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Importance of Self-Control. 15 ways to Develop a Stronger Mindset

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

90% is out of your control... how do you control the 10%?

Complete Audio of Blog:

Life for the most part is out of our control, but 10% is. How we manage this 10% will completely change how the 90% affects us, and if it flows with or against our true desires.

Self-control is the ability to regulate and alter your responses in order to avoid undesirable behaviors, increase desirable ones, and achieve long-term goals. Research has shown that possessing self-control can be important for health and well-being.

Due to many people lacking self-control, responsibility, or motivation to maintain forward growth, many people need a coach to regularly check-in and ask the right motivating questions. We as coaches have the correct knowledge, tools and experience to ensure you stay motivated and inspired for achieving your biggest goals. Coaches maintain consistency by regularly checking-in on your progress with work sheets, tracking of your numbers and always being a listening ear that can help you overcome any hardship. It is a lot easier to achieve your goals with someone guiding and routing you on!

When we become more conscious in our mindset and lifestyle, we will be able to manage our thoughts, emotions, and actions with better judgement and results. This is because we have a deeper control of our mind, with a higher sense of self-awareness. This heightened sense of awareness allows for better accountability and responsibility of our life choices.

Many people get caught into blaming others for their shortcomings, due to allowing external factors to effect their self-control. This pushes them off track and prevents desired results from being achieved. When your focus is not in the right place, it will be very difficult to perform at your best capacity. Becoming more conscious, and in control of your mind, body & soul, your outlook towards life changes, and you will seize more opportunities comfortably. Less pressure will be placed on yourself, with improved self-confidence and better performance.

10%.... Literally, thoughts, emotions, voice, actions. That's it... So, why do we get too focused on so much out of our control? Well, because we're conditioned too... Society, parents, school, social media the list goes on.... All of them lead us down a path that creates improper mindset control, because the are trying to control our minds. Society sets a standard of what is successful, attractive, necessity. Parents set examples and teach their values and beliefs. Schools delivers a one way or the highway system curriculum approach, that dictates what is "mandatory" knowledge. Social media sets trends and movements that sway peoples' self-esteem in all different directions based off attraction and celebrity level.

When we are growing in an environment such as North America or any 1st world Nation. These variables make a big effect on our mindsets and overall conditioning. But, as we grow and develop in age and wisdom, it becomes a choice to maintain following the wrong path, or take a step back and level up our way of thinking.

Life has 2 options:

internal locus of control: self accountability for good or bad

external locus of control: blaming outside influences for good or bad

We either see everything as a repercussion of our self or we blame outside aspects for the answer to everything. Wouldn't it make more sense to take the first option? Sometimes it's not that easy. You see, many people are living behind a vail, that lulls them away from being in the moment and being conscious. Unfortunately, some call it ignorance, but lack of education vs. wisdom is two different things.

Narcissism is another issue with the first world nations, as the competitive concrete jungle has created this sickness. This is the definition of external locus of control... This mindset is very selfish, and aggressive at defending their position. They lack empathy and compassion for others. Plus, they can not take criticism without pointing fingers at someone else or taking ownership of their actions. This culture is definitely spreading into the world and is a big part of why REAL self-control is very difficult for many people to achieve.

The importance of gratitude and humbleness go much further than we expect. Switching the mindset to this thought process, creates a completely different outlook that leads to an improved vision on life and our daily routine. When we see life with a positive outlook, our ability to control our 10% becomes easier. We are flowing with everything and making the best of what we can. We see everything around us with more grace and vibrance, that uplifts our internal energy and mood. This butterfly effect creates a connection back to our self-control which then dictates our results and success. If we are more in the present moment, then we will put forth a better performance as we are completely focused. Coming back to reality is what will be the best step for most people to take back control of their life.

This step towards consciousness starts the process of constantly searching to improve and grow, which leads to improved self-awareness and self-control. The truth sometimes hurts, but it's better to go through a little pain for needed growth and be satisfied with the success that comes from it. Nothing worse than regret when it comes to life. So managing our self-control will help reduce the chance of it ever happening.

Health Benefits

Self-control is also important for maintaining healthy behaviors. What you eat for the day, how often you work out, and whether you go to the doctor on a regular basis are all decisions that impact your levels of self-control and have the potential to affect your health.

