Self-control is the ability to control impulses and reactions, and is another name for self-discipline.
It is not some kind of negative and limiting behavior, as some people might think. When self-control is used wisely and with common sense, it becomes one of the most important tools for self improvement and for achieving success.
Self control is vital for overcoming obsessions, fears, addictions, and any kind of unsuitable behavior. It puts you in control of your life, your behavior, and your reactions. It improves your relationships, develops patience and tolerance, and is an important tool for attaining success and happiness.
In what way self-control helps you?
- It keeps in check self-destructive, addictive, obsessive and compulsive behavior.
- Gives you a sense of mastery over your life, and brings balance into your life.
- Self-control helps to keep over-emotional responses in check or moderation.
- Self-control eliminates the feeling helplessness and being too dependent on others.
- It helps to manifest mental and emotional detachment, which contributes to peace of mind.
- It enables to control moods and reject negative feelings and thoughts.
- Self-control strengthens self-esteem, confidence, inner strength, self-mastery and willpower.
- It enables you to take charge of your life.
- It makes you a responsible and trustworthy human being.
Obstacles to self-control:
- Lack of knowledge and understanding what self-control really is.
- Strong and uncontrolled emotional responses.
- Reacting to outside stimuli, without thinking first.
- Lack of discipline and willpower.
- Lack of the desire to change and improve.
- Considering self-control as a limiting and unpleasant activity.
- The belief that self control eliminates fun.
- Lack of faith in oneself and in one’s abilities.
Developing self control
1) First you need to identify in what areas of your life you need to gain more self-control. Where do you find yourself lacking in self-control?
Possible areas could be:
2) Try identifying the emotions that lack control, such as anger, dissatisfaction, unhappiness, resentment, pleasure or fear.
3) Identify the thoughts and beliefs that push you to behave in uncontrolled manner.
4) Several times a day, especially when you need to display self control, repeat for a minute or two one of the following affirmations:
- I am fully in control of myself.
- I have the power to choose my emotions and thoughts.
- Self-control brings me inner strength and leads me to success.
- I am in control of my reactions.
- I am in charge of my behavior.
- I am gaining control of my emotions.
- I am the maser of my life.
- Day by day my ability to control my feelings and thoughts is increasing.
- Self-control is fun and pleasure.
5) Visualize yourself acting with self-control and self-restraint. Take one of the instances where you usually act with lack of control, and visualize that you are acting calmly and with self-mastery.
6) Your self control will improve considerably, if you work on developing and strengthening your willpower and self-discipline through appropriate exercises. This is actually the most important step for developing self control.