Locus of Control, 10 Seconds to Change Your Life & Your Story

Hi All!

Here is my weekly wrap up email. If you love this content (please share it), but also…

Check out my Podcast and connect with me on YouTube / Twitter.

If you love this kind of content, please subscribe to my weekly or daily newsletter.

What’s in today’s newsletter?

Idea: Locus of Control

Quick quiz: if you miss a promotion, who do you blame? The boss who didn't pick you? The system that holds people back? Bad luck or lousy timing?

If you said yes to any of those, you likely lean external on the locus scale. And that orientation may secretly sabotage your success.

There's a psychological concept known as locus of control.

Some people view themselves as controlling life events — internal locus. Others see outside forces directing their destiny — external locus.

Corporate culture and education breed external thinkers. We absorb ideas like...

  • The company limits advancement. I'll never get ahead here.

  • The economy tanks my savings no matter what I do.

  • I lost my job because of ageism/sexism/racism/cronyism/nepotism.

  • The system is rigged against people like me.

An external locus is learned helplessness on steroids. It assumes you lack agency over your outcomes.

The keys to the kingdom reside outside the castle walls. You cannot breach them.

Meanwhile, internals interpret setbacks differently:

  • I haven't demonstrated I'm promotion-worthy yet.

  • I should diversify my investments more to hedge against risk.

  • My skills aren't competitive anymore. Time to update them.

  • The system may be biased but I can still influence my own experience.

See the difference? Internals believe they largely control what happens TO them, while externals see things happening AT them.

This orientation predicts success and wellbeing. Internals end up healthier, wealthier and more satisfied.

They resist victim narratives, take responsibility for career growth, and persist despite obstacles. What others call luck they call the inevitable output of preparation meeting opportunity.

Internals rise faster. They handle setbacks with resilience rather than resentment or resignation. Hungry to keep bettering their best.

They own their destinations even when the journey depends partly on outside forces. They influence context through quality connections. Master timing and tribes.

This lifeline forever pulls them forward, fate and fortune ultimately submitting to internal gravity.

The external looks at the internal's progress with confusion. "How does she keep advancing despite the headwinds?"

They don't recognize the mindset gap that keeps blowing doors open for one while barricading them for the other.

So the internal lands the promotions. Lands the wealthy spouse. Lands more job offers and speaking gigs. Hits targets the external calls impossible.

The formula is simple: Internals bet on themselves.

While externals wait for the world to give them a fair chance, internals get obsessed with self-growth. They level up skills, expand networks, speak up when overlooked.

In contrast, externals atrophy in bitterness and disbelief. Blame becomes the balm that temporarily soothes their powerlessness to control context.

Occasionally the internal orientation goes too far — the hubris of refusing to acknowledge any constraints beyond your control. But the sweet spot lives much closer to that extreme than the other.

So if you catch yourself externalizing, course correct quick. Trade in excuses for ownership. Set audacious goals immune to outside forces. Maybe the winds won't cooperate but your mindset still controls the sails.

Stop leaving your fate and fortune resting in foreign hands. Seize your locus and shift it internal. Orient yourself to play power, not victim.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly the game changes when you do.

Question: 10 Seconds

Will you let 10 seconds ruin your life?

What if I trip walking up on stage? What if I mess up my words? What if they don't like what I have to say?

We all have those voices in our heads filling us with doubt before we try something new. I call them the First Ten Seconds. They are the initial moments of discomfort, uncertainty, and fear we feel when facing a risk or challenge.

And here is the key insight: Most people let those First Ten Seconds stop them from ever even trying. They talk themselves out of raising their hand for a promotion, starting a podcast, asking someone on a date, you name it. The First Ten Seconds lock them in place.

But growth lives outside your comfort zone. It waits on the other side of those First Ten Seconds.

So how do you push past the doubts and disbelief when you know something could significantly change your life if you just went for it?

Here are three unconventional ideas:

First, reframe what those First Ten Seconds mean. Recognize them as a sign you are headed in the right direction. Let those butterflies in your stomach be confirmation that whatever you are about to do matters.

Next, don't think. Just start without overanalyzing.

As Mark Twain once wrote, “You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Stop reviewing worst-case scenarios and talking yourself out of it. Shut off your brain and start moving forward. Surprise yourself.

Finally, fall in love with failure. Understand that failure is not really failing at all. It is learning, adjusting, and wisdom for whatever comes next. The most successful people fail more because they try more. So fall in love with failure and you remove its power over you.

The truth is those First Ten Seconds never totally go away. Even after years of public speaking I still feel them. But now I smile. I let them energize me rather than paralyze me.

I hope these unconventional ideas help you push past your next First Ten Seconds to create the change and growth you have been putting off. Stop letting a few seconds of discomfort alter the trajectory of your life.

The time is now.

Quote: Your Story

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” - Maya Angelou

What vision, message, art, or creation lives inside you desperate to get out?

What bold dream or unconventional idea fills your journal pages and therapy sessions and conversations with close friends?

For too many people the answer is still: I don’t know.

The story they were born to share remains untold. Hidden away in the recesses of their imagination, lacking the oxygen to come alive.

And this Great Resignation era proves even the best paycheck loses its shine when your work feels detached from self-expression. From purpose and meaning.

We want to matter. To create an impact only our distinct talents and perspectives allow. But we hold ourselves back.

Those First Ten Seconds of doubt barrage us again.

What if no one cares what I have to say?