Researchers have found that self-control can have a number of potential influences on our health and well-being. Ranging from: lowered obesity, lowered chances of getting into drugs & alcohol during high school, lower levels of regret, and while it is clear that self-control is critical for maintaining healthy behavior, some experts believe that overemphasizing the importance of willpower can be damaging as well. It's all about a healthy balance between strict and relaxed.

Women meditating on rock overlooking water and beautiful view

15 Effective Ways to Level Up Your Self-Control:

1) Goal setting

Creating a specific macro (big) goal is essential for maintaining forward direction and staying in a positive mindset. Setting micro (small) goals for this month, week or day, are key to allow for small wins that boost your confidence and psyche in believing the big goals is getting closer. When you have goals, you feel more inclined to stay on track as it's an incentive to stay disciplined. A key tip is to stay focused on one goal at a time, so you won't feel overwhelmed or get side tracked by other tasks.

2) Create motivation

Ensure the goals you're setting have deep value to you. The more you want it, the more you're willing to sacrifice and put forth the effort needed to achieve it. If the motivation towards a goal is zero, that success becomes very unlikely. Create a journal that consistently reminds you of why your goals are important to you, and find some great quotes or affirmations that help give you an extra boost in times of fatigue or lowered motivation.

3) A Can-do attitude

The foundation for self-control, is taking responsibility for our actions and understanding we are free to anything we choose. Research shows that people function better and are more able to deal with stress when they feel that they are in control. If you believe that things are beyond your control and they probably will be. "Those who say they can, and those who say they can't, are both usually right"

4) Confidence

An important aspect of motivation is your self-perceived ability to achieve it. You won’t build up much motivation for change if you believe it is impossible. In the face of difficulties, people lacking self-confidence may easily develop doubts about their own ability to accomplish the task at hand, whereas those with strong beliefs are more likely to continue their efforts to master a task when difficulties arise. Believe it to achieve it. Start with small steps and know nothing great will come easy. Stay with the process and enjoy the journey.

5) Avoid temptations

Avoiding temptation requires anticipating situations where unwanted desires might emerge and it's important to take proactive steps to ensure that one doesn’t fall victim to the problematic desire. For example, avoiding exposure to tempting situations can include making unhealthy foods less visible, such as keeping one’s home free of unhealthy but tempting foods. As well, keeping alcohol locked up and difficult to get too. Anything you are trying to avoid, create road blocks that will be a warning for you to remember your getting too close to an undesired result emerging.

6) Willpower

Willpower represents strength or a psychological energy that a person uses to resist other temptations in order to work toward their goal. Self-control depends on this limited resource that operates like strength or energy. People consume this resource when they exert self-control. Thus, having only one goal makes self-control more successful than when people have two or more conflicting goals. Focus on one thing and do it to the best of your ability.

7) Create periods of relaxation

A key component of self-control is not over whelming ones self. Taking incremented breaks or recovery days as needed is important to maintain a positive psyche. We can not always be 100% on the gas, or else we will get burned out very quickly and it will definitely create an incentive to fall back into old habits or temptations. Mental strength is highest when we are energized and full of willpower, if we are low on mental fortitude, then putting forth the effective effort for whatever task at hand will be affected in a negative way. Motivation and productivity are at it's lowest if we get burned out. So take regular breaks to detox your mind and pace your progress.

8) Have a team to keep you accountable

It is a lot easier when you have a support team to keep you motivated or reminded of why you're pursuing a specific desire. As well, it is always better to celebrates the wins with others as it feels more gratifying when others share your glory. Just like having a coach, having 1 or a few close sounds individuals to keep you on track and pat you on the back when hard work is put in, are all apart of maintaining a positive mindset. Plus, it will be an incentive to stay disciplined and work harder as you feel others are apart of your success or failure.

9) Plan, prepare, prioritize

Without some form of plan and preparation, everything will be spontaneous and lacking efficiency or productivity. Prioritizing what is most important is necessity for steady forward progress, and is crucial for maximizing your routine. Having a well sought out plan gives opportunity for proper adjustments and brain storming to reach the best ideas. As well, effective preparation sets you up for success since you're more equipped to handle the challenges or tasks desired to complete. Confidence is such a vital part is self-control, the more we plan, prepare and prioritize, the more our confidence and our actions fall in line.

