Why self discipline is the key to success
How much self discipline do you have?
Not having self discipline will mean things take much longer to achieve, if you ever do!
It’s the difference between WANTING what you want and HAVING what you want.
In a world where the reward of instant gratification is everywhere, mastering self discipline is a key ingredient for success and happiness.
It lets you play the long game, make the right decisions, practice patience and resilience, all things that will get you well on your way to all the success you deserve.
When you look at, and listen to the stories of, the majority of truly successful people on the planet, in any field, what do you see?
Correct…high levels of self discipline! It’s ingrained in their personalities.
So often we can look at these people and think ‘I wish that was me, I wish I could do that.’ BUT…few of us actually realise that you CAN!
Usually the main difference between them and you is self discipline. Obviously there are other factors but for the most part that’s it!
It’s not just self discipline it’s self MASTERY and it’s a habit.
It’s one that even if you don’t have it now, if you want what you want badly enough then you can create it.
There is no magic pill i’m afraid. All those ‘How do I do X, Y, Z’ hearing the answer, not liking it and looking elsewhere for another one, and another one and it will all go back to the same thing. You have to have discipline, make the decision and talk back to your unconscious mind!
All those times you’ve wanted to do something but haven’t done it and been ruled by your unconscious programming…that’s where you need awareness and discipline to override it and start down the path of creating new behaviours and beliefs that are going to serve you more.
That IS the magic pill…and trust me, it really does feel like magic when you start to gain momentum.
It’s hard work but the pay off, and the reward for DOING the work is HUGE!
Think about how much extra headspace you’d create for yourself instead of constantly battling your inner voice, or to-ing and fro-ing over making a decision between what you want to do and what you know is best for you.
Those times where you’re getting frustrated with yourself get less and less and it actually becomes EASIER to just DO the thing and take the ACTION that will actually get you to where you want to be. It requires less effort. It’s so often just about taking that first step, then another, then another to build momentum.
Your productivity will go through the roof when you can master self discipline.
Imagine what you could achieve if you were disciplined around all those little distractions that keep you ‘busy’.
I mean how much could you get done? How much further along could you be? You really become unstoppable.
It’s the only way to break old and make new habits.
It BECOMES a habit in itself as you create new neural pathways for that behaviour.
You literally start to rewire your brain for self discipline, which means you’re also rewiring your brain for the greatest chance of success.
And, if you can master the habit in one area of your life you really can master it in all the others. Bonus!
In Napoleon Hill’s master key to riches, he spent countless hours studying the most successful people in the world (so he’s in a pretty good position to see the patterns!) and he says this, “The great master key to riches is nothing more or less than the self-discipline necessary to help you take full and complete possession of your own mind.”
Really ponder on that one!
So how do you cultivate self discipline?
One of my clients said it best, it’s about learning to parent yourself.
Think about it for a second.
What happens when little kids aren’t told what to do or pushed to do things that are good for them even when they don’t want to?
Do you think that broccoli would ever get eaten or that room decluttered and tidied?
So we need to have that same level of discipline with ourselves.
We’re always having conversations with that little voice in our heads so show it who’s boss around here!
Know your weaknesses
Know your ‘weaknesses’ (ahem….doughnuts, I’m looking at you!) and limit your interaction with them. Don’t make it harder for yourself. So what are they…certain foods? ‘Booze? Certain people? Situations? Social media apps? How can you limit them? Out of sight, out of mind!
Make the decision
Make the decision between what you want more. Staying where you are now or going through the discomfort of getting to where you could be?
Make the commitment to the changes you want to make.
Create accountability however you can to keep you committed and motivated.It’s one of the many reasons I started the Proactive Pants Mastermind. You need people to be accountable to and people to support you on this journey, you need skin in the game!
Be clear on and write down your goals and stick them up everywhere you can.
It’s amazing to me how many people don’t do this when the evidence to back it up as being the easiest way to actually achieve what you want! It’s simple, doesn’t take long, gives you clarity and focus…it’s a winner all round. Do it!
