One of my counselors goals was to convince me that I had control over my own life. I was raised with the ‘you must’, ‘I have to’, ‘I can’t’ and other statements indicating that I was turning my life over to someone else to regulate my behavior. One time when I stated that “I had to……” my counselor looked around the room then replied, “I don’t see anyone holding a gun to your head.” He worked long and hard getting me to see that I could control my life. I didn’t have to wait for someone else to tell me what to do. I could regulate my own actions. One of the keys of self-regulation is emotions giving me information such as anger when boundaries were violated. Frustration when I choose a task more difficult than I could handle. But I needed to have myself control my life by my values and not how I felt in a moment. So I needed to know what I valued. Which brought us back to the most basic of questions….”What do I want my life to be?” What do I want? What do I value? Where did I want to go with my life? How could I self-regulate if I didn’t know where I was going? I could follow orders but I had no idea how to create a map of my life.
This is an article I found about self-regulation: