Becoming Self-Disciplined

Discipline is something so essential to life, that those who lack it suffer greatly.  If you lack discipline you need to understand that it is a rough journey achieving it. The reason is because discipline is a habit, and a habit is only formed through repetitive behavior over a prolonged period of time. So if you want to begin the journey to self-discipline you need to make peace with the fact that you won’t be “enjoying” yourself at first. I’m no Neuroscientist but overcoming hardship restructures your brain into being able to withstand discomfort. Therefore it is imperative that you don’t victimize yourself and blame life for making you do a little “extra” work, or saying things like “its too hard”. Facing challenges head on gives you proof that the thing you once though was too tough to do, and even seemed impossible, is actually something you can look back at and say “Oh, that wasn’t so hard”.  You just have to decide to embrace what comes along with growing. However it does not mean that discipline is always painful. It just means that because you’re not used to being disciplined its going to suck at first.

In my own personal experience I found that it all starts at the beginning of the day. Maybe it’s just me, but I have yet to be successful in having a disciplined day when my first decision of the day is choosing to stay in bed a little longer.  Also I noticed that being vague in my methods to becoming more disciplined, led to talking myself out of it. Hence, a strategy is essