We are so selfish, self this and self that. We need to focus on God are the words I heard from someone while participating in group coaching. I cringed in my chair as I discerned the inner outcry from those needing help. I began to hurt as I felt the pain the guests were in and the direction they needed. God is in us, so why aren’t we encouraged to get in tune with who we are? Why are we still speaking of the creator as an entity outside of us? Why are we still quoting scripture to people without cracking the codes they are? I could feel it in the room that the participants needed strategy and once again they were failed and left to figure their way through the loads of horrible advice they received.
“Self-Mastery is often defined as self-control, the ability to exert a strong will against your impulses to steer your future. Self-mastery requires having a vision for yourself. We learn self-mastery by getting out of our way.” When we fail to take control of our lives, we are blown off course by feelings, urges, and circumstances. Take it from me. I once had a Ph.D. in allowing emotional setbacks to hinder my progress. Self-mastery awakens me and I no longer carry that degree.
Why is this Important?
Self-mastery helps us to have clarity on what is important to us. It teaches us mindfulness, living in the present moment. This creates more room in our lives for feelings of gratitude, love fulfillment, joy, and happiness. Practicing gratitude alone is a game-changer.
How Do I Cultivate Self-Mastery?
I thought you’d never ask. I am going to list 5 steps to do so. There may be more, but here is a great start.
1. Talk to yourself
Yes, you read that right. I know you grew up being told crazy people talk to themselves. But generational ignorance like that is why we can not tap into what lies within. Inner dialogue helps you make sense of the world, it helps you observe your thoughts becoming more self-aware and causes you to think about what you are thinking about. Soon I will be a counselor and the premise of my courses is that thinking errors, birth negative emotions, and negative emotions birth negative behavior. So yes talk to yourself and think about what you are thinking about.
2. Make peace with your past
Self-mastery means not allowing past negative experiences the power of emotional collateral to spark present and future fires. Interpreting an event in a new way that reduces negative responses will completely change cell chemistry. Whenever we respond to a certain event a certain way how cells how the memory. Every time you are triggered in that way you will find yourself responding the same. Let’s rewrite that narrative. It is HARD to pick up anything new when your hands are full of burdens. Emotional Intelligence is vital in self-mastery. Organize those experiences as they come, process it, and develop a healthier perspective. You do not need to be held back by what did or did not happen any longer. The world needs you.
3. Keep a journal
To know me is to know this is my favorite part. As a certified journal therapist, I pride myself on the healing benefits of getting everything out on paper, reviewing your thought patterns, and uncovering holes in your thinking. The more we journal, the more aware we are of our behaviors and thought patterns. This gives us room to change and grow. Laying out your goals in writing is like drafting a blueprint for new construction.
4. Have an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses
This is where you own it all even those ugly parts. This is where you admit you have a problem. People who hide behind who they think they should be, have not mastered self. They are merely caught up in a façade desiring to break free but they are so far gone it seems hopeless. They hold on because revealing their true shadow may cost them and because they already battle with a level of rejection, this part may be the hardest.
5. Take an active approach in life
Stop “waiting on God” God is in you. He has downloaded a vision for you. What are you waiting for exactly? Myles Munroe out it best “everything you need to accomplish what you were sent here for is already in you” the problem is we do not go within; we would rather procrastinate all in the name of I’m not going before God. What exactly does that mean? And how many years have you said that? You will be waiting and someone else will have your vision running with it.
So rather than spectate, perform. When situations call for a response, a self-mastered person takes initiative and steps right in. There is absolutely no room for passivity. JUST DO IT!
This is not a selfish act. Begin today mastering thyself. You will be amazed at the potential you awaken, the healing that will take place, and the patience you will birth for yourself. Understanding who you are, growing, and making adjustments are so important in this hour. Far too long we have walked around at ground level, it is time to fly.