“I think self-discipline is something, it’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.”
~ Daniel Goldstein
Self-discipline takes internal motivation, commitment and a one-track mindset. Oftentimes, self-discipline is used interchangeable with willpower. It is the ability to control your thoughts, emotions, actions in the face of uncertainty.
Self-discipline is what you do when no one is looking. When no one is there to hold you accountable for your actions. Self-discipline is commonly associated with one’s ability to stay committed to a diet. And yes, that takes lots of self-discipline. No one ever said it would be easy to say no to ice cream, but once the results start showing from exercising your self-discipline, you quickly realize there is no flavor that tastes better than feeling good feels. But self-discipline applies to much more than just a diet. The way you control yourself, your emotions and your feelings are also forms of self-discipline.
Controlling yourself through your behavior, your emotions, and your feelings are much harder forms of self-discipline than saying no to Moose tracks flavor. Hard to believe anything is harder than that, I know. But I promise once you can exercise self-discipline over yourself, you will find a sense of peace you never knew existed. And it will take much bigger events and much different people to throw you off your path than it once used to.
I understand I differ with many, but I say, Go to Bed Angry. When having an argument with your significant other, use the nighttime as timeout to digest the situation, ponder the best approach, and consider the options. Staying awake all night trying to prove your point to an equally exhausted, frustrated individual sounds like the perfect stage for a disaster. Instead exercise your self-discipline and hold off on reacting. Wait to respond in the morning with a clear, rested mindset.
Controlling your behavior is having the urge to act but not acting on that urge. Instead, you hold back, pause and respond in a controlled appropriate manner when the time is appropriate rather than in the moment. Exercising self-discipline over your behavior and emotions is responding rather than reacting. It is putting your well-being in the forefront and not doing what society and others expect you to do. It is knowing when to take a step back and not act in the moment. Self-discipline is writing a letter and never sending it. It is biting your tongue when you know your comments are not beneficial to the conversation. And it is knowing when to put the fork down for a few days to get your eating back on track.
Having self-discipline over your feelings is understanding that your feelings are valid but that does not mean the situation that created those feelings is. Oftentimes our minds create scenarios that feed the feelings and so ensues the vicious cycle. This is how one spirals out of control. They allow their feelings to control them rather than being the one to control their feelings. Your feelings are nothing more than a reaction to the thoughts you generate. Stop the thought and the associated feeling stops. Self-discipline at its finest!
Self-discipline is pursuing what you feel is right despite temptations to do otherwise. It is ignoring what others say/think when it’s not in alignment with you. Exercising your self-discipline is a way of keeping your mindset focused on the results you wish to see. There are no life events, people, or circumstances that can derail you from your progress or pull you from your path to reaching your desired end state; your goal. When no one believes in your goals, but you do, and you keep going. That is exercising your self-discipline.
Self-discipline is always worth it. My best advice – Have Unapologetic Self-Discipline.