When it comes to acquiring long-term success, there really are no quick fixes to rid yourself of every one of your challenges. However, it is possible to make small changes in your everyday life that could benefit you in bigger ways than you would initially expect.
In fact, a simple action such as shifting your perspective can lead to great rewards, in both your personal and professional life.
Although changing how you view things can be heavily associated with more meditative and "go with the flow" practices, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, shifting your perspective can do wonders for more strict activities, like regulating self-control.
Researchers from the University of Waterloo in Canada recently found that self-regulation skills are affected by the stories we tell ourselves, the perspectives we have, and the emotions we value.
The more difficult we perceive a task or job to be, the more we view self-control as something that can be depleted over time. This makes it more likely for us to falter in the future when it comes to controlling ourselves and giving in to temptations.
But why does it matter if we perceive self-control as something that degrades as time goes on? As you use up your willpower for your work performance, temptations become harder to overcome. Researchers call this phenomenon "ego depletion," and it suggests that the amount of willpower you have available will disappear, and is ultimately out of your hands.
But the lens of self-control in psychology is changing. Self-regulation no longer has to be dependent on a "pre-set supply of finite energy." New research suggests that rather than self-control being about avoiding what is bad (i.e., temptations), it is more effective for it to be about "approaching the good" through shifts in perspective.
In particular, the research suggests that you no longer need to downplay the value of your temptations to increase self-control. You can instead increase the value on your future rewards by strengthening certain emotions, like compassion, gratitude, and pride.
It certainly sounds counterintuitive to use your emotions to increase your discipline but doing so does yield results. For example, according to Psychology Compass, when you feel "grateful for the relationships you've built," you "double your willingness to wait to receive a larger monetary reward in the future rather than a smaller, more immediate reward."
In summary, make sure to shift your focus and your perspective to keep your self-control levels high. View certain tasks as needing less effort and you won't view self-control as a resource that can run out, and value your rewards though emotion.