Self-Mastery – Developing Your Effectiveness
We are all responsible for our own development and often the most successful managers realise this and do not wait for the Corporate Training juggernaut to hitch up and provide everything from one day Soft Skills training to the Harvard MBA. Those that DO wait effectively stifle their own progress and are cast aside when opportunity/promotion comes knocking.
Developing an approach that recognises that you are the key to your own development – effective Self Mastery – is the key to a happier career and finding the next and subsequent promotions.
This approach will give you the ability to control yourself in all situations, and you move forward consciously and steadily towards your goals. Knowing where you are going is a key factor in personal and professional success.
Consider the following areas that could be part of your approach to Self Mastery.
- Setting Goals
Think about how you want your life to look and then plan ahead for this. Successful people always have a concrete vision and exercise strong self-discipline which allows them to have a vision upon which they can hang targets. Personal goals that can be achieved give strong impetus for attaining the next goal, and so on, especially if this can be seen in our day-to-day work which contributes to both short-term and medium/long-term goals. The clearer you are about what you want to achieve in life, the easier it is to move forwards calmly and confidently.
- Attitude and Emotion
Your attitude and emotions play a major role in self-mastery. Successful people never let their emotions control them and essentially they control their own emotions. This is developed through harnessing the power of small, but important, goals that develop an emotional momentum towards bigger targets.
It is very important to see the value of what you are doing and never fall into the trap of excessive self-criticism which will only undermine what you have already achieved and, very likely, what you will go on to achieve. Similarly looking on the positives of a situation even if things have not worked out how you wanted to – remember, every experience is at the very least an opportunity to learn!
Everyone has problems with willpower from time to time, even the most successful and polished leader will have doubts and will see their goals wobble or even crash. Recognising that you have to work on your willpower is the first step in Self-Mastery and the first stage in making things happen for you.
Use both rational and emotional approaches when things go wrong or when your drive is wavering. Strong willpower will push you on and be aware when it is waning and needs refreshing. Giving up smoking or managing a successful diet never happen through a shallow approach to the problem – it is willpower that sets apart the smoker from the ex-smoker when it really comes down to the wire.
Improving your focus is also the key to Self-Mastery. Look analytically at how much time do you waste during your working day, how often your attention creeps away into looking at the internet, sending personal emails, chatting and taking part in non-productive activity at work. We all do it and it is nothing to be alarmed at IF it does not get in the way of our focus and drive!
A good starting point is always to focus upon one task at a time and move up your attention from there, developing your powers of concentration towards that particular goal. Remember to build in breaks to this process but over time your focus and application will increase which, in turn, gives greater drive and results.