Self-Mastery ~ The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Do for Yourself

Guidance for Youth and Teens

This article was originally written for a teen girl who was just coming out of foster care.

If you have a teenager who doesn’t understand why it matters to develop self-control or good ethics, then maybe this will be helpful for them as well.

Photo by Pablo Martinez on Unsplash

What it means to have self-mastery…

If you make a promise, you can keep it.

If you make a plan, you can be trusted to follow through on it until it is complete.

When you set a goal for yourself, you will keep trying until that goal is reached.

If someone offers drugs, you have the strength to say “not for me, I’m good”.

If you get depressed, you have a plan in place to help yourself get back on track.
If you see someone being dissed or bullied, you have the courage to speak up.
If you see someone being hurt, you have the compassion to get help.
If someone needs your help for a good cause, you lend a hand even if there’s nothing in it for you.
When you feel negative emotions like jealousy, you take the time to deal with those feelings before you say or do something you will regret.

If someone breaks your heart, you can take the time to give yourself “self care” and recover slowly (without doing something stupid while you are hurting).

When things keep going wrong in your relationships, you take the time to analyze yourself for possible improvements instead of blaming others.
If someone comes to you with rumors, you wait for the facts before forming an opinion.
If someone tells you mean things about another person, you have the strength to hold your tongue and not join in with the dissing – instead you just offer support to your friend by saying “I can see how that made you mad”.
When your life seems boring, you don’t complain or do anything crazy just to “shake things up” – instead, you take action to create positive changes.
If you make a plan to have a max of 2 drinks when you go out, you stick to it.
You know your body and your moods well enough to notice when you’re feeling rundown – instead of  taking it out on others, you know that it’s time to give yourself some privacy and a spa night.
When you have a bad day, you rely on your inner strength to remind yourself it is just “one day” and does not mean that you have a crappy life.
When someone treats you with disrespect, you distance yourself or correct it by speaking up and telling them how you feel – that you won’t tolerate that behavior anymore if they want to be in your life.
If you feel loopy or cranky, then you take the time to find out why – what’s bothering me? – is it hormones? – is it a full moon? – do I need more sleep? – did I eat too much junk food?…
You force yourself to get homework and chores done before “play”.
When you can’t change your circumstances, you change your attitude.
You know that being happy is more important than being right.
When life gives you lemons, you find a good recipe for lemonade! (meaning that you try to make the best out of what you’ve got).
Photo by Dương Nhân from Pexels

Q: Why is self-mastery important?

A: If you can’t control your own self, then how can you control your life?

If you are not able to control yourself, then it sends loud and clear messages to other people that you are weak. When other people see weakness, it is their human nature to take advantage, or control the person who is weak.

If you are weak, you will set yourself up for a lifetime of unhappiness, chaos, problems, and being a target for others to control you.

Self-mastery creates a great feeling of accomplishment.

Feelings of accomplishment will increase your self-esteem and give you the courage to try even harder things. The more you achieve through self-mastery, the easier it will get for you to try other stuff. You will feel less fear, and have more confidence.

People who are self-mastered will attract opportunities. When you are self-mastered, others will see that you are in control of yourself, then they will trust you with important things like; jobs, partnerships, scholarships, material possessions, money, managing other people… The list of possibilities is endless.

A person who is self-mastered is like a walking billboard that says:


The pain of NOT being self-mastered

People who have NOT mastered themselves will actually turn away opportunities that were intended for them.

Here’s an example of how that can happen:

If a store owner needs to hire a new cashier, he may be considering that friendly girl that comes in every day to buy something. But what if he sees her come in on a Friday night and she is drunk? She might be friendly and talkative. She might THINK that it’s no big deal and no one cares… after all, it’s FRIDAY NIGHT!!

But she should think again. Because that store owner has just reconsidered his idea to hire her. He sees that she is out of control and hangs around with partiers. He wonders why she is so unhappy that she needs to drink so much. He will then try to think of other people he can hire instead of her.

So there’s an opportunity missed that you will never even know about.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

The disappointment of not being able to rely on yourself

If you’ve had a lot of disappointment in your life, then you probably know how painful it is when someone lets you down.

If you are not self-mastered then you are probably missing the mark on a lot of things that you “meant to do”. If this is the case, then you are disappointing at least two people… one is the person that is counting on you …and the other is yourself.

If you don’t like the pain of disappointment, then you can change things. You can become the kind of person that will always be there for you. Learn to be a stand-up friend to yourself through self-mastery. Learn how to do whatever it takes, to be the one person that you can count on. It’s worth the effort because you are stuck with yourself until the last breath you take. You may as well do a bit of work while you are young so that you can enjoy the journey as you move through life.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
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