- Erosion of long held institutions (churches, family unit, marriage)
There’s tons of other factors, that are hammering our generation. Because of this, lots of people are looking for a way out in other institutions and people (which again, fail us time after time).
Men are programmed by nature to be providers and builders. There is nothing more emasculating than not being able to provide and protect your family, let alone yourself and have to depend heavily on something or someone else.
Here’s another entertaining thought:
I’ve come to the conclusion that a large amount of modern life is a giant mirage.
It’s a mirage that makes people into thinking that they’re more successful than they are, more liked than they are, and more of a better person than they actually are.
The reality is that most things in society are designed to drain you of your time, your money, and your attention/energy.
I’ve gone on at length about some of these things in another topic, so I won’t do much here.
The key is to realize that you have the most elite weapon in existence: the human brain.
Construction of the Palace and Increasing Your Self-Esteem
There is nothing more masculine than having internally generated good emotions. Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius called this “The Inner Citadel”.
There’s also a reason why many women consider a man to be “a rock”.
Men are stereo-typically believed to have a stronger degree of emotional, physical, and mental toughness. Biologically, this is due to
- No periods
When adequate levels of testosterone are present in a man, his central nervous system is running smoothly.
Testosterone is responsible for aggressiveness, assertiveness, competitiveness, and self-esteem. If you have low levels of it, you will be more prone to anxiety – one of the main reasons why women tend to have more anxiety than men.
Testosterone optimization is a whole different game entirely, but the fact of the matter is that men have more testosterone than women.
Men also don’t have periods. When women ovulate, their emotions tend to be all over the place. This is also due to hormonal changes that affect the neurochemistry of a woman.
As a result, women are much more sensitive to their environment and tend to take on the environment’s characteristics in the form of moods. Women literally feel more.
Note: – I’m heading into some deeper water here way beyond the scope of this article. If you want a deeper understanding of what I’m trying to convey, check out the books Way of the Superior Man, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, and Iron John.
Because of this birthright of ours, every man should have an internal locus of control that isn’t dictated by outside forces.
This internal locus of control can be developed through specific means.
In his landmark bestseller Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill advocates for the creation of a Chief Definitive Purpose.
This is intended to be a guiding principal throughout your life, the sun which everything else in your life revolves around.
The benefits of having a Chief Definitive Purpose are twofold:
- Source of direction
- Sense of meaning
Humans by nature are storytellers. We want our lives to make sense and have meaning.
A direction will provide your life a sense of narrative. You can look at where you were, where you are, and where you will be.
A purpose is something all human beings yearn for. Having a goal to strive for will give your life a sense of meaning and long term fulfillment, something a lot of Millennial men struggle with.
I didn’t have a Chief Aim for a while, that’s why I was sort of aimless. I felt incredibly lost. It was only after reading Think and Grow Rich did I realize how important it is.
Take action: Decide to write out your Chief Aim on a 3×5 index card. What is something that will make a significant degree of impact on your life? What will make you stronger, happier, and a more productive person?
Grit and the Eagle Eye
If you want to do something but you know you can’t do it…yet – then know that you can do it….given a long enough timeline and enough grit.
firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger – Merriam-Webster
If you think you will succeed, you most often will. Many times, it isn’t the person who has intrinsic talent who will win out. It’s the person who engages in deliberate practice and the hard efforts over time.
This is a cool little aside:
A study was done on schoolchildren to see what was the determining factor behind getting good grades. Was it luck? Was it talent? Was it sucking up to the teacher?
Turns out, it was none of those.
Guess what? The kids that believed that they could get good grades if they worked hard and studied over the course of the year…..did. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Your ability to believe in your capacity to consistently improve over a long period of time is the key factor in developing a strong internal locus of control.
Once you start to escalate up the ladder of continuous improvement and keep going despite the setbacks and disappoints you’ll receive, the results in your life will be incredible.
Once you believe in this, no one can take it away from you.
Take action: Find one area you can improve in over the next 3 months. Keep working and progressing in that area until you notice significant improvement. This should be related to your Chief Aim.
This will train your mind to seek results instead of just methods.
This is a pickup term, but it applies extremely well to social encounters and life in general. The main gist is this:
We all have different views on how we see ourselves, how we see ourselves, how we see others in relation to ourselves, and how we see ourselves in relation to that meta concept called “life”.
This overarching perspective is called frame.
Frame also has many other alternatives. Charisma. Confidence. Self-image.
These are all collective names for having a strong internal sense of who you are and what you stand for.
In social interactions, the one who has the most rock solid frame directs the interaction.
When you have solid frame, you believe so strongly in your reality that you get other people to believe it too.
These are people that tend to have incredible rapport with others.
Who are/were people with strong frame?
Leonardo. Bill Clinton. The Rock. Napoleon. Steve Jobs. Henry Ford. Jesus.
Pretty much anyone mass amounts of people look up to as a godlike figure, captain of industry, or tycoon has/had super strong frame.
When you have strong frame, what does that mean?
It means that you will stand up for yourself. It means you won’t be easily swayed by other people’s opinions. It means you won’t fall victim to social pressure.
For quite a while, my frame was shit. It was absolute SHIT. I didn’t know why I was the low man on the totem pole in all of my social interactions. Once I learned about this concept and I started to build it up, it was like night and day.
Take action: Start to map out an internal view of the world based on what YOU see it as.
Not society. Not your friends. Not your mom. YOU. Take the time to think about and determine your worldview. Then take steps to internalize it. Do it over and over again until it becomes second nature.
At the end of the day, creating a strong internal locus of control is all about how you can solve the problems in your life, overcome obstacles when they prevent themselves, and generate an internal feel-good state perpetually.
That’s all it’s really about – feeling good. You feel good that you can determine your reality and that you aren’t at the whim of chance and fate. You feel optimistic. You feel incredibly strong and powerful. It’s something that comes from the inside.
Once you have a strong internal locus of control and solid self-esteem, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that the person you see in your mind’s eye will actually one day become a solid reality.
This is how you really step up as a man and increase your self-esteem. Realize who you are. What you want. How to get it.
Then go get it.