How Strong is Your Self-Command Muscle? Test It with the PQ Assessment
It’s so much easier to be positive and optimistic when life is going our way. But what if someone makes you mad? How long does it take for you to get over it? Or if you make a mistake? How long does it take before you forgive yourself? Or what if a situation doesn’t go well? How long does it take before you’re no longer stressed, discourage, or frustrated by it?
I’ve learned that how quickly we bounce back is related to the strength of our self-command muscle. This is a term that Shirzad Chamine uses in his Positive Intelligence training I’ve been taking. And what’s really cool is he’s created a test so we can actually measure its strength! It’s called the PQ assessment. Shirzad recommends taking it on different days and even different weeks to get an average score that better represents your average day.
I’ll be honest. This assessment has helped me realize that I’m a pretty positive person. My scores are usually in the 70s and 80s. Shirzad says that only 20% of people score above 75. I’m lucky and grateful for my positive wiring, but I know that these past 10 years of studying, teaching, training, and practicing positive psychology have helped a ton!!
The PQ assessment has also helped me realize that many people live with a very negative voice in their heads that’s bringing them down and making them miserable. When our inner judge and accomplice saboteurs run our lives, it can come with a price; a price of isolation, feeling numb, or feeling broken. These nasty characters can cause us to be complainers, bullies, and grumps. They can make us defensive, short-tempered, and just plain unpleasant to be around. And, if we try to hide them, it can make us exhausted.
But the great news is we can all strengthen our self-command muscle!! We can practice pausing, noticing, and choosing our thoughts and actions. We can look for the gift in every situation. We can practice empathy and curiosity. AND we can make all of these easier by intentionally spending more time in positive emotions with some simple tips. As a reminder, it’s not that negative emotions are bad. They’re a signal from our survival instinct that we may need to take action to protect ourselves. We need to reflect on this information and wisely choose how to respond.