The Best Way to Improve Your Self-Management Over Time

Self-management is how you control and manage yourself, your emotions, and your abilities.  This includes one’s ability to manage impulses and focus on more important priorities and goals.  In short, a person who’s strong in self-management is not easily knocked off track by adversity, tense situations, or stressful times.  

“Self-management is the emotional intelligence component that frees us from being a prisoner of our feelings. Self-management allows the mental clarity leadership demands and keeps disruptive emotions from throwing us off track…

…Leaders with this level of self-mastery embody an upbeat, optimistic enthusiasm that tunes resonance to the positive range.”

—Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence

There are many tactics and tips to stay intentional and purposeful in improving our self-management skills along our journey.  In my research and in my own personal journey, I’ve found a few strategies and tactics as good as this one, simple yet not always an easy one to remember.


Make a list of the five things you’re most grateful for in your life.

Next time you’re in a tense, stress-filled situation or when something triggers you to feel sad, mad, disappointed or hurt, remember these five things.  Keep them top of mind and in your heart, and you’ll begin to reprogram the circuitry in your brain to think before you speak, letting the toothpaste too far out of the tube before it’s too late.  

The more you practice self-management, the better you’ll become at it.  The goal with self-management is to manage our thoughts and emotions so well that we’re able to effectively connect, engage, and inspire others to become their best.  Unless or until we’re able to stay cool, upbeat, and positive regardless of circumstances, we’ll never quite become the leader others need in situations to help them do the same.

When we first do all we can to become our best, it opens up the door for us to inspire others to become their best.