Self-mastery is something we imagine martial artists and monks have, after years and years of dedicated practice.
You’re right. But anyone can develop self-mastery and take control of their life. It takes the right mindset, tools and yes, dedicated practice (but – it takes far less time than you think).
What Is Self-Mastery?
Self-mastery gives you control over the one thing you CAN control in any situation: yourself. It allows you to move toward your goals with discipline, persistence and focus. It helps you control emotional impulses and make decisions based on rational thinking instead of heightened emotions.
People who lack self-mastery are the ones having tantrums in public because they don’t get their way. They can’t control their emotions (road rage is a great example). They make snap decisions. They are emotionally unpredictable – snapping one moment, overly sweet the next (in an effort to fix things). They are happy one moment, and then out of the blue, something happens and a black cloud descends over their demeanor. They always quit when things become challenging. They do not have the perseverance or discipline to follow through on their intentions or promises.
People who lack self-mastery have a very erratic energetic vibration. One minute they’re content, the next they’re furious.
So even if they’re doing all the visualization and affirming in the world, they will still not get the results they want, because their vibration is high, then low, then somewhere in the middle – a lot like throwing pebbles into a pond: if you are in control of yourself, you can throw one pebble and watch the ripple effect radiate outward until the water is calm again. Throw another pebble, and watch the ripple effect slowly fade to calm again.
But lack of self mastery is like throwing a pebble and then another, or two or three at once, in random directions. All you’re going to get is a lot of chaotic waves with no real direction – imagine the universe trying to make sense of that chaos (yes, that will invite more chaos)!
Developing self-mastery is not as daunting as it may seem. Of course you’re entitled to feel emotions (you want to feel emotions, not become a robot) – the trick is to learn to feel them, let them go, and THEN respond. Here’s how to raise your vibration:
1. Get Clear On How You Want Your Life To Be
What do you want? Use your vision of what you want to carry you through the frustrating tough times.
2. Decide To Create That Life And Go For It
Immediately tell someone (a supportive friend, mentor or family member) what you intend to do. Make it real by making it public.
3. Create A Habit Of Moving Toward Your Goals Every Day
Even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes a day, DO SOMETHING that moves you toward your goal. It’s a small bit of self-discipline that will, over time, have huge results. Habits take around 30 days to establish. That means 30 days of DAILY work, for just a few minutes. Small commitment, huge payoff.
4. Important: Upgrade Your Attitude
Self-mastery is only as hard as you choose to make it. If you do what you have to do with a smile on your face and a bounce in your step, it’s not drudgery, it’s enjoyable.
5. Derail Any Negative Train Of Thought
Again, make it a habit to immediately replace any negative thoughts with ones that are pleasing to you. Be aware of your self-talk as much as you can and master it with persistence.
6. Develop Willpower By Having Strong Emotional As Well As Rational Motives
For example, if you want to lose weight, you know you shouldn’t eat donuts; yet if you are in the habit of wandering to the office break room and helping yourself to a donut or two every morning, you will find it hard to not reach for a donut no matter how much you try to talk yourself out of it (because of the immediate pleasurable reward) if you don’t have a strong emotional reason not to.
In any battle between rational and emotional motives, the emotions always win out. Having a strong emotional motive to stick to a diet will help you create more positive habits.
Note: willpower comes in bursts. Use the momentum of the initial excitement phase (where you are focused on and in love with your goal) to establish a new behavior; when the old habits threaten to resurface, make sure your emotional connection to your goal is strong enough to overcome your impulse to revert to the old habits!
7. Stay Focused
Focus on what you want, but also on what you are doing. It’s easy to be distracted but if you give into the temptation of those distractions, you won’t make much progress. “Chunk” your time into manageable sections of 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted attention. Let the phone go to voicemail. Ignore electronic notifications. Tell people you need to finish this before you can help them. Hang up a “Do Not Disturb” sign. Whatever it takes.
Stay focused and on-task for 15-30 minutes. Several of these high-intensity, high-focus periods throughout the day will help you accomplish so much – and you will train yourself not to jump up like a trained monkey every time a phone or electronic device clamors for your attention.
8. Commit To Spending 30 Minutes A Day Working On Yourself
It may mean connecting with your Higher Self; speaking affirmations; meditating; exercising; practicing replacing negative thoughts; practicing riding out emotions… you are your greatest investment and you’ll get the most ROI (return on investment) by mastering your mind.
It will take time to completely master your mind. But it’s a fascinating process and the more you practice, the more fun you’ll have with it – and just watch what happens to your vibration!