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Self-mastery is about exercising complete control over your own self, especially your thoughts, emotions or behaviour. Mastering yourself – your body and mind – is a lifelong struggle. Besides maintaining control over what you think and believe, and how you feel, the pursuit of inner calm is an indispensable part of having mastery over self. When you aim to achieve absolute control of your own life, you have to have self-discipline, which is an essential element in self-mastery. Cultivate self-discipline first before you attempt at gaining self-mastery.

One of the important lessons to learn to gain self-mastery is to think positively. Once you start to think positively, you can then begin the process of achieving because you have to feel good before you can do anything good. The more positive you become, the more you tend to believe in your ability to attain great success. But merely thinking positively is not effective in itself. You have to take positive action. Every moment, guard against harmful thoughts entering your mind. This you do by refraining yourself from thinking such negative thoughts, which can seriously undermine your confidence in your attempts at attaining mastery of your mind.

Remove limited thinking such as: “I have no money or brain to start a business.”, or “I don’t deserve to have a girlfriend like Joan – she’s much too good for me”. Humans are given to thinking negatively and firm personal discipline is needed to overcome this perennial problem. You need to recognize your weaknesses and past conditioning, and bring about change for the better. Mastery of your self involves almost total, if not complete, elimination of your weaknesses and faults. This is undoubtedly an arduous task. But realize it takes time, continuous and determined effort. Mastery is not to be achieved overnight.

Habitual wrong thoughts and strongly held mistaken beliefs have always been a source of feelings of negativity to many people. You owe it to yourself to banish every wrong thought and false belief that have for so long impeded your progress of getting better at doing or achieving something. Replace the wrong beliefs that you are not intelligent enough, rich enough, tall enough or fit enough to obtain the desired outcome. You can achieve as much as other people. You possess all the required qualities. But you are unaware of them or have not developed them to their true potential.

You know you are in complete control of your own life when you can consistently exercise unwaveringly strong personal discipline. This is reflected in your ability to proceed to do something completely that you have to do but do not feel like doing, as well as restrain yourself from doing something that you must not do but feel like doing. Discipline allows you to think in a right way, make the rightful choice and reject undesirable behaviour. Use your discipline to think about the things you want, not those that you don’t want.

Persist every day to develop yourself and your potential. Learn to manage your emotions when you are faced with adverse circumstances. It is a test of the degree of self-mastery you have acquired. When you are able to express a calm and confident feeling in dealing with a difficult situation while others panic, you can rest assured that you have reached a high level of self-mastery. You have really excelled yourself with each passing day.

If you want to improve other people, you must learn to improve yourself first. Likewise, if you want to change the world, you must first change yourself. It’s always inside-out. Start off by controlling your thoughts. Cultivate the habit of thinking only of happy thoughts and you will feel happy on the outside. Mental conditioning is useful whenever you want to develop a quality. It’s an effective way to achieve self-mastery.