The ability to discipline oneself is among the most crucial life skills for individuals who are just beginning out in their careers.
It’s like having a superpower: when I learned how to be disciplined, I began working out, eating better, meditating, and writing more; I stopped smoking and ran marathons; I created a blog and published books; I read more; I went to bed earlier; and I decluttered and improved my financial situation. I’ve learnt a lot, but I’m far from flawless.
But failing to cultivate self-discipline leads to a host of issues, including clutter, stuff piling up and overpowering you, health issues, distraction, procrastination, financial issues, and more.
It is therefore crucial to learn this talent, yet most people are unsure of how to get started. This manual aims to assist you in getting started.
What is Self-Discipline?
Self-discipline is the capacity to carry out your duties. Self-control frequently entails deferring your current comfort or desires in favor of long-term achievement. For instance, if you want to lose weight or become in shape, you might put up with the temporary discomfort of 5:00 a.m. to achieve the long-term advantages of being healthy and feeling wonderful, go to the gym.
Developing self-discipline does more than help you get ahead in your career. It’s been proven to help people:
Realize long-term objectives – Self-control enables people to forgo short-term desires in favor of longer-term objectives with more significance. This is discussed by grit expert Angela Duckworth in her 2016 study on tenacity and “passion for long-term goals,” also known as grit. According to the results of her research, “the achievement of challenging tasks needs not only talent but also a persistent and focused use of it over time,” or what we would call self-discipline.
Reduce anxiety – We all have our vices that we turn to when we’re worried (Hi, my name is Meg and I procrastinate when stressed). Humans frequently do or think about other things to divert their attention from unpleasant emotions. In fact, a 2016 study discovered that enhancing self-control may aid students in overcoming anxiety-related issues when taking exams.
Increase physical health – This is probably pretty obvious, but people who regularly practice self-control are better able to resist using drugs and alcohol that harm their health. Additionally, self-control is associated with lower incidence of addiction and obesity.
Relationships will improve – You guessed it, self-discipline can also improve your relationships. Taking these actions enables us to overcome our automatic defensive reactions and adopt more constructive behaviors contributing to healthier, happier relationships. According to Psychology Today, “The capacity for self-control is a capacity for empathetic perspective taking — the ability to step outside one’s own point of view.”
Become more resilient – Do you recover quickly from setbacks? Resilience may be predicted by one’s level of self-control. It seems that your ability to control your urges and defer gratification improves with your level of resilience. A resilient person “has a belief in her own talents to manage life’s obstacles and situations well,” according to Psychology Today.
Feel happier – Happiness and creativity increase with productivity. The more control we feel over the causes of our behavior, the happier we feel and the better off we feel overall!
7 Powerful Ways To Cultivate Extreme Self-Discipline
1. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Everybody has weaknesses. They have a similar impact on us whether they are cravings for alcohol, smoke, junk food, social media, or the video game Fortnite. Also, weaknesses are not limited to instances in which we lack self-control. Each of us has areas where we excel as well as areas where we kind of fail. For instance, I dislike keeping my temper when someone is shooting at me, lengthy paperwork that requires searching through old files I never preserved, having difficult talks, and using automated phone systems. I used to purposefully steer clear of certain activities because of this. I now try to take things on head-on or assign them to others.
Self-awareness is a potent tool for stepping outside of your comfort zone, but it takes ongoing effort and acceptance of your faults, no matter how minor. When I was younger, I had severe allergies, asthma, and poor vision. When thinking about joining the Navy SEALs, those were some serious flaws, but so what? I worked hard to increase my lung capacity while also paying for LASIK eye surgery with money I had saved. Know your strengths, but more significantly, own up to your shortcomings. Too frequently people either try to pretend their vulnerabilities don’t exist or they surrender to them with a fixed mindset, throwing up their hands in defeat and saying, “Oh well.” Until you do, you cannot triumph over them.
2. Know where you struggle
Start by outlining your daily activities. After that, consider your values and consider whether your actions are consistent with them. You probably engage in a few daily activities that violate these ideals (hey, we’re only human; we all have a few).
It’s beneficial to get input from our coworkers, mentors, and family members throughout the identification step. Check to discover if your self-assessed flaws and how other people perceive you are similar.
3. Set clear goals and have an execution plan
Like any objective, if you want to develop better levels of self-discipline, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Additionally, you need to know what success means to you. After all, it’s simple to become lost or diverted if you don’t know where you’re heading. Consider your priorities. We at TakingPoint Leadership constantly remind our corporate customers that having ten priorities is the same as having no priorities when we engage with them on organizational transformation, strategic planning, and execution.
A clear plan outlines each time-bound step you must take to reach your goals. Create a mantra to keep yourself focused. Successful people use this technique to stay on track, emotionally connect to their mission, and establish a clear finish line.
4. Take care of yourself
If you are killing yourself to develop self-discipline, it is of very little use. Everyone works the rare 28-hour day (they do exist, right? ), but if you spend weeks or months staying up late in an effort to be more “self-disciplined,” you’ve lost the plot.
Taking care of yourself is a crucial component of self-control. The world — and us — revolve around breaks throughout the day, a wholesome diet, lots of sleep, and healthy relationships. According to studies, mindfulness practices like taking a little stroll, observing five things around you, or naming two smells can actually boost employee productivity.
5. Get a mentor
The following are topics you can bring up with a mentor that you might not feel comfortable bringing up with a coworker or management. It could feel more comfortable to bring up this difficulty with my mentor rather than my supervisor if I want to avoid wasting time on social media when I should be prospecting.
Mentors may provide you with the frank feedback and advice you need to succeed, not just in your current job but throughout your whole career. They typically have more experience than you have and are well acquainted with you.
6. Forgive yourself and move forward
Despite our greatest efforts and well-laid strategies, we occasionally fail. It occurs. You will experience highs and lows, dazzling successes and dreadful disappointments. The secret is to never give up. A very close SEAL friend of mine has always wanted to join the SEAL Teams and join our tier one special missions team in addition to serving in the SEAL Teams. He meets every need this unit could have, but for some reason, they didn’t choose him after reviewing his initial application. Did he mope around in grief? not even for a second. He made plans right afterwards to request more “schools,” work even harder, and join a new SEAL Team in order to increase his chances of being selected the following time. simple day
If you stumble, ask the five WHYs to identify the underlying cause before continuing. Avoid getting bogged down in feelings of regret, resentment, or fury since they will only make you feel worse and prevent you from moving forward. Learn from your missteps and forgive yourself. Then get your head back in the game and violently execute.