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Locus of control and being avoidant

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Heatingunderground Thu 02-Nov-17 20:28:01

I have been reading a cognitive behavioural book based around the idea that people with anxiety, especially phobias and social anxiety need to develop a stronger internal locus of control (the degree to which they feel they have control over what happens in their lives - outcomes are the result of hard work, personal decisions and attributes etc) rather than an external locus of control (things happen to you, it’s fate, you can’t control or change anything, results are independent of your decisions or hard work or attitude.)

Apparently there is research that shows that people with backgrounds where they had lower socio-economic status tend to be more external, and those with higher social economic status tend to have a more internal locus of control.

I am trying to use it to overcome my anxiety and fears but I am also seeing my “external” beliefs in many other areas of my life. For eg i have rarely completed a qualification, or finished a job or a relationship on good terms. I played truant from school, I was and always have been an avoidant person, preferring to just disappear rather than face situations or people.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t work hard (I do) but I will just very quickly feel that something is ruined or pointless and that everyone hates me anyway, or I will perceive myself as helpless or to have “gone past a point of no return,” even at a very early stage. I am a classic one for paying the money for a full course of treatment for something, missing one session then never going back again out of embarrassment at what somebody now thinks of me (despite the financial loss.)

Anyway first of all I’d like to know if there are any other people like this on here and how you deal with it....

and secondly I’d like you to help me jolt myself out of this mindset in a current situation I’m having:

I got on to a course that after 35 years of life I knew I really wanted to do. It is a highly competitive year-long course. It has only been going 5 weeks and i have already missed two weeks of it recently, one time due to illness and the second time due to work/commitments. I am now feeling like I cannot go back. I just feel too embarrassed to have missed too much, too at sea and potentially behind on what we are learning (even though I have the handouts.) I feel that everyone will already have made friends and i’ll have no one to talk to. I feel that they already think that I am not committed and do not deserve the qualification. I feel the teacher does not like me because of my absence. I feel that I’ll never be able to catch up. I feel that what they have learnt in the sessions I have missed is irreplaceable.

I know all these thoughts are very “external” but I can’t seem to unthink them.

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