What is Self-Control ? (Part 1)

in control 

Others or myself?

PREVIOUS: Letting go of Controlling -#3

SEE posts: Personal Responsibility // UNIT: Healthy Adult, Loving Parent


Self-Control 101 (Normal)
Events or Thoughts —-> lead to —-> Emotions
Emotions ——-> lead to ——> Beliefs
Beliefs ——-> lead to ——> Decisions
Decisions ——-> lead to ——> Actions
—> lead to —> Rewards or Consequences

Def. of CONTROL, from the dictionary: To exercise authority over, direct & command -OR- to hold back, curb, restrain – self or others.

Purpose of Self-Control (SC)
To gain a present reward or a delayed gratification, OR to delay, reduce or eliminate punishment
DEF: ● to hold in check or curb (the WIC & PP ?)
● to exercise restraint or direction over something or someone
● to eliminate or prevent the spread of something (our damage ?)

SELF-CONTROL (S-C) is about harnessing our willpower to accomplish things that are generally regarded as desirable & highly valued by society, such as including long-term goals
✱ It is internal mastery over our own actions – by monitoring our thoughts, regulating our emotions, setting goals & making responsible choices.
This gives the ability to moderate competing urges, desires & activities.

• S-C implies the ability to govern oneself – to make choices & decisions that benefit ourselves, & then others. To do this we need to honor who we are – our needs, tastes, abilities & experience.

• S-C is not an inborn character trait that would automatically allow us to govern our thoughts, emotions skills& behavior.  It is a skill that has to be learned & built up – by the process of ‘stalling, distracting and resisting’ negative urges.

Healthy families help their children to grow this skill as part of their over-all training.  In adults – developing S-C is motivated by a conflict-free desire to stop doing harmful things to ourselves or others. Practice & perseverance are required, but it gets easier with repetition.

Self-control is expressed by being in charge of our own actions, & is quite complex. It requires that we stay awake & function out of the present (not reacting from past trauma & toxic Parental Rules), regulating our thoughts, dealing appropriately with our emotions, setting goals & following thru, & making responsible choices.
As adults, we’re held responsible for our thoughts, emotions & actions (T.E.A.) to the extent that these can be under our self-control, which is not always possible. And SC is harder for us to maintain IF we’re in the wrong environment, where others are not willing to govern themselves. (MORE…)

• People are born with varying degrees of tolerance for routine vs. change, patience vs boredom., social vs private interactions…. BUT, unlike physiological traits, SC can definitely be considered a learned skill to the degree that it’s developed through education, social interaction & conditioning
• SC becomes self-discipline when we have to apply intentional effort.
However, when it’s practiced habitually for some time, it can become a character trait.

• SC is an important part of a cluster of internal resources (character, courage, faith, purpose, endurance) which – when tested by constant pressure or long-term deprivation – doesn’t disappear
• It becomes a way of thinking because of the cognitive processes & mental discipline needed to use SC
• SC requires motivation. In certain situations, such as a special celebration or an artificial psychological experiment, we may decide to briefly give up self-control for the occasion
• SC becomes a virtue when we resists temptation in order to achieve a desired goal, & can be considered a spiritual gift when it’s the result of spiritual transformation

VALUE of Self-Control – it allows us to:empowering
• be a responsible & trustworthy human being
• gain self-esteem, confidence, balance, inner strength, a sense of personal mastery so we can take charge of our life
• eliminate the feeling helpless & having to be too dependent on others
• have enough mental & emotional detachment to give us peace of mind
• be in charge of our moods & replace negative beliefs – helps keep in check self-destructive, addictive behaviors & obsessive thoughts

ACoAs – Healthy self-control is very difficult to achieve as long as:S-H
• the WIC is the ego state in charge of our daily emotions, actions & reactions
• we don’t own our True Self, by following the Toxic Rules
• externally, we stay symbiotically attached to our family
• internally, we continue to obey the Negative Introject

NEXT: Types of Self-Control (Part 2)

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