Self Control 101 : Master Willpower and Self Discipline

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius,

Developing self control is a process that involves regulating and modulating one’s behavior, emotions, and thoughts. It has been posited that self-control is an essential component of psychological well-being, and its development through the lifespan has been extensively studied by developmental psychologists. Cognitive-behavioral theory suggests that increased self-control can be acquired through the formation of positive habits, such as increasing healthy lifestyle choices and engaging in goal setting activities.

Drop the negative self-talk.

Promote positive mental well-being by eliminating any form of self-deprecation. This process, known as dropping the negative self-talk, refers to a conscious effort to engage in more constructive forms of self-reflection and dialogue rather than engaging in destructive patterns of rumination and criticism.

Remove temptation.

Removing temptation is a means of circumventing an individual’s inclination to engage in undesirable behavior. It is a form of self-control that can be used to limit the influence of external influences and ultimately mitigate the risk of succumbing to negative behavioral patterns. By eliminating the opportunity for such activities, it can be more difficult for someone to indulge in their proclivity for bad habits.

Avoid decision fatigue.

Decision fatigue is a phenomenon that occurs when an individual is presented with a multitude of choices, leading to an overall decrease in decision-making capabilities and the ability to make sound judgements. It has been proposed that decision fatigue is due to the finite resources of psychological energy available for making decisions, and thus it becomes increasingly difficult as more decisions are required.

Take an honest inventory of yourself.

Keep a personal journal, so you individualize your experience in enacting change. The process of taking an honest inventory of oneself is a vital component in understanding one’s personal identity. It involves engaging in an exercise of self-reflection and introspection, with the purpose of cultivating a deeper level of self-awareness. Through this endeavor, individuals can better comprehend their strengths and weaknesses, their core values, and even their emotional states.

Recognise impulsive thoughts.

Having strategies to help you resist temptation in the moment will help you build self-control.Place time restrictions on impulsive thoughts. Creating space in your thinking will help you reevaluate your actions from a more rational viewpoint. Recognizing such thought processes is beneficial in allowing us to understand the cognitive processes that inform our behavior, as well as providing insight into the ways in which we can exercise more mindful decision-making.

Understand your emotional intelligence.

It involves an individual’s capacity to accurately identify and manage their own emotions, as well as being able to effectively understand and respond to the emotions of others. EQ has been found to be an important factor in predicting various elements of life success, such as academic achievement, interpersonal relationships, job satisfaction and leadership proficiency.

A Can-Do Attitude.

Encouraging a ‘Can-Do’ attitude amongst individuals is essential in order to foster an environment conducive to growth. By adopting this attitude, one can bolster their self-efficacy and increase their propensity to take on challenges that they previously may have deemed too difficult or arduous. This process of psychological reframing allows for the individual to cultivate a positive outlook on tasks and opportunities that they face, enabling them to believe that they have the capacity and capability to effectuate success.

Mark your progress.

Always remember, the key is progress not perfection. Keep a calendar specifically dedicated to your efforts. It involves taking stock of the current situation and reflecting upon the steps that have been taken thus far to reach one’s desired outcome. This can be done on both a short-term and long-term basis, allowing for an in depth understanding of what works and what does not work, as well as how best to shift strategies accordingly.

Develop new hobbies.

This an exercise in personal growth, allowing one to explore areas of interest while also potentially broadening their skillset and perspective. This endeavour can have a positive impact on mental health, providing stress relief and fostering feelings of accomplishment. Additionally, new hobbies may lead to the formation of relationships with individuals who share these interests, facilitating social integration and connection.

Build yourself up.

Proactively encourage yourself to make the changes in your life that you want. Constructing one’s own personal sense of identity through self-improvement is a foundational element of personal growth. This can be achieved by taking the initiative to strengthen individual facets of oneself, be it in terms of physical, mental, or spiritual development. It is essential to recognize that the process of building up one’s self requires committed effort and perseverance; however, this endeavor is ultimately rewarded with a heightened sense of agency and confidence.

Develop Willpower.

Willpower is a psychological construct that enables individuals to exert control over their behavior and impulses. It can be developed through the process of volitional self-regulation, which involves the conscious effort to develop self-discipline and inhibit maladaptive behaviors. Through this process, individuals are able to strengthen their resolve to pursue goals and sustain efforts in the face of temptation or distraction.

“Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.”
― Elie Wiesel

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