What is self-control? What does it mean and how can we define it?
If we wish to define it in a few short words, we would call it self-discipline. It is the ability to control reactions and rash behavior, and to hold in check undesirable habits and actions.
This quality of character is not a negative and limiting behavior, as some people might believe. When self-control is present and used wisely and with common sense, it becomes one of the most important tools for self improvement and for achieving goals.
Here is a more detailed self control definition:
- Self-control is the ability to control impulses, reactions and negative emotions, and is another name for self-discipline.
- It is the skill that enables you to say “no” and “enough” to yourself.
- It is the ability to put boundaries, know when to stop and when not to overdo.
- It is the ability to abstain from harmful extremes of behavior and actions.
- It is the ability to avoid eating unhealthy food or too much food.
- It means being able to stop doing anything that might be harmful for you and for others.
It is you, your consciousness, your real essence that control your subconscious and habitual behavior and automatic responses. This what has to be, though too often, it is not the case.
Self control is vital for overcoming obsessions, fears, addictions, and any kind of impulsive 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.
What Are the Benefits of Self Control?
Here are a few of the benefits of self control and how it can help you:
- It keeps in check self-destructive, addictive, obsessive and compulsive behavior.
- It gives you mastery over your life, and brings balance into your life.
- Self-control helps to keep over-emotional responses in check and 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 your self-esteem, confidence, inner strength, self-mastery and willpower.
- It enables you to take charge of your life.
- This ability makes it possible to abstain from undesirable behavior in various situations.
- It makes you a responsible and trustworthy human being.
- It helps you resist temptations to do indulge in things that can harm your health or waste your time.
What Are the Obstacles to Self-Control
Why it is difficult to gain and maintain self control?
Here are a few reasons:
- 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 this ability as a limiting and unpleasant activity.
- The wrong belief that its possession might eliminates fun and joy.
- Lack of faith in oneself and in one’s abilities.
To possess this ability, you need to eliminate these obstacles.
How to Increase Self Control
The more self control you have, the better your life will be, and the more mastery you will have over it.
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Here are a few tips for increasing this ability.
1. Identify the areas where you lack control and discipline
The first step would be to identify in what areas of your life you need to gain more self-control.
Where do you find yourself lacking this skill?
Possible areas could be:
- Overeating, and eating junk food
- Addiction to shopping
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Spending too many hours working and leaving no time for anything else
- Addiction to gambling
- Watching too much TV
- Obsessive behavior
- Being quick to get angry
2. Become aware of your uncontrolled emotions
Try identifying and becoming aware of the emotions that you do not control, such as anger, dissatisfaction, unhappiness, resentment or fear.
3. Thoughts and beliefs
Identify the thoughts and beliefs that push you to behave in an uncontrolled manner. What thoughts and what beliefs trigger automatic impulses and reactions?
Identifying these thoughts and beliefs, trying to understand them and find out whether they are reasonable and desirable, will reduce impulsiveness and rash reactions.
4. Thinking about the consequences of your behavior
After identifying all the above issues, devote a few minutes every day for thinking about the consequences of this behavior and how your life would be different without them.
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.
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, with self-mastery and restraint.
7. Willpower and self-discipline
Your self control will improve considerably, if you work on developing and increasing your willpower and self-discipline through appropriate exercises. This is actually the most important step for developing this essential skill.
You can find here a powerful training program, with all the necessary information, advice, instructions and exercises for gaining willpower, discipline and self control.
Follow these 7 steps, and gradually you will see how you and your life are changing for the better.
Self Control Quotes
“He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires, and fears, is more than a king.”
“Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.”
“Self-control is a key factor in achieving success. We can’t control everything in life, but we can definitely control ourselves.”
“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”
“Mastering self-control, the act of restraining one’s emotions is the true key to success.”
More self control quotes
Image source – DepositPhotos
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