“No evil propensity of the human heart is so powerful that it may not be subdued by discipline.” ~ - Seneca (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

The secret of self-control is using your faith as an anchor. No matter what your faith may be, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Christian, Hinduism, or another of the world’s major religions, faith is the key. Every religion teaches that you must have faith to succeed in your spiritual and everyday life. As a Christian I turn to my belief in Christ. This has been the power that has changed my life for the better.

One of the main reasons I attend church, beyond worshipping the Lord, is to be around church “brother and sisters” who are quite a positive influence on me and help me to reinforce my personal values. However when you are not around other believers of like mind you will have to exercise control of yourself through self-discipline.

Steps to Help You Exercise Control

Step 1 - Admit your problems

The starting point for developing self-control is to face what is necessary to do. You cannot fix what you may not believe is there. As difficult as it may be, take 100% responsibility for your actions and your desires. I use prayer as a weapon against lack of self-control.

Step 2 - Avoid unnecessary temptation

Make life easy on yourself and don’t put yourself in situations where you’ll face temptation when you don’t have to. If you struggle with alcohol and drugs, don’t go into a bar or around drug users. Do what you need to do in order to avoid temptation.

Step 3 - Be accountable to yourself

Find someone who will check up on you and help keep you on track. Under ideal circumstances this would be your spouse or companion. You can also ask a close friend to help or even your church’s pastor or minister. If you are tempted to do something you know is wrong or spend time with a person(s) whose behavior may be damaging to you then “pray it away”. It is amazing what prayer or in this case “talking back” to your impulses can accomplish. God’s grace gives us the power to do the right thing.

Step 4 - Master your moods

Don’t be someone whose moods flow with the wind. If people have to tip-toe around you, you won’t have many friends. Individuals with “Jekyll and Hyde” personalities are not people to spend time with unless you are getting paid to do it.

Step 5 - Believe you can change your situation

Be proactive in this by planting positive seeds in your mind regularly through prayer, meditation, and taking in positive materials (books, audios, etc). Monitor your thought life. The way you think determines the way you feel; the way you feel determines the way you act; and the way you act determines your outcome.

Self-control brings with it the good feeling of confidence and self-assuredness. Your life stays on the right path and doing the right thing becomes habit as opposed to sacrifice.

Self-control and self-discipline are key factors in any success you are seeking in life. Without self-discipline, you are unlikely to achieve anything of lasting value or importance.

Source: Titus 2:11-12 (New King James Version)

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.

©2009 THJ & Associates, LLC

Author's Bio: 

Theodore Henderson, DTM - Distinguished Toastmaster -- The founder of THJ & Associates is a business coach who transforms the business lives of individuals who want to use biblical principles and Christian faith as a guide of success for all of the key areas of their life; spiritual, social, personal, family, and business. He is passionate about speech and communication and the application of biblical principals to business and personal success.

Theodore is a Distinguished Toastmaster who leverages his dynamic corporate background to help clients identify and target their niche, discover how to make bold, dramatic shifts in their entrepreneurial life by building a bridge from where they are today to where they want to go.

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