“The biggest enemies of willpower: temptation, self-criticism, and stress. (…) these three skills —self-awareness, self-care, and remembering what matter most— are the foundation for self-control.”
Kelly McGonigal, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters and What You Can Do to Get More of It
We know that in order to exhibit good self control or self management we need to be more self aware and recognize our emotions and thoughts in the moment they are occurring. If we can do that the chances of us having better self control greatly increases. Much like you need to take and pass Algebra I in order to take Algebra 2, self awareness is like the prerequisite to self management.
As Kelly McGonigal points out temptation, self-criticism and stress are essentially the kryptonite to the foundation of maintaining our self control and will test us periodically through certain obstacles we may face. When we go on a diet we might be tempted to eat that chocolate cake when we are stressed. Instead of giving into temptation we need to practice self control and realize that the chocolate cake will only provide us with a temporary level of satisfaction and by resisting it will further strengthen our willpower.
When we make a crucial mistake that costs the team a win this is where self-criticism may rear its ugly head. Instead of criticizing ourselves, we need to remember to practice self control and realize mistakes are how we learn and grow. When stress starts to overtake our every thought we must practice self control and focus on what we can control which is our mindset and realize for every problem there is a solution.
If we are to truly overcome those things that threaten our willpower then we must be in control of our thoughts and emotions at all times. Our own well being depends on it.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards self management in your own life?