To meet the high demands and standards of post-modern living, self-control is certainly needed—otherwise how can you expect to lose that weight or build that empire, Gabby Bess wonders.
There’s almost an endless number of books and articles on the subject of self-control, “each of which instructs you on how to increase your self-control so you can get ahead,” says Bess; however, a new study has revealed that wanting more self-control can actually hurt your ability to exert it.
“In our capitalist hellscape, there’s always room for improvement. If you’re doing well, you could be doing great. If you exercise two times a week, you could try to double that,” chides Bess.
In fact, just thinking that you’re not doing well enough makes you feel bad, and that self-criticism doesn’t help you perform any better: “Clearly, interventions designed to induce strong desire for self-control (e.g., by emphasizing the benefits of high self-control through popular media or education channels) could lead to unintended negative effects that have not been sufficiently considered yet,” the researchers explain.
Better to believe in yourself and in your ability and to know that achieving your goal might involve struggle and frustration along the way.