10) Remember the bigger picture

Have some form of way that constantly reminds you of the bigger picture. The hardest part about achieving a BIG goal is it seems so far away... Create a reward system that keeps giving you small incentives to stay disciplined. We easily can get side tracked by the difficulty of today, or the huge workload that is still waiting to be completed. But, if we focus on one thing a time and just stay with the process, we will eventually get to that BIGGER picture. Rome wasn't built in a day... Stay with the process, and enjoy the journey. Having some positive visuals to look at and think towards are a great way to keep your motivation high.

11) Know your weaknesses

Self-awareness is very important in having realistic goals and setting yourself up for success. Identifying your weaknesses may be tough to admit, but it will help you work towards being a more complete individual. If we always work on our strengths, we limit our potential for full growth. Just as an employer may ask "what's your weaknesses" in an interview, they want to see your level of accountability and ability to face reality. Doesn't mean you won't get the job... but it shows them your true character. If you can not admit to yourself what is a weak point, then how can you really grow? Write down 1 thing you need to improve on, and work diligently at that aspect until it's sufficient for your likings, then move onto another. They key is to take it 1 at a time. Too many, and you may start forgetting your strengths. Take it in spoonful's and keep striving to improve.

12) Delay gratification

As we mentioned in seeing the bigger picture, that also applies to gratification. It's great to enjoy the small wins, but celebrating too early can be a deterrent for achieving your maximum potential as well. Discipline goes two ways "Don't let success go to your head, and don't let failure go to your heart." Stay grounded and even keel to ensure you get the job done. Once you finally achieve that BIG goal, feel free to enjoy it as much as you want. If you watch elite athletes, many of them in playoffs are pretty serious and focused because they know the job is not done. But, once they achieve it, bring out the champagne!

Meditation is a practice of self-control and elevated consciousness. Meditation is a guaranteed way to become more still in the body & mind and keeps us in tune with our higher-self. The deep reflection and tranquility that can be achieved is definitely connected to better management of our emotions, thoughts and actions. When we have the ability to control these aspects better, it will affect how we respond to situations and manage our overall behavior. This is a butterfly effect towards the bigger picture of our self-control and discipline for everything we desire. As well, meditation is a great way to visualize the end results. It is proven if you consistently see it, you will be more inclined to achieve it.

14) Track progress

As a coach, it is vital for us to track our clients and make sure we are up to date with their progress. It gives us numbers or information that we can use to compare and evaluate the effectiveness of our program. We are consistently assessing and making adjustments in order to ensure forward progress and results. This should apply to everyone's life. How can you really know your progress without some form of tracking it? As we've seen with new gadgets and health products, each are able to keep track of your daily workouts, sleep or nutrition and aid us in achieving our best results. This is proof that tracking our progress is very important for efficiently improving and knowing our routine is creating results. Remember, being able to see forward progress, is an incentive to maintain self-control and keep working hard.

15) Remind yourself of the consequences

We often don't want to think about the consequences, but they are always there. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we must be in tune with reality and see the risk of not pursuing our goals or dreams. We may enjoy our comfort zone, but this will never get us to those BIG goals we have. If you have little self-control, it will lead to falling back into bad habits, or wasting time and energy, which restarts the wheel of behavioral change. This wheel starts with regret and then pre-contemplation of what to do next. If you are in action phase, and you let yourself slip away further than you should have, it will cause a huge relapse. 1 month of hard work can be reversed by 1 week of doing nothing. Reduce your chances of consequences by consistently reminding yourself of what you're trying to achieve and why the hard work is more valuable than the potential regret.

Self-control is a foundation of our mindsets, and without it we have no structure and support to maintain direction on our path. So many people have all the skills and talents to achieve their goals but they lack self-discipline to ensure they stay on track. No one is perfect, and we all take steps backwards at times, but it's about minimizing those steps backwards, and taking more steps forward. Very successful and healthy individuals prioritize discipline just as important as anything else. Without it, our consistency will be lacking and can easily be swayed away from our goals. Create a routine that is full of these habits that will set you up for success and a much happier quality of living. Mastering self-control is a difficult task, but take it slow and steady and eventually you'll become a resilient individual.

No matter what is thrown your way, remember to try and remain in control of the 10% that we can control. If you manage self-control of that 10%, the 90% will start to align itself with your manifestations. Take it one day at a time, one task at a time, and keep striving to be better!

The importance of self control. Female on yoga mat in plank position while on tip of toes.

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