A recurring factor for people with a burnout is that the identify with their work.These people identify personally with the success or failure of their work and company. For people in a burnout therefore is identification with failure to be considered. This failure is something which people with burnout attribute to themselves. We call this an internal locus of control. They list factors, which lie within their own abilities, as causes of the failure. In this article, the influence of an external and internal locus of control on burnout will be explained.

What is an external locus of control?

People who have an external locus of control, attribute situations to coincidence. They believe that there is nothing they could have done to control it. For example, two people meeting. If failure occurs by either themselves or their company, these people will say that they could not have done anything to change this. Situational factors caused the failure. We will explain this further at the hand of an example. You have to work together with a colleague to develop a new product. Even though this development requires a lot of work, neither of you has a lot of time to prepare the development. On the day on which you have to present the new product together, it fails completely. The reason which you give for this is that the way it was shown was poorly done by your colleague or that your boss had spent too little money on your product, meaning you could not show it off the way you wanted to. In this example, we can see that the reasons given for the failure are reasons with which you yourself have nothing to do. This is the reason people do not identify with failure as strongly, meaning they have a decreased chance of developing a burnout. What should be noted is that these people experience more stress because they experience a lack of control (Iacovides, Fountoulakis, Kaprinis & Kaprinis, 2003).

How does this differ from an internal locus of control?

People who have an internal locus of control, would look differently at the situation above. If there is a problem, these people attribute it to their own failure. People with an internal locus of control namely believe that they are the reason for the failure. To continue using the previous example, people with an internal locus of control would state their own incapability or stupidity as the reason for the failure. The impact of this failure will therefore be much lager on the person themselves. This increases thereby the chances of burnout developing. What should be noted is that people with an internal locus of control do experience less stress because they have the feeling that they are in control of the situation (Iacovides, Fountoulakis, Kaprinis & Kaprinis, 2003).

What can 15 Minutes 4 Me do for you?

15 Minutes 4 Me can help you in both cases. If you are someone with an external locus of control, 15 Minutes 4 Me can help you gain new insights to reduce stress. If you have an internal locus of control, 15 Minutes 4 Me can help you to let go and to differentiate between yourself as a person and the problems which other people have. How do we help you with this? 15 Minutes 4 Me is an online self help program which can help treat burnout, depression, anxiety, and stress. You will receive daily questions and videos, which will help you to gain new insights and find new solutions. Together with 15 Minutes 4 Me, stress can reduce by up to 77% after one month.

I want to test if I have a burnout

This is something you can do at the hand of the free burnout test. You can click on this, and you will then end up on the page of the test. This test will ask you to answer about twenty questions, after which it will tell you your personal score!