5 second rule
Mel Robbins 5 second rule is my favourite way to create self discipline when your subconscious is battling you all the way at the beginning.
It’s super simple and super effective but it works with the right areas of the brain to allow habit forming in a much quicker time.
Simply count backwards 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move and you will soon get yourself started. My trick is to do it as soon as I hear that little gremlin start to try and persuade me to do otherwise. Any longer and it’s much harder.
5-4-3-2-1, physically move and i’m going again. I don’t wait ‘just one more minute’. My husband is a ‘snooze’ button person but i’m the polar opposite, that alarm goes off and I’m out of bed like a rocket.
I know if I give myself ‘just 5 more minutes’ I’m going to feel so much worse. So I never do it. Alarm goes…i’m up and atem!
Prioritise and learn to say no.
Prioritising is a discipline all on it’s own. Being able to look at what needs to be done and know what’s actually going to move the needle. Knowing that you CAN say no to other people. It all comes with practice. If you’re a people pleaser right now, it doesn’t mean it’s always going to be that way. The first ‘no’ is the hardest and then it gets easier and easier.
Stop making excuses.
They’re success killers and they’re happiness killers. Call yourself out on them.
Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
Habits are formed in one part of the brain and your decisions are made from the CEO of your brain (The prefrontal cortex) so it’s no wonder you have a tug of war on your hands.
Recognise this and understand it’s normal and it will help you muster up the willpower to push the behaviour through to the basal ganglia where it will become something you do on autopilot.
Have courage and persistence regardless of what’s going on right now, even when you feel like quitting. Persistence IS self discipline.
Bribe yourself where possible!!
Reward yourself for your successes or for when you hit a goal. The more rewards there are the easier it is to find that discipline. It can be anything, your favourite meal, a trip, jewellery. I regularly bribe myself with ‘treats’, it’s fun! Trust me, I get a lot more done.
Be kind to yourself in the process.
It will feel difficult to start with, you will have set backs but self discipline is about being able to get back on that wagon and go again. It takes time, so allow yourself some self compassion on the road to self discipline and celebrate every single win along the way!
You simply can’t change anything for yourself without a little self discipline.
So, where could be an easy win for you to start practicing?
Something as simple as going to bed 30 minutes earlier or reading instead of watching TV for the hour before bedtime.
Not snoozing the alarm clock.
Anything that requires a little bit of effort but you know the outcome is GOOD for you and moves you towards where and who you want to be.
Imagine if a little more self discipline allowed you to be just 1% more effective every day. Where would you be in a years time?
When you do the work it essentially guarantees success.
You’ll get more done more quickly.
You’ll have a greater sense of self esteem, confidence and respect you won’t fear failure, you don’t fear judgement because you know your own worth and you realise their judgement is not about you.
You will actually LIKE yourself more! That’s a biggie! No more beating yourself up for not doing things, you become your own coach and cheerleader in your own head. Who wouldn’t want that hanging around with them everyday instead of the mean police in your own head!
So, who do you need to BE to achieve everything you want?
What habits do you need to have?
What personality traits do you need to have?
As I keep saying, who you are today doesn’t have to be who you are tomorrow.
So who do you WANT to be…go BE it! You’re the one in control, don’t forget it!
If you know that now is the time to start changing things for yourself and want to explore this further, have any questions or want some accountability to make sure you’re doing the things you need to then please book in a free discovery call so we can see what needs to happen to get you from where you’re at right now, to the successful business owner you know you can be!!
P.S – Last question…Are you sick of self sabotaging and procrastinating on getting your business going? Would you like to learn some practical strategies to stop you procrastinating WHEN it happens so you can FINALLY get the things you NEED to do DONE? Download my FREE guide below and I’ll show you 5 simple strategies to stop procrastination in its tracks!
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Fran Excell, mindset coach for self sabotaging female entrepreneurs at www.franexcell.com