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How to Resist Every Temptation and Be a Winner in Life

How to Resist Every Temptation and Be a Winner in Life

Self-control. Also known as willpower, discipline, or determination, this useful trait is a great lifelong skill to have in your back pocket. Self-control will help you overcome tempting situations in life and will also keep you on track when the going gets rough. Read more about how to gain the self-control needed to overcome almost any situation.

What is self-control?

The true definition of self-control is to control one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations. Psychology Today defines this tool as, “…the ability to subdue our impulses in order to achieve longer-term goals.” [1]. Instead of acting on immediate impulses, self-control can help us to control our emotions and help prevent us from doing anything we’ll regret, like eating that delicious chocolate milkshake when you’ve been trying to eat healthier. Exercising self-control, or willpower, in these types of situations eventually leads to success and big achievement.

Why is self-control so hard?

There are studies that show that self-control is exhausting [2]. Any task or situation that uses your focus or attention actually taxes your patience and self-control. That’s why after a trying day at work, it’s more likely you’ll lose that control when you get home in the form of binge eating or being ornery towards family members.

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Human beings naturally like to revert to old and familiar routines that are comfortable to them. So any kind of change or new routine that uses a lot of your focus is tapping into your self-control tank. It takes a lot of focus to master new routines, or even to overcome our everyday feelings and impulses.

That’s why at the end of the day, especially days that are filled with a large amount of newness or stress, our self-control tank can be low on fuel and we are more likely to feel exhausted and drained. However, there are ways to identify when your self-control is running on empty and how to refill your tank.

How to tell if your self-control runs on low?

So what are some warning signs that your self-control might be running on low? Let’s address a few of these signs and how to refuel and re-energize your mind and willpower.

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Signs self-control is getting low:

  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Lack of Patience
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Intrusive Thoughts

So what steps can you take to regain control?

If your self control is bad, your relationships would be bad too

Not only is self-control important in achieving personal goals and underlies any successful person, it is also extremely important in our social lives. Using self-control is part of our everyday interactions with others. More often than not, we are put in situations that cause stress or friction within us that may be caused by other people, and the power to control your feelings and emotions in these situations will make or break you.

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Giving into impulsive emotions and feelings can have bad consequences, and knowing how to use self-control will save you from some pretty awkward situations, according to My Self Development [3].

Here are 4 simple ways to build self-control:

There are a number of ways to recharge and re-energize so that you are running at optimal levels of control, ensuring that you are effectively dealing with everyday situations to the best of your ability.

1. Practice situations that exercise self-control

Practice makes perfect, and practicing situations that exercise self-control, like refraining from sweets or technology for a day, will improve these skills [4]. It will also improve your confidence that you can control yourself in stressful situations.

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2. Distract yourself from the tempting situation

When a situation pops up that is tempting, finding a good distraction (like taking a walk or phoning a friend) will help avoid the bad behavior. Also, replacing bad habits with rewarding or positive behaviors is a great way to kick those naughty routines that can be very tempting.

3. Put yourself first to be energized

When your self-control is exhausted, and it will be many times in your life, it can be easy to snap and revert to bad behaviors. A great way to prevent this from happening is by taking care of yourself. Eating healthy, getting enough Z’s, and exercising are great starters. These simple methods ensure that you have the best energy level to handle stress and properly cope with it [5].

4. Change your environment to decrease temptations

By decreasing distractions or temptations within your environment, you won’t need to exercise as much self-control, thereby increasing your focus and energy on more important things. Improving your surroundings will help reserve your self-control for when you need it most [6].

Get started now!

Having good self-control isn’t always easy, and it sometimes takes a lot of work. But by practicing and using some of the tips above, using your self-control will get easier over time, and before you know it, success will follow.

Reference

More by this author

Amanda Light

Wife, Mom, Writer

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Last Updated on October 22, 2018

Do You Have to Give Everything Up to Get a Fresh Start?

Do You Have to Give Everything Up to Get a Fresh Start?

There is a common belief that when you want to embark or start on something new, whether it be a project, a hobby, a job or some big life change, a certain sacrifice must be made. “Out with the old, and in with the new” as they say. It’s almost as if we’re not capable of handling more than what we already have unless we let go of something. But is that really always the case?

