When you externalize, you see what outside factors are creating a situation, emotions, adversity, or circumstance. Outside factors can include people, finances, barriers, society, and environment. Instead of internalizing – to focus on your internal self or focus on the person – you externalize to look outside of yourself.
A great saying that is used in some theories of management is to “Focus on the problem, not the person.” This sums up a good explanation for externalizing. You aren’t blaming yourself, but seeing the outside problem. The problem can always be changed, and you as a person can adapt to change.
For example, a fire caused a person some grief and/or fear. The perpetrator – which is not always a person, but can be a thing or situation – is the fire, not the person. Instead of blaming the person, or yourself, you see that the fire caused the problem. It was not you having a weakness that prevented you to get over the problem. In essence, by focusing on the fire as well, instead of focusing on the victim, you refuse to blame the victim. The problem is the fire, which can be dealt with, not you. Everyone has experiences and learning which shapes them, hence, there’s also Blank Slate (Tabula rasa) reviewed in Motivationology. There’s nothing wrong with experiences. By externalizing, you also can create resilience since you localize to the outside.
You don’t necessarily have to change yourself – you change your actions, what is done, and see that the outside is affecting you. Similarly, this can be a survival technique. The photo of the zebra on the plain is to remind you of wildlife and the wild. Frequently you can see animals reacting and watching their environment carefully for survival. You also can see that it is the environment, people, and/or situation.
What can be done for change? Why are these people, situations, adversities and environments affecting you? Remember, to focus on the why of the external reasons, not yourself, as having the issues. If you focus inward, see that it is a personality that is natural, rather than something abnormal. People can naturally react differently, however, with an externalization view, you push the issues outside of yourself. It’s essentially creating a shell of defense and resilience capability.
Now that you have externalized, you can focus on what you want in self-fulfillment and remove external factors. Take action. You also can motivate other people. The hardest times to motivate others is when there is heavy internalization, since there’s often can be no way to focus on other people at those times. Externalization also creates defense against manipulation, defense against adverse results, and defense against people who can try to detract from you. Bounce back with externalization. Focus on strengths, not weaknesses.
You aren’t “projecting” your own characteristics onto others as claimed by the internalizing, twisting psychology field, such as you would see upon online search. In this definition of externalization and Motivationology, you are looking outside yourself. You don’t have to have an inner problem, and it is natural to differ from others.
Empower yourself with externalizing.