Self-control or self-governance is a great predictor of achievement. It also helps keep you from what is bad for you and your life. If you are interested in self-governance, read Willpower by Roy Baumeister, who has researched self-control.
Since self-governance is vital for individuals in every organization, knowing how to develop more makes sense. So, let me help you. Below are 4 of the 5 critical actions that increase your self-governance. The fifth is powerful but discussed in two other blogs; Stop Using Your Self-control - Pre-decide" and "Self-governing, Eric Clapton and Hyperbolic Discounting."
Pursue the Best for Others - Delays Your Flashing ME!
The most significant danger to self-governance is self-absorption. Undoubtedly, everyone is selfish and self-absorbed, probably more than you think. The evidence is in the reality of evil in the world. Yes, your environment plays a part, but not as much as your built-in nature to "make everything about ME." Obviously, you don't have to teach children to lie, be deceptive, or be selfish.
When you pursue the best for other people, it encourages service, not self-gratification. And serving others is one of the best ways to stop focusing on yourself. It is also one of the best ways to beat depression.
Self-governance encourages WE, not ME. Anytime you serve others, it is better for you and the people around you.
Pursue Clear Goals—Focus on the Next Step
Sometimes the change you want takes a long time. And, when achieving your goal is far off into the future, it can be difficult to keep going. To help yourself maintain energy, break your goals up with milestones and short-term targets. That enables you to focus your energy on getting to the next milestone. Then when reaching that one, you will know that you are making progress, even if it is slow.
Another great help is the excellent tool called Primary and Secondary Choices. It is a simple tool to help you do things you may want to avoid!
When you pursue the next step of a clear goal, limit yourself to 1 to 3 tasks. That helps you achieve and enhance self-control or self-governance one day or step at a time.
Pursue Monitoring—Measure Progress
Even if you focus more on the next step, you need to measure progress. Make sure all of your goals are clearly measurable. And make sure you use objective evidence, not subjective feelings.
When you measure progress, use an accountability partner or partners. Self-governance wants feedback. And remember this principle about feedback, "consider all criticism as valid until proven otherwise."
Pursue Frequent Rewards—Practice, Improve, Reward
There is a big difference between self-esteem and self-governance. Self-esteem hurts you, and self-governance helps you. Read some significant research on the difference, chapter 9 in Willpower. If you want information from Willpower and the biblical perspective on the difference between self-esteem, self-control, or self-governance, download this document - Satan Loves This - Do You?
Self-esteem thinks well of self without verifiable evidence. But self-governance increases when there is evidence of achievement. So, reward yourself when you achieve milestones or your ultimate goal. There are better methods than this, but this one can help as you grow your self-governance. Ultimately, self-governance is its own reward.
And, for the most powerful action to help you grow your self-governance read this blog.