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Self-Control – the art of keeping calm and carrying on

RocheMartin defines Emotional Intelligence by a set of 10 competencies and this is one in a series of blogs covering each one: Why develop Self-Control, what is it exactly and how can you develop it?

Why develop Self-Control?

This message quite neatly sums up Self-Control and why it’s a good idea to develop it.

Self-Control is the ability to keep calm, despite what’s going on and as a result, be able to refocus and carry on with what you need to do.

It was originally created as a poster by the propaganda department of the UK Ministry of Defence during the second world war as a message to the nation but has become popular again after a bit of a break.

And it highlights why Self-Control is so important for dealing with times of change.

At its core, Self-Control is about being able to choose how we think, feel and behave, rather than being at the mercy of our automatic reactions to things.

Our brains are designed to make sense of all the information from what’s happening moment to moment as quickly as possible. Less than a split second between

  • the stimulus – the information coming in through our five senses, and

  • our response – what we say to ourselves about what’s happening, how we feel and the impact on our body.

And our response impacts what we do or say and what happens next.

Self-Control is about being able to interrupt those natural responses and instead make a conscious, objective and rational choice about how we react and what we then do as a result.