Often times in the workplace, you find people who work very hard but never seem to get very far. This may be because of various reasons but one key reason I have discovered from my years of dealing with people is that a lot people do not understand their triggers, hence they put in a lot of effort only for a momentary outburst of emotions to bring all their efforts to nothing.  Truth is, if you don’t understand yourself how then do you expect others to understand and relate with you as you would like them to.

Self- mastery is simply the leadership of self.  It is the ability to control yourself in all situations, as you consciously move towards your goals. It means you have the self-discipline needed to do things in a deliberate, focused, and honourable way. It also means mastering your emotions, impulses, and actions.

Self-mastery can be categorised into 3Cs: character (who you are), competency (what you do) and connection (how they relate to others)


Great people are usually judged by their character. No one is born with good character, it is not a heredity trait neither is it determined by a single noble act. It is established by careful adherence to moral values that encourages them to do the right thing even in the face of difficult situations. Therefore character is formed and revealed by how one deals with everyday situations as well as pressures and temptations. A person is considered to have good character when they exhibit traits like integrity, honesty, courage, loyalty, resilience and other important virtues that promote good behaviour and habits.

Our character is who we are and what we do. It is our thoughts, values, words and actions, put together which becomes the habits that determine how successful we are in life. It is important that we have a foundation of strong character because our response to life’s issues determines the quality of our result. To say a person has good character does not mean they are perfect, rather this is a good person worthy of trust and admiration.

A person can camouflage how they intend for people to perceive their personality and actions, in the end true character shows itself.  For you to succeed in life you must learn to be introspective, periodically take inventory of yourself to see if your words, thoughts, actions and attitude match up with what is true and noble. You must constantly ask yourself if there are aspects of your personality that others complain about. To be successful you must learn to be sincere and consistent on the basis of truth. This is not to impress anyone but ensure that you are taking the right steps in line with your values.


Competence means one has the ability to do something well. Being competent doesn’t mean you know how to do everything rather that you know what to do and you get it done. While competence may indicate adequacy of knowledge and skills that enables one to act in a wide variety of situations, it takes a bit more than skills and knowledge. It requires the right attitude that eventually translates to behaviour. For you to go far in life people must be able to trust you to always deliver. You may be very skilful at your job but if you are always late then you are incompetent.  In other words you must be constantly and consciously ready to satisfy the WOW!

W- what is needed

O- On time

W- With Value.


Your attitude and emotions play a major role in self-mastery and ultimately how far in life you will go. Those who show strong self-mastery don’t let their emotions control them. They control their own emotions. Being able to manage and control your emotions helps you build emotional intelligence and good interpersonal skills which helps you deal with others effectively.

Emotional Intelligence, is your awareness of other people’s needs and emotions, and your knowledge of how your own emotions affects you and those around you. People who have good self-mastery are always aware of others, and they work hard to make sure that their emotions don’t have a negative impact on others.

Interpersonal skills are the skills required to interact with others properly. It is one’s ability to get along with others, the way we communicate and interact with other people, both individually and in a team, such as active listening, questioning and understanding body language. Usually people who can manage relationships are often more successful in both their professional and personal lives. 

When you demonstrate self-mastery, it shows that you have the inner strength and steadiness needed for attaining greatness. Self-Mastery can be learned, it is foundation on which success is built.

Grecelda Hobson

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