There is a very popular saying that our dreams are on the other side of our comfort zone
This means in order to get what we want, we must be willing to encounter some form of discomfort.
This is super scary for people especially those who have always had to fight hard to stay disciplined.
It’s like saying we will never achieve what we want as long as we refuse to exercise control over ourselves.
Okay! Calm down, let’s discuss this.
Comfort zone + Dreams = Success
We all have dreams, all we need to actualize them is stepping out of our comfort zone.
Now the big question is, how do you get away from your comfort zone?
The answer to this question is the major topic of our discussion “self-discipline.
Self-discipline is a major determinant in achieving all our life goals and dreams.
Despite how important self-discipline is, so many people lack this quality.
Self-discipline is so important that we need it to function effectively in our everyday life.
We need to be disciplined to finish our daily tasks at home or at work, to improve our health (physical and mental wise), eating and spending habits.
Sadly, despite how helpful self-discipline is, a lot of people lack it.
We make plans and goals but struggle hard to achieve them, we set tasks but are unable to complete them.
This reality is saddening and quite annoying, we look up to people that practice self-discipline and wonder where they got their superpower.
But is it really a superpower?
There are so many wrong notions about self-discipline,let’s answer some questions and deal these myths attached “self-discipline”
But before that let’s talk about what self-discipline is all about.
What is self-discipline?
Is it self-denial or an ability to say no to yourself when you really want to get something done?
There are so many definitions of self-discipline but are they all correct?
Let’s talk about the word “self-discipline” as two different words “self and discipline”.
The English dictionary defines self as an individual’s personality, character, demeanor, or disposition.
This means “you”.
When you are talking about “self” you are personalizing it to an individual.
For instance, if I say “myself” I am referring to me, it is personal.
Now, discipline is a broad concept that can refer to a lot of things. For the purpose of this article, I picked up three relatable definitions of discipline.
According to the English dictionary, Discipline is;
A controlled behavior; self-control.
Enforced compliance or control.
A systematic method of obtaining obedience.
Therefore, self-discipline is self-imposed control over one’s behavior and abilities.
It is a personal decision to put a limit over one’s self to prevent excesses.
For instance, if you love watching movies, other things like your job, your housekeeping, and your social life may also suffer.
We all need to put a limit.
Is self-discipline a superpower? We will discuss more on this through the course of the article.
Popular questions people ask about self-discipline
Is it a superpower
Inasmuch as you will love to believe that self-discipline is a superpower, this isn’t true.
If self-discipline is a superpower then, we will all have an excuse for our lack of self-discipline.
This might sound conflicting but it is the truth, the people you look up to as superheroes are nothing but humans like you and me who put in a little extra effort.
It’s quite saddening to know that some people can handle themselves better than others. However, the truth is humans are different.
We are different in every possible way, our background, upbringing, environment, and the particular habitat we live in.
This difference is responsible for the disparity in self-discipline level among different people.
Can an individual learn to be self-disciplined?
Self-discipline is a habit that has a step-by-step procedure, it is a skill that can be learned just like any other skill.
Most individuals are lucky to have parents who imbibe in them the virtue of self-discipline at a young age.
These are most of the individuals we see as superheroes whereas it’s actually a learned skill.
If you weren’t fortunate enough to learn this attitude at a younger age, that’s fine, you can decide to learn it now.
The keyword here is “decide” you have grown enough to make decisions yourself and no matter how someone forces you to learn you will not change until you decide to.
If self-discipline is a skill you would like to learn, get on the train, and let’s begin the journey together.
Is it contagious?
Wow!! If only it was super easy to say no or yes.
Self-discipline can be contagious but it is only temporary.
For example; if you have a roommate that is always achieving their tasks, you might be inspired to work towards achieving your task.
Depending on how long you stay together her/his zeal might have a mighty influence on you.
However once you no longer stay with this roommate, the trigger is no longer available.
Therefore you either lose your ability to stay disciplined or you make the choice to keep up with the character.
Secondly, there is a possibility of forming a habit out of it.
It’s popular knowledge that it takes 21 days to form a habit.
This means that, if you can engage in self-discipline for 21 days there’s a possibility that you might be able to form a habit out of it.
What’s the difference between self-discipline and self-control
Self-discipline is an advanced form of self-control.
You can have self-control for a particular day or months but it doesn’t mean you possess self-discipline.
For example, you can choose to engage in a “free soda month”, this is self-control.
However, if you can discipline yourself to consume not more than 2 sodas in a week. It becomes a part of your lifestyle and this is what self-discipline is all about.
How effective is self-control?
If you work out for 30 days you will notice reasonable changes.
Is this true? Of course it is, As a fitness enthusiast, this is a fact.
Self-discipline is just like setting up a new workout routine, the benefits may not be instantaneous but they always pay off.
Ask people who lost weight, ask the people who rose from mediocrity to stardom and they will all tell you that self-discipline has substantial benefits.
What can self-control do for you?
1. Achieve your goals
Self-discipline can help you achieve your goals, a lot of people have a wish list but how many have goals they really want to achieve.
It is about time we stop making wishes and start setting goals and striving to achieve them.
But how can you achieve your goals when you lack self-discipline?
Self-discipline is the key principle you need to achieve your goals, if you lack it, your goals might simply remain dreams.
For example as a writer, sometimes you don’t feel like writing.
However, if you set a goal of writing two blog posts in a week, you need more than just setting goals to achieve them.
You need that ability to push yourself towards achieving that goal.
2. Focus oriented
Self-discipline keeps us focused on a particular task till we are able to achieve it.
There are 24 hours in a day and a lot of people complain that it is too small.
You might have made statements like this too, however when you read about the life of effective people you will realize that 24 hours is enough.
It all depends on how you spend it.
There is enough time to achieve your goals, all you need is self-discipline to keep your focus.
The world is filled with a million and one things you can do with your time.
When you spend your time doing the less relevant things, the relevant things keep piling up and you feel like you haven’t achieved anything with your time.
How to cultivate self-control?
The big question everyone is asking right now is, how exactly can I cultivate self-discipline?
It is simple, however, most times the simple things are the most difficult to follow.
Make the decision
Everyone can talk to you about self-discipline but nothing changes till you decide to change.
If you think self-discipline can be helpful to you, then you need to make the choice to start practicing self-discipline.
It takes one step at a time
The mistake a lot of us make is, “we are trying to force ourselves out of a habit that has been part of our lives for a very long time”
We grew up with these habits therefore it will be tasking to quit them.
To cultivate self-discipline, it doesn’t have to be a 360° change.
You can apply self-discipline to the little things,always remember that slow and steady wins the race.
When you start experiencing the benefits that come with being self-disciplined, it will inspire you to make bolder moves for greater results.
Trick or treat
Humans are different creatures, some respond positively to punishment while others respond positively to reward.
Which kind of human are you?
Try to find out what kind of person you are and use it to your advantage.
If you set a goal and do not achieve it “No movie for the week” or if you set a goal and achieve it, you get to buy yourself a new cloth or shoe.
Choose the most effective one and use it to your benefit.
Don’t hate yourself for your inability to keep up with your new routine.
Be kind to yourself, with consistency and patience you will be able to achieve your dreams.
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