Just as we establish boundaries to develop a sense of safety, support confidence, trust and certainty in relationships, not only with others but also with ourselves, I believe that self-control is an essential factor in maintaining that safety, confidence, trust and certainty. As we understand it (according to the previous post), boundaries identify what we feel needs to be controlled and gives us a motivation to regulate that control. And similarly, self-discipline helps us maintain that control.
It is, in my opinion, that self-discipline and self-control are some of the greatest lessons we will learn in this lifetime. Self-control and self-discipline have the greatest rewards. If we can learn to maintain control and discipline over our behavior, there are infinite possibilities for what we can achieve and the impact that we could have. But to do that, we have to understand how to regulate our behavior to establish and maintain self-control. First, for those trying to determine if they lack self-control, I want to illustrate a lack of self-control.
DO YOU LACK SELF-CONTROL?
When there is an inability to control ourselves, essentially, there is an inability to moderate our behavior, overly express emotional or physical responses, resist temptation (lack willpower), lack accountability or are unmotivated. Lack of self-control can present itself in the following ways: inability to maintain relationships, inability to achieve goals, compulsive spending, compulsive lying, procrastination, overindulging, frequent anxiety, impulsivity, excessive alcohol, etc. substance abuse, and so on. Therefore, the key to establishing control is actively regulating behavior.
To understand and regulate our negative behaviors, we need to know how to resist temptation. With that understanding comes identifying why we constantly succumb to temptation.
Often, we don't realize that temptations are a gateway to emotional attachments used as escapism from individual trauma or issues. In other words, temptations yield to addiction if undressed because they essentially are unhealthy desires to engage in behaviors that have no positive reward. Therefore, constantly giving in to temptations produce addictions. And the inability to withstand temptation shows a lack of confrontation with the root of the issue.
To keep temptations from shifting into addiction, it is vital that we give serious thought to the individual trauma we fail to identify and address that prompts us to engage in temptation. Typically, trauma, e.g. loss of a loved one, friend or feelings of inability to control outcomes, etc., encourage us to give in to temptations and negative behaviors, because it's our way of escaping the feelings or emotions entirely. In other words, when our emotional deficits and needs are left unaddressed, participating in negative behavior or succumbing to temptation is our way of escaping the real emotional issue. So instead of addressing the root of our emotional demise, we tend to desire to engage in unhealthy behaviors.
The willingness to address individual trauma takes us one step closer to resisting temptation and discontinuing negative behaviors. Ultimately identifying and addressing the emotional trigger that prompts you to give in to temptation (and negative behavior) is easier when you identify with the consequences.
Consequences, if properly understood, are what will keep us from giving in to temptation. The more aware we are that our actions can have long-lasting effects, we can place value on said consequences and give appropriate consideration to them when in the face of temptation. Also, planning is a tool that helps us avoid temptation as well. When planning to prevent or omit situations and circumstances that promote succumbing to temptation or harmful behavior, we can put more energy into establishing more positive behaviors. And believe it or not, procrastination is a disregard for consequences.
Taking back control!
To establish and maintain control of behavior, we must gain an understanding of the root of our issues, set consequences, and attach appropriate value and fear to said consequences. Because we are human, unless we link enough fear for the consequences of poor self-control and succumbing to temptation (practicing negative behaviors), we won't see the value in controlling our behavior. Ultimately, it is up to us to be responsible for addressing our root issues so that we can learn to operate in and exercise self-control regularly.
SHARE COMMENTS BELOW!