Psychologist, Julian Rotter, in his theory of Locus of Control posits that every single human being has the power to influence the outcome of situations when their locus of control is internal. When the locus of control is external, however, the individual turns to external events in explaining their own circumstances. While it's always good to have a mix of both, it also pays to discover and develop our inner power. This is why I've put together a list of four books that range from evidence-based psychological studies to spiritually driven content to help you discover your inner power to influence the outcome of all situations in your life (and sometimes vice versa).
The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal, PhD.
Kelly McGonigal is my absolute favorite health psychologist. Her mission is to make every person re-calibrate the way that they think about stress, and because I believe in her mission, I am passing on her amazing book. The Upside of Stress is based on several studies that McGonigal has conducted through the years with various research teams. These studies are truly remarkable because they make you realize the following:
1) That stress has natural life-saving components that come with it
2) That you can turn your situation around when you learn to take better control of your own situation
Women Who Run With The Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD. is a Jungian psychoanalyst who craftily puts together the stories of the wild archetype woman and her own lessons from practice into this amazing book. Women Who Run With The Wolves helped me discover the wise, wild, and naive versions of me by acknowledging each one with so much love, ease and grace. She helps you look deeper into the metaphors of these stories and really urges you to look beneath the surface. My favorite part? When she declares that "psychology in its oldest sense means the study of the soul... psychology is thousands of years old."
The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith by Gabrielle Bernstein
Gabby Bernstein says that "we must learn to give up goals and embrace hope and faith", while there's nothing wrong with having visions and dreams, she says, you need to be "willing to surrender them". Kundalini teacher and self-proclaimed "spirit junkie", Gabby Bernstein takes a lot of psychological theory and translates them into softer values for anyone who is basically looking to connect with their inner compass while being able to trust in the power of things beyond them. It's the right mix of internal and external control, wherein you recognize what is in your hands, and what is in the hands of others - all with love, ease, and grace.
The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to A New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients by Irvin D. Yalom, M.D.
I am currently reading this book but it's already helped me find the blessing in the day-to-day work of healing. Irvin Yalom is an institution in the world of existential psychology. In his book The Gift of Therapy, he shares stories that are truly so real and inspiring that they make you consider new ways of approaching pretty much anything. Whether you are a therapist or are thinking of seeing a therapist, I can tell you that this book is worth exploring.
For the client, Yalom sites examples that I think are empowering - showing you a full spectrum of your rights in therapy as well as a broad topic base that you can choose to discuss with your therapist.