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 control 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 awakened me, and I no longer carry that degree. Meditation is a practice I participated in early on my healing journey. I remained consistent, and I saw progress faster than I expected. It was the first step in discovering the Kingdom within.
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. Being mindful creates more room in our lives for feelings of gratitude, love fulfillment, joy, and happiness. Practicing gratitude alone is a game-changer. Invest in a gratitude journal and intentionally use it every morning. Documenting what you are grateful for and thinking about those things will set the tone for your day. Couple journaling with meditation; there is no shaking you.
How Do I Cultivate Self-Mastery?
I thought you’d never ask. I am going to list five 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 allows you to observe your thoughts, becoming more self-aware, and causes you to think about your thoughts. I serve as a counselor also, 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 practice thought noticing.
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 particular occasion differently. Every time we experience triggers, we will find ourselves responding the same if we do not challenge what is not serving us. 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 them, 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. Assessments such as these give 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
Sitting with it is where you own it all, even those ugly parts. Accountability is where you admit you have a problem. People who hide behind who they think they should be, have not mastered themselves. They are merely caught up in a facade desiring to break free, but they are so far gone it seems hopeless. They hold on because revealing their actual 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 your purpose is already in you” the problem is we do not go within; we would instead 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 the initiative and steps right in. There is absolutely no room for passivity. JUST DO IT!
Putting yourself first 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 significant in this hour. Far too long, we have walked around at ground level; it is time to fly.
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