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Self-mastery can be defined as a self-discipline of sorts, wherein one’s self-control plays a major role to curb their impulses in order to steer their future to one of their choosing. It requires an individual to create a strong sense of will power for themselves and be able to put that to use in order to construct a future for themselves. It is extremely difficult to practice, considering the fact that giving up is the easiest way out for most of us, sadly. Self-mastery requires the establishment of a vision, and complete commitment to implement and execute it.

Mastering oneself requires us to first and foremost, get out of our own way. We need to strip away the image we hold of ourselves and give ourselves room to realize and recognize who we are, thus ACTUALIZING our potential in the process.


Self-mastery is a path or a kind of orientation that one chooses to hold towards themselves and towards the world.

It is a commitment made to oneself in the quest for constant improvement, and a process of becoming. We eventually start to realize that we are the ones who are holding ourselves back.

Our critics and cynics aren’t out there in the world, they are within us. An individual who is committed to this path will find various ways to break free from their resistance and fears. One must possess the self-awareness that is necessary to recognize the creativity within them and channelize it. We must also be able to recognize the sources of resistance within us and find ways beyond it.


The belief that we need to control our basic impulses. Self-mastery does not imply that we need to dominate or control the fearful and dark parts of ourselves, but to be able to recognize them and transcend them. Once these inner tensions are resolved, we find ourselves becoming whole and allowing the natural process of development to take place.

Adults have a million excuses for the simplest of tasks. We often find ourselves diverting from our aims and objectives only to forego our path of development. We often say that we don’t have time or we’re too tired, instead of pushing ourselves to our full potential.

What exactly is standing in our way and blocking our journeys of growth and development?

In a psychological study, it is explained that the human condition consists of two powerful sets of forces which are – A drive that leads us towards growth and an opposing drive for safety.

Growth helps us move forward to discover our individual uniqueness and our personal whole “Self”.

An opposing force drives us to protect our current self and tends to make us cling on to safety due to the fear of the unknown.

This force of safety forces us to stay where we are. It makes us feel afraid to take chances to improve our current conditions and makes us cling on to our past. The safety-seeking side deprived us of separateness and independence, the factors that are demanded by the growth-seeking side.


What an individual decides to focus on tends to guide the direction of our lives. If we focus on the dangers of growth, our need for safety wins the day.

There are valid reasons to be afraid of growth. Growth doesn’t only bring rewards, but it also brings pain. Every step taken forward in this journey is a step towards the unknown, towards possible danger. Each step requires us to give up something that we are familiar with. Growth is towards complexity, hence is means giving up something that is easier in order to bring about a change for the better. A difficult change, but a wise one.

In some cases, safety does trump growth. Choosing safety is appropriate in cases where we know that we are bringing in more pain than we can handle at that moment. But if safety is constantly chosen overgrowth, it will leave us in a state of disappointment in the long run. If we cling on to safety throughout our lives, we may look back upon a life that we never really “lived”- a life of regrets and lost opportunities. If we constantly move towards safety, we shall eventually lose our individual uniqueness.


There are numerous signs (subjective):

You’re more likely to experience feelings of happiness and euphoria, a sense of fulfillment.

You feel confident and have faith in your ability to face the inevitable hurdles that are going to come your way and the complexities that accompany them.

When the fear of safety dominates us, we start becoming fixed or rigid in our outlook due to fear of the unknown. We feel a sense of self-betrayal and start feeling emotions like anxiety, boredom, and a lack of identity. Fear and the need for safety are needed to support our survival and they mustn’t vanish, but courage and the need for growth are also things that make us human.

In courageously following a path of self-mastery, we can recognize our full potential and live meaningful and unique lives that match up to our true standards.


1. Accept the resistance within you.

We aren’t born perfect. everyone had their fair share of insecurities and fears and thus we all have resistance within us that inhibits our journey towards growth. This often tends to make us beat ourselves up once we realize that we are the ones standing in our own way.

We may feel guilty and shameful but this will only delay our progress. In contrast, self-compassion and acceptance can help us take note of our resistance instead of criticizing ourselves for it.

2. Create a vision.

A clear vision of where we wish to see ourselves serve us in the areas we wish to seek growth and development. Without a vision, our efforts will be useless and can tend to meander about and distract us even more, thus shifting us from the path of growth.

Create vision boards, journals, write self encouraging notes, and make sure you have researched well about what your vision is.

3. Practice and be consistent.

Whatever skill you choose to master, make sure you practice it and commit to it fully. The human brain can only pick up skills through constant practice. Understand that transformation does not happen instantly, it requires consistency.

4. Learn to accept failure.

Failure, of any kind, is inevitable on the part to self-mastery and growth. The sooner you realize this, the less disappointed and discouraged will you be when you actually face it.

Here, self-kindness, compassion, and acceptance will help you bounce back. Giving up is never an option.

5. Lighten up.

Be sure to enjoy the process or else you’ll find yourself derailing your efforts. Take a light-hearted approach and don’t be too serious or too hard on yourself. Too much of everything is harmful. Take time off to do something different and fun that works for you. Learn to laugh at yourself at times and just have fun.

6. Set mini-goals.

These mini-goals will keep you engaged in your practice and they can help stay focused on the path while not being too harsh on yourself and also helping you enjoy the process as you go.

7. Seek passion.

Speak to people who stimulate your brain and help you reach your best potential. People who have been where you are and people who are on the same path as you. Learn to be open to criticism and see yourself shine along the way.

8. Rest.

Be sure to get enough sleep. Our brain cannot function to the best of its ability without adequate rest. Sleep early, rise early. Take time off for yourself. Relax, and make sure to never overwork or exert yourself too much.


The journey towards self-actualization and self-mastery can be tricky, scary, and absolutely exhilarating. Discovering a great talent or capability within yourself can be extremely challenging for some people, no matter what comes with it. It may sometimes demand that you stand alone and work in harmony with yourself. It may be extremely difficult to navigate yours from the known to the unknown. Even if the known is not desirable. It is familiar to us and we are automatically drawn towards it. All humans have a need for safety, hence there will always be an attraction to stay within the boundaries of what is familiar to us and confine ourselves to the shackles of what we already know.

Honor your need for safety but guide and navigate yourself, with all the courage in you, towards the vast sea of the unknown.

Transform yourself at your own pace, go slow, be as steady as you can, and try to reach your full potential. Your aim should be high and you must put your all into achieving it.

I wish all my readers good luck.

What do you think?

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Written by Lutfia Khan

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Nidhi Dahiya

Very well written and yes mastering you own self is important for growth and development.

Brinda S

Very well written.

Amna Alim

Well explained!

Disha Dhage

amazing article

Disha Dhage

well written

Disha Dhage

very informative

Disha Dhage

worth reading

Disha Dhage

keep up the good work

Disha Dhage

keep writing

Disha Dhage

will share

Disha Dhage


Disha Dhage


Disha Dhage


Riya Rajkotiya

Enjoyed reading it

Jigyasa vashistha

thanks for writing …this is so wonderful article..loved it 🙂

Simran Rai

Great article!!

Kritika Bhair

a must read article
good luck

Kritika Bhair

well written

Jigyasa vashistha

very very informative … keep writing:)

Gunjan Choughule

so nicely pinned down. this is surely going to help anyone who is reading. the way you explained the secrets are going to be very helpful and calming as they don’t need much of efforts.