What is Self-Control ? (Part 4)

head or heart

that are good for me & are suited

PREVIOUS: Types of Self-control (Part 1)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


Control is about POWER – to make someone do or be what we want. When applied to ourselves – that power can be used either –
• as a defense mechanism to deny our pain, which is debilitating & destructive, OR
• to heal & nurture ourselves, & express our best to the world

Healthy Self-MANAGEMENT (S-M) is not limiting or rigid, providing the stamina to keep going & the ability to handle stresses with flexibility. It relies on the same willpower as rigid self-control, but uses it to:
a. prevent ourself from doing what is unsuitable & harmful, OR
b. delay pursuing instant gratification & pleasure, in favor of some greater gain or for more satisfying results at a later time

VALUE of S-M. It allows us to:
a.  • obey legitimate rules & laws
• avoid talking or acting impulsively
• overcome procrastination & sloth

• not give in to addictions & other self-destructive patterns
b. continue & finish internal or external projects, even after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded, or when they get too boring or too hard

Having S-M means WE:
• are in present-day reality, which includes owning our adult abilities, acquired knowledge & useful experiences
• can stay centered & act according to our own mind
• have self-respect as a Healthy Adult, especially in our thinking
• know our rights, our options & what’s actually possible (not fantasy/ illusion)
• make declarative statements & ask for our needs – in the right place
• use that info to practice setting boundaries, with ourselves & others

🔸To run our own life, rather than someone else’s, & not have someone Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 8.11.47 AMelse run ours, we must be our own Motivator, which is not selfishness but the opposite of co-dependence.

Being responsible for our own life also includes :
🔹AA Step 1: “We admitted we were powerless over____” other People, Places & Things
🔹AA Step 3: “…turn our will & our lives over to the care of God….

Having choices does fit with the Serenity Prayer:  “God grant me:
1. the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
2. the courage to change the things I can
3. and the wisdom to know the difference”

ACoAs are too long on negative self-discipline & short on healthy self-control, which is available by developing the “Unit”. At first the first category may seem like a good thing – because it’s supposed to keep us from doing actual bad or wrong things (which it can also do) – but that’s not the main way we use it

What ACoAs often do, instead, is to prevent ourselves from pursuing what we were taught to be UN-desirable T.E.As, but are in fact many positive ones DIS-allowed by our Toxic Family Rules.
EXP : Thinking for ourselves, having opinions, standing up for our rights, Leaving bad situations, following our bliss, Feeling our emotions, relaxing, being happy ….

However, just because we start out as under-dogs, doesn’t mean we can’t WIN – over our damage, over our pain, over others trying to control us! Being empowered can be every ACoA’s goal, deciding for ourselves, from an inner place of certainty & serenity.
😠 And for those of us who don’t like the word CONTROL – we can say: being in charge, living in our Adult Ego state, taking responsibility, being our own motivator!….

So, how in charge are you of your life – actions, career, emotions, health, home, finances, relationships, work life…..?
Based on many studies, including Fujita (2008), correcting CDs , our self-defeating way of thinking, can enhance the ability to be in charge of ourself, keep our focus & have better self-care.

• Reasonable adults respect others who are in control (C) of themself & their life. Being respected is one of our many rights – the opposite of being shamed  As we develop & honor our True Self, we will be respected by others more often if we consistently handle what WE CAN, as in line 2 of the Serenity Prayer, & relinquish / let go of the demand to control what we do not have to power to do.

NEXT: Types of Self-Control (Part 3)

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