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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 February 21, 2019

How to Stop Information Overload

How to Stop Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

How Serious Is Information Overload?

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.

This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.

We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.

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The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.

Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.

But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.

Why Information Overload Is Bad for You

Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.

When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

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You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.

How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)

So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.

1. Set Your Goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.

If it does, then ask yourself these questions:

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  • Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
  • Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
  • Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?

If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.

(You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.

Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.

3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour BodyTim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.

Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.

Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

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4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:

Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

Summing It Up

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.

I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.

I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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