When I was young, I took up violin lessons. I enjoyed playing the violin, but when I saw a friend playing the guitar, I got interested in that and wanted to start playing the guitar. My parents however, insisted that I continue with violin lessons and felt I should give my full attention to one instrument, rather than a few; they didn’t believe in being a Jack of all trades. And so sadly, I never got to take up guitar lessons.

Afraid of Giving it Up?

Have you found yourself in a similar circumstance? Perhaps you’re at a crossroad right now, and you’re trying to decide on whether to stay on in your current job, or move on to something completely different.

You’re not truly doing something you love or are passionate about, and so you want to make that change… but it’s a risky plunge.

You’re going to have to sacrifice everything that you’ve worked for over the years. You’re going to have to say goodbye to that big salary, the benefits that comes with the job, and you’re going to have to adjust to the changes.

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Thinking of all that is already detering you from stepping out to take that plunge, isn’t it?

Or maybe you have many responsibilities in life and little time for yourself. You have a spouse and children to take care of, maybe you’ve even got aging parents to think of.

At work, you’ve got subordinates waiting on you for advice. As a leader, you have to manage the team. You’ve got conference calls in different time zones to take, business trips to make, decisions to execute.

You have a lot on your plate, and you wish you could just set aside some time to enjoy the pleasures in life. Golf more, take the kids out more, go on vacations more.

Sure, if you wanted all that time, you could take on a lower paying job that would require less of your time. But that would mean a big pay cut and less comfort in your life. If not, you’ll just have to wait till retirement.

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Play It Safe and Regret It Later

In these situations, it usually feels like an all or nothing approach. And, it then becomes the ‘smart’ thing to just ignore the challenge and stay put. Unless you’re overly confident that things are going to work out, or that you have a back up plan in place, most people never truly dare to take on new opportunities after a certain age or stage in life for fear of losing out, falling behind or having to give up whatever it is that they’ve already accomplished thus far.

But this is also where many individuals end up feeling regret much later on in life, perhaps as they approach retirement and have a sense of unfulfillment. There is an emptiness or a lack that they start feeling because they never answered their ‘calling’ or satisfied their heart’s desires. You may end up feeling short changed and unhappy with how things have turned out.

Most people end up feeling more bitter over the regrets of not having done or tried something, rather than in the mistakes they made when they tried something. It’s always the ‘what ifs’ that will go on to haunt you.

No Sacrifice Needed!

The good news is, you don’t actually have to make such a big sacrifice when it comes to change! You can carry on with your existing way of life, your job or your responsibilities while changing or doing something new.

It’s really not that hard because everything that you do in life, whether it’s your career, relationships or even health, are driven by 7 Cornerstone Skills. These are 7 qualities that if you have them, can make you excel at anything. And we already have most, if not all, of these 7 Cornerstone Skills; we just don’t always know how to use them to the best of our abilities.

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Unfortunately, some of us may not even know the importance of these Cornerstone Skills, and how just sharpening one skill can significantly improve the wellbeing of your life.

If you’re that busy professional with far too much on your plate, thinking there’s nothing you can do to lighten the weight so that you can breathe a little and have time to enjoy life, then think again.

Because I can show you some proven techniques that will improve your Focus significantly, and the way you manage your Time. You’ll end up investing in more time, than spending time unnecessarily, thus giving you the ability to enjoy some of that time for yourself.

By learning to Learn again, you’ll be able to grasp knowledge a lot quicker, allowing you to manage your responsibilities in a smart manner.

These are just 3 of the 7 Cornerstone Skills that I’ve mentioned. By harnessing the potential of all 7, you will realize that if you truly want to achieve a certain goal or ambition, you need not worry about having to trade off a certain aspect of your life.  Instead, you’ll be able to work around things, or improve things even faster because of the skills that you’ve now enhanced from understanding how these 7 Cornerstone Skills work together.

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Making a life improvement, career switch or new goal pursuit can easily happen without risky trade-offs once you know how to harness your Cornerstone Skills into your existing life.

Ready to learn more about the 7 Cornerstone Skills and find out why they’re so important? Subscribe to our newsletter today and begin making that change you’ve been wanting to, without sacrifices!

Featured photo credit: Martha Dominguez de Gouveia via unsplash.com

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