The Power of Self-Discipline: Do You Have It?

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

Self-discipline is the skill to get yourself to take action in spite of your emotional condition. It’s about willpower, persistence and hard work.

The pivotal point of self-discipline is when you make a conscious decision, it is virtually guaranteed that you will follow through with it. The self-disciplined person loses 20 pounds. The self-disciplined person runs the marathon. The self-disciplined person creates wealth. The self-disciplined person finds real love.

So, what’s the big deal about something so powerful that it can overcome any addiction, destroy laziness, conquer destructive habits, and render self-doubt helpless? It’s your ticket to attaining great success – in ANYTHING!

Self-discipline is when you take control over yourself. No matter what it is – job, money, business, love, weight – it’s all within your grasp ONLY if you practice it. Of course, when you pair it with passion, planning, empathy and dreaming, it is unmatched in what it can do for you.

Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger you become. The less you use it, the weaker you become. Here are a few “take-aways” that you should consider when practicing the much needed art of self-discipline:

  1. Know that a part of you will get in the way. Everyone has a ‘lazy bone’ in them. Realize from the beginning that this part of you can be pretty persuasive. She will say things such as:
    • Why bother?

    • Remember what happened last time you tried this?

    • I’d rather be doing something else.

    • It’ll happen later. Don’t worry about it so much.

    Sounds like this person doesn’t want you to have self-discipline, right? Right! The trick is to be aware of these thoughts the moment they occur. Then tell yourself this will only cause trouble for you later on.
  2. Self-discipline is not a feature; it’s a skill. It is a skill that is developed over time. It is something that you constantly need to practice. Self-discipline is what you’ve learned to have in order to reach goals, make progress and pick yourself up.
  3. Bring your attitude up to speed. It isn’t “all or nothing.” Take on your task with the attitude that whatever happens, happens. This also applies to the “everything-must-be-perfect” attitude. Nothing is ever perfect, so give up on that notion from the beginning. This type of attitude quickly turns into an excuse NOT to do anything.
  4. Learn to LOVE your self-discipline. The only reason people don’t practice self-discipline is because they associate fear with the task. Usually it is an irrational fear or a fear based on something in the past.
  5. No rewards until the task is completed. You don’t have dessert until you eat your vegetables, right? This is where patience is your friend. Only rewarding yourself once the project is done is a great way to cultivate self-discipline.

Creating a lifestyle of self-discipline will lead to great accomplishments. Having a system, developing priorities, and building routines don’t mean you cannot be flexible and spontaneous. It’s all in how and when you use it. Make a commitment to devote a regular part of your day to disciplined activities. How else will you lose those 10 pounds, make it to the corner office, or accomplish any of the other goals you may have?

[Editor’s Note: Self-discipline needs to be a regular part of your day. Cultivating this happens one day at a time. You can learn how to quickly develop this skill, helping you to produce, stretch and grow more than ever. Click here to learn more.]

[This is only one of the many powerful articles in this week's Influence It! Real Power for Women free ezine. To enjoy the full issue, jam packed with insightful information on strategies to enhance your personal and professional life to achieve ultimate success, you must be a subscriber. Sign up for your own free subscription NOW by clicking here!]

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tami Gomez March 15, 2011 at 1:48 PM

I needed a reminder this morning. Thank you Karen!!

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