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Considering the Strength of Self-Regulation

by | Feb 22, 2023 | Strengths

Self-regulation is one of the four character strengths that comprise the Virtue of Temperance.

Temperance describes strengths that help you manage habits and protect against excess.

What is self-regulation?

Self-regulation is a complex character strength. It has to do with controlling your appetites and emotions and regulating what you do. 

Those high in self-regulation have a good level of confidence in their belief that they can be effective in what they pursue and are likely to achieve their goals. They are admired for their ability to control their reactions to disappointment and insecurities. 

Self-regulation helps keep a sense of balance, order, and progress in life. 

Self-regulation can be viewed as a resource that can be depleted and fatigued. A useful metaphor can be that self-regulation acts like a muscle, which can be exhausted through over-exertion or strengthened through regular practice.

Why is self-regulation of value?

  • People skilled at self-regulation are in charge of their emotions rather than the other way round.
  • Self-regulation is linked with better personal adjustment such as having a greater sense of self-acceptance and self-esteem in relationships.
  • Self-regulation helps in the prevention and management of addictions.

A couple of questions to consider

  • How does self-regulation play a role in your greatest successes in life?
  • What areas of your life would be improved if you applied greater self-regulation?

Some things that you can do to practise self-regulation

  • Try a new approach to sticking with an exercise or walking routine and involve one of your close relationships in the discipline.
  • Make a to do list for a community-oriented event, come up with an action plan and begin to carry it out. 
  • Take notice of your posture throughout the day. When you notice yourself slouching or sitting uncomfortably or displaying poor posture, balance yourself by straightening up.

For more information on the strength of self-regulation, go to…/self-regulation

If you are interested in exploring how the practice of Character Strengths might be of benefit to your business and culture, contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or at

Acknowledgement: the primary reference for this post is “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate And Ignite Your Positive Personality” by Ryan M. Niemiec & Robert E. McGrath (An Official Guide From The VIA Institute on Character)



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