Want to become a Woman of Destiny? Let Doreen Show You How

Think of someone you know personally who you believe is under-living their life. In other words, you know they possess much more potential than they’re actually demonstrating. Write down all the reasons you see as root causes for their under-performance – those core beliefs holding them back.

Now imagine I have that individual standing in front of me, and I inform them that others feel they aren’t living their potential. When pressed for answers, how do you suppose they’d respond? What reasons might they give? Jot them down.

Compare lists. Are they the same? Usually they’re not. Most people don’t spend enough time reflecting on where they are (their current reality), what they have the potential to become (their ideal state), and what’s holding them back. Most focus on surface-level circumstances around them rather than the root causes driving them.

In our last video learning lesson, I described this behavioral factor that impacts your ability to release your God-given potential. It’s known as your Locus of Control. Individuals with an internal locus of control take full accountability and responsibility for their choices, thoughts, emotions, words, and responses, even when they are genuinely wronged by others. They live above their circumstances rather than feeling controlled by them. They don’t allow other people or situations to define, deter, or derail them from their dreams and destiny.

Conversely, people who possess an external locus of control place accountability and responsibility for their happiness and success on the shoulders of others. They keep waiting for the world to promote them. They’re fault-finding when things don’t go their way. They blame others for their emotions, actions, and missed opportunities. They won’t tell you (and they likely aren’t self-aware enough to know for themselves) that they’re afraid of failure or success, they lack confidence or esteem, or they don’t have clarity of direction or purpose.

The good news is locus of control is developable, and I’m living proof! At age nine, I left the fun and familiar safety net of my large, closely-connected, extended family. My parents moved us seven hours south to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the middle of my fourth grade year. It was a traumatic event to leave family. On top of that, my parents divorced nine months later. I was the oldest child and only girl and wound up shouldering much of my parents’ anger, bitterness, and hurt. With my extended family a state away, I felt especially alone and vulnerable. I was helpless, confused, and hurting.  My father’s decisions deeply crushed my identity and self-worth as a young girl in 1970– long before divorce and childhood counseling were commonplace.

A decade later, my youngest brother was killed in a car accident, exactly two months to the day he graduated from college. I was devastated, reeling in powerlessness and grief. Four years later, my girlfriend was murdered in her apartment – still a cold case today. A few years later I was a single professional relocated to Denver, Colorado when my grandmother, one of my best friends, and my father all died unexpectedly. On three different occasions, within months of one another, I was boarding a plane to return east to attend yet another funeral.

It wasn’t until I was introduced professionally to information about goal-setting and how the mind works that I began self-reflecting on the course of my life. I considered myself reasonably successful in that I continued to climb the career ladder. My titles, responsibilities, and salary grew as I worked my way up the nonprofit sector. But my growth was slow, modest, and something that “seemed to happen to me,” at least that’s how I looked at it. Why was I so passive about my future when I had significant accomplishments, merits, and affirmations from others about my abilities?

I realized I viewed life as a random set of events thrown at me. I was reacting to life rather than being proactive about my future. I was allowing life to drag me around and define what I should or should not have. I lived from the perspective of scarcity, loss, and fear, always “waiting for the next shoe to drop.”

As a young girl I established a subconscious belief that life happens outside your control – reality as you know it can change with a phone call and a voice on the other end telling you someone you love is gone. Without realizing it, I had spent 30-some years living passively under an external locus of control. Sure, I had hopes and dreams, but I didn’t let myself want too much. I had developed a worldview that it didn’t make much sense to set goals when life could change in a minute.

Had I not slowed down for serious reflection and come to this revelation about my thinking, I would never have seen the possibilities, choices, and opportunities that were actually before me. Had I not released the emotional pain and fear that dominated my life and revived my thinking to become more positive and constructive, I would have been the type of person to hear devastating news about my “incurable” cancer diagnosis and deliver my fate into the hands of the doctors, vulnerable to their view of my future.

 God’s Women of Destiny are consciously aware of when they’re getting stuck in that external thinking trap. They don’t let situations define or deter their internal vision of hope, healing, or victory. They develop and maintain a tight rein on a conqueror’s mindset that declares, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13), in spite of external circumstances. They won’t give in and they don’t give up. “With God, all things are possible,” (Matthew 19:26); therefore, they always find a way.

Reflection Exercise

1. Grab your Destiny Journal. For each goal area, list how you’ve demonstrated an internal locus of control.

2. List how or when you’ve given up control and why? What was your thinking at the time?

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Doreen Lecheler is a personal development and goal-achievement expert and “incurable” cancer conqueror. She is the best-selling author of THE MIND TO HEAL and THE SPIRIT TO HEAL. She is the founder of DESTINYMakers.org,  an online membership community designed to help people live their potential from Heaven’s perspective.

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