Finding the balance between self-control and self-compassion

Skjermbilde 2018-07-01 kl. 13.03.57
I’m going to let you all in on a little secret when it comes me, I work hard. I don’t say that to be arrogant or to seem cool. I am the person you would see in the library every Saturday for 10 hours minimum (not even kidding, Faye can testify to this) looking at drunk people across the street ready for the town. Cool isn’t the first word you thought of is it? Me neither (#nerd). Nevertheless, working hard is what I do. Why? Because when I want something I have an understanding that it does not come for free. Therefore I approach the challenges with determination.

The science of self-control and discipline is a fascinating one. Freud (1930) even argued that the self’s capacity to inhibits its antisocial impulses and conform to the demands of group life is the hallmark of civilized life. More recent research has shown that a lot of the personal and social problems in today’s society can be linked to a substantial deficient self-control (Baumeister, Heatherton, & Tice, 1994.). Some examples of consequences of low self-control are crime, deviant behaviour, poor relationships, lack of impulsive control and more. When you think about it, you don’t really have to be a scientist to see the link between self-control and success. Some people are better at managing their lives, keeping their schedules, rein in their tempers, controlling their lusts, saving their money, fulfilling their promises, stopping after a few drinks… and on and on it goes. Although most of the data we have on the topic is highly correlational, thus precluding strong casual conclusions, we can still assume that the more self-control you have, the amount of success and well-being in your life will increase as well (Tangney, Boone, & Baumeister, 2018).

BUT, and there is a big but here. What do you do if you have too much of the good stuff? The good stuff here being self-control, in case you had forgotten. Back to me; you know how I said that I work hard? Yeah, that is still true. What I forgot to say is that sometimes (okay, often) I work so hard that I forget to eat, I forget to drink, I don’t sleep enough and I don’t spend enough time with my husband, family & friends. My husband sometimes tells me that I would starve in front of a fridge full of food. I have over the years worked myself ill, I have fainted, thrown up and felt burnt out. Therefore, although I am all for people developing their capacity for self-control and discipline, I am advocating for some self-compassion as well.

Even God rested & He created a day for us to rest. I don’t think it has to be a Sunday, but try to find 1 day in your week when you can take a moment or two to just rest.

Genisis 2:2-3
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

I don’t think that it is a coincidence that God rested. Work is immeasurably important, a way for us to find meaning in our lives. We need to find joy in our work and try to be the best that we can be in it. However, we can’t forget to rest. Go home, eat well and rest. Spend time with those who build you up or if you’re an introvert like me, read your book with a good cup of coffee or tea. Find strength in He who never tires:

Matthew 11: 28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Restore yourself and get ready for a new day where you do it all over again.

My 5 tips for improving your self-control;
1. Set yourself some achievable goals, and work towards them with determination.

2. Make a schedule that you can live by (remember to include rest). Time is money.

3. When you hit the wall (which you most likely will), go do things that are good for you like exercise and eat healthy food. Don’t do that which is destructive for instance partying and eating poorly.

4. Surround yourself with people who are helping you reach your goal, not drag you down.

5. If you fail, don’t give up. Get up and try again.

– Frøya.

 

References:
Baumeister, R. F., Heatherton, T. F., & Tice, D. M. (1994). Losing control: How and why people fail at self-regulation. San Diego: Academic Press, Inc.

Freud, S. (1930). Civilization and its discontents. London: Hogarth.

Tangney, J. P., BOONE, A. L., & BAUMEISTER, R. F. (2018). High self-control predicts good adjustment, less pathology, better grades, and interpersonal success. In Self-Regulation and Self-Control (pp. 181-220). Routledge.

Why I love being a woman, but won’t call myself a feminist

Skjermbilde 2018-07-01 kl. 13.03.57
When I was thinking about what my first article here should contain, my immediate thought was to dive into some psychological research and ponderings (stay tuned for that). However, it struck me that it might be more logical to start at the core of things. And the core of Frøya (oh, don’t go there, you know that is not what I am talking about) is that I am a woman.

I have been called sexist of my own gender by my own gender at earlier points in my life. For what you may ask? For not calling myself a feminist. Therefore, before we get into why I am not a feminist, let me make something crystal clear: I love being a woman. I love how God made me and how He talks about women.

  • She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Prov. 31:26)
  • She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (Prov. 31:25)
  • She is worth far more than rubies. (Prov. 31:10)

I also love wearing pretty dresses. I love putting on make-up and looking beautiful for my husband. What I love even more is when he prefers me without it and thinks I’m at my hottest on a Sunday morning before my coffee with bed hair and everything. I love that we are created to be mothers and caretakers, called to create a home and safe haven for those who need it. I love to read, to learn and grow wiser as I grow older.

Do I think that you have to be a woman to have these traits, no I don’t. The strengths and weaknesses in men and women overlap. These are however some of the traits predominately found in womanhood. Have I made myself clear yet? Just in case I haven’t, let me say it one more time, read it slowly. Men and women are different, but in no way or form do I think that women are worth any less than men.

And it is here me and feminism have to walk our separate ways. Because I have this super controversial thought. Buckle up. Men are equal to women. Woah, I know right, crazy times to be alive. I love men. I love their strength, their practicality, their protectiveness. I think men have some amazing virtues and I value them deeply. When me and my husband moved into our new flat about 1 month ago I tried (read: I really did try) to help him build the furniture. Sadly, let us just say that furniture building is not one of my strengths, even though most of it was IKEA. Towards the end of it my husband begged me to just go do something else like make dinner whilst he finished the dreadful task that is building an entire flat worth of furniture. In this situation I could have chosen to be offended, that he did not find me equal… or I could choose the humble way which is that we are different and we help balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Where I am strong he might be weak and the other way around. Thank God for that.

However, feminism rejects that. The third-wave feminism of today is more preoccupied with rejecting femininity by encouraging  women to be careless in their sex lives, to not start families by aborting their babies and to reject men and change them into someone they are not (#soyboy). Feminism today will tell you that it is wrong of you to get married, to be submissive of your husband, to try to look beautiful for him and choose a family over a career. Today’s feminism is more concerned about creating a society where women rule rather where equality thrives. Feminism of today will blame and shame men, and when then try to ask for help they will ridicule them. The hateful rhetoric feminism preaches is basically arguing for the destruction of families and making men feel like they don’t hold any value in our society. And I, Frøya, just can’t get behind that.

Much more to be said on the topic, but we’ll save that for later. For now, this is why I won’t call me a feminist even though I love being a woman.

 

– Frøya.