What if they judge me?

Laugh at me?

Ignore me?

And in avoiding those potential pains we create a greater one—the agony Maya Angelou described of bottling our genius, stifling our voices, wasting our potential gifts because of fear.

I know brilliant thinkers, mesmerizing storytellers, visionary leaders, gifted creators and daring entrepreneurs who remain anonymous.

They toil away at jobs misaligned with their innate talents.

Hiding in bureaucracy. Craving environments where they can shine.

It’s time to break from confining roles to lead and live as your fullest self at work.

The marketplace needs your distinct talents and innovative solutions right now. You have rare skills and ideas to offer if given the chance.

Treat your concepts as promising opportunities for growth. Test and develop the ones aligned with your passions. Then set them free to reach receptive audiences.

Some initial business ideas may flop. Others ignored by traditional executives. But ventures connected to your deeper interests will attract great partners.

Bold thinkers drive progress by challenging the status quo. Take smart risks to set yourself apart rather than blindly conform.

Today’s landscape allows you to directly distribute your work rather than ask gatekeepers for approval first. Seek customers excited for what you uniquely provide.

Create for the intrinsic reward of problem solving and self-expression, not just extrinsic incentives. Awaken energized, with no regrets about holding yourself back.

That’s how leaders evolve—by contributing fully as themselves, without compromise to fit outdated molds.

Go make your mark by being 100% you. The right opportunities want exactly what you bring.


1. Chad Braverman - President & Chief Operating Officer at Doc Johnson

YouTube | Spotify | Apple

Chad Braverman is a dynamic second-generation leader, steering the company with an innovative vision and robust business acumen. Taking the reins of a legacy initiated by his father, Ron Braverman, who transformed a small rubber goods firm into the esteemed Doc Johnson in 1976, Chad has been instrumental in elevating the family business to new heights. Since joining in 2004, equipped with a business degree from the University of Miami, he has masterfully blended traditional business strategies with modern creativity, significantly contributing to Doc Johnson's impressive $135.8 million revenue as of 2021.

2. Marisol Nichols - Anti-Trafficking Activist & Actress

YouTube | Spotify | Apple

Marisol Nichols is a renowned American actress known for her roles in TV series like "24" and "Riverdale." In addition to her acting career, Nichols is committed to philanthropy and activism. Inspired by her own life-changing experience of sexual assault at age eleven, she founded the non-profit "Foundation for a Slavery Free World" to combat sex trafficking. Actively involved with law enforcement, she collaborates with organizations like Operation Underground Railroad to address child exploitation.

3. Dr. Mark Goulston - Dying Expert, International Keynote Speaker & Author

YouTube | Spotify | Apple

Dr. Goulston has a unique background that combines psychiatry, neuroscience, and business. He was a professor of psychiatry at UCLA, where he taught and trained medical students and residents for over 25 years. He also served as a hostage negotiation trainer for the FBI, where he learned how to defuse high-stakes situations and influence people in crisis. He is the author of several best-selling books, including “Just Listen”, which has been translated into 28 languages and is widely regarded as the ultimate guide to effective communication. He is also the creator of Surgical Empathy, a breakthrough technique that he used to prevent hundreds of suicides during his psychiatric career.

4. Will Ahmed - Founder and CEO of WHOOP

YouTube | Spotify | Apple

Will Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of WHOOP, which has developed next-generation wearable technology for optimizing human performance and health. WHOOP has raised more than $400 million from investors and is currently valued at $3.6 billion, making it the most valuable standalone wearables company in the world. Will has recruited an active advisory board that consists of some of the world’s most notable cardiologists, technologists, marketers, and designers and he is a member of the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School, where he provides counsel to the Dean and faculty on topics related to the strength and health of the institution. Will was named to the 2021 Sports Business Journal 40 under 40 list as well as 2020 Fortune 40 Under 40 Healthcare list and previously named to Forbes 30 Under 30 and Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.

5. Michael Loeb - President and CEO of Loeb NYC

YouTube | Spotify | Apple

Michael Loeb is a serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of, a startup investment platform that pairs strategic and executional talent with passionate founders. Michael has a long and successful track record of building and scaling consumer marketing businesses, from magazines to online travel to pharmacy discounts. Michael started his career at Time, Inc., where he met his longtime business partner Rich Vogel. Together, they co-founded the Synapse Group, which revolutionized the magazine subscription industry with its patented Continuous Service Model. Synapse Group also incubated, one of the most successful online travel companies in the world. In 2006, Michael and Rich sold Synapse Group to Time Warner for over $500M.

6. Latticework Thinking, The Law of Triviality & Paralysis Triggers

YouTube | Spotify | Apple

In this Lessons episode, we delve into understanding everyday cognitive biases, self-imposed barriers, and the art of connecting knowledge.

Article: Habits That Break You

Decades of awkwardness compelled Alex Mathers (the author) to learn and understand what connects us to one another and what pushes us apart.

People make judgements extremely quickly about the kind of person we are.

This means there are subtle changes we all can make that impact how others see us.

Here’s some of the items discussed.

  • How do we navigate social interactions more effectively?

  • What guides our smallest habits and behaviors?

  • What do we invest our mental energy and attention in during conversations?

  • How do we decide what communication patterns to change or get rid of?

Read it here.

Sponsors (Most Have Special Offers)

My Links

Scott's Newsletter logo
Subscribe to Scott's Newsletter and never miss a post.