Monday, 29 June 2020

9 Ways To Develop Self Mastery


Self-mastery is a topic that can be interpreted in a number of ways. Some people look at it as being in control of their own lives and fate, others from the perspective that this is a mental process and that we need to master our thinking and as a result of this we are able to master our reaction or lack of during changing  circumstances in our environment. 

For this article, I take the second perspective when talking of self-mastery.


Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things

-Philippians 4.8


From this scripture it is evident that from this perspective self-mastery is about being in control of our thoughts as this will eventually guide our emotions, habits, and behaviors.  Mastering oneself is important because our execution of business strategies is dependent on this and it determines our level of achievement and overall success. Below are 7 ways you can develop self-mastery;

1. Understand yourself; knowing your strengths, weaknesses, preferences, as well as biases, can inform your strategy on what areas you would like to improve on and which ones you can be great at. If you do not know yourself it will be difficult to figure out where to start from as most of us have numerous flaws that need to be addressed.

Understanding yourself also helps you see the strengths  or weaknesses in others and as a result, you are able to recruit and delegate better which is critical for any good business leader. You can understand yourself better by self-evaluation using numerous self-evaluation tools available online or through targeted questions that you can use and also give to close associates and family to fill.

2. Make and execute a plan for your development; your journey to self-mastery will not start till you commit to starting it. This means making a plan on how to address your areas of weakness and executing that plan. For example, if you need to be better at managing your time you will need to come up with strategies on how you are going to tackle this issue.  Just coming up with a smart goal about your time management will not cut it. Do this but also, come up with strategies on how to do it.

Your strategies could include talking to or observing people who are better time managers than yourself, reading books on better time management and following this, coming up with specific actions you are going o take and by what date the actions will be implemented. Going through all this will ensure you actually make progress towards implementing the plan.

3. Talk to yourself and be aware of your self-talk; we all have a conversation with ourselves going on in our head to our-self. Self-talk can be very motivating  when we do not have other people to encourage us for example when we have a vision of something that we may not have sold yet to our team. The personal conversation can be energising or can have self-defeating undercurrents if it is negative.

Most ideas are killed before they even leave your mind because by the time you tell them to the first person you are already speaking negatively. Others take the cue and enforce this. Pessimists have a field day with this. Intentionally be aware of self-talk and turn negative self-talk to more positive conversations.

4. Make Peace With Your Past; past experiences can keep you in the past if you do not move on. Some ways you are held back in the past is unforgiveness, living in past success and having past regrets. Making peace with the past means you address the issues that are holding you back and letting it go. Forgive whoever you need to forgive, accept where you are now if life dealt you a mean blow - understand no situation is permanent. Making peace with your past stops you from being weighed down by past failures or not living in the reality of today.

5. Prepare for different eventualities; You can not master a situation you have not prepared for. By being objective and viewing situations from all perspective nothing will come as a surprise and you will be able to manage situations better.  Pride and being over optimistic stops entrepreneurs from having realistic views on issues.

To master yourself, develop an objective and humble spirit. Many people do this naturally because of their experiences. If you have not had bad experiences that humble you do not wait to get them, reach out to those in bad circumstances (the sick or homeless)and you will find reality and humility checks in pretty fast.

6. Keep  records; records help you keep in memory strategies, tactics used and accomplishments as you experience them. This could be in the form of daily and weekly reports, journals or schedules. It is easy to then go back to an event and review how it was accomplished. Having a journal or schedule to plan also enables you to think through what you want to do and re-evaluate the strategies you have in mind moving forward.

7. Get involved; show up in your life, business and projects. Do not assume your team members will act on something, however, reliable they are. This does not mean always looking over their shoulders but putting in place a system that allows you to continually re-evaluate the process towards the achievement of goals, objective and strategies. Where you are a solepreneur, having clear achievement standards keeps you in check.

8. Monitor your progress; monitor your progress towards your achievements. This allows you to make an intervention if there is a need to. Failing  to have checks in the process of execution, would mean you will not be able to address a problem when it first appears. A monitoring process highlights any indicators that so as to address probable shortcomings

9. Re-evaluate yourself; Periodically take time for self-evaluation. It shows  you your progress and can not only be encouraging when you consider how far you have come but also keeps you aware of the next area you need to address in yourself mastery.

Trust this points will get you started in your self-mastery journey.

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