Self- control is the ability to control one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them, especially in difficult situations. I struggle with self- control and so do many people.
I went through a recent incident in which I showed a lack of self control. In this event, I called a facility for a writing assignment (I work for another site besides this blog). I’ve been calling this facility daily because I really needed the information to finish this assignment. I called once a again, and finally a person answers. Instead of being courteous, the person on the line berates me and says that he’s been ignoring my calls and says that the business I’ve been writing for is slimy. He hangs up on me and I’m hurt. I call the person back and say he’s a horrible person. In this situation, I could have just brush it off because more than anything the person is overworked, but my ego was hurt.
Inspired by my unfortunate lash out, here is a listicle of five things you can do to increase your self control powers!
- Self- Awareness precedes self-management– Understand what your temptations are and how you’re able to avoid them. My temptations are social media, my phone, and streaming services. I combat my temptations by placing myself in a different environment, such as my favorite coffee shop, House Roots Coffee.
- Respect yourself when you’re low on self-control– Similar to other brain functions, it takes energy when using self-control. When you’re low on it after a long day of making decisions at work or school, you’re most likely to lose it when faced with a difficult decision or situation. The best thing to do is to make major decisions and responsibilities earlier during the day when you’re more awake. In addition, tell people you’re not able to deal with making major decisions when low on self-control.
- Pre-Commit to decisions- Making decisions takes brain power, and the more brain power you use, the less you have for self-control. So by pre-committing to decisions, you’re likely to commit to that decision and leave more brain function for self-control.
- Use emotions to increase self-control- By changing how you approach a task, your brain will follow. For example, if you approach a task with dread, you’re likely not going to finish the task. But if you approach the task by understanding why you’re doing it rather than how you’re doing it, than you’re likely going to finish the task because you know your impetus.
- Don’t think of Self-Control as the Goal but rather Progress– Self-control is not something you attain but something you improve upon. Having that mindset rather than I must achieve this self-control skill is less stressful and more encouraging.
Remember that self-control is a skill that everyone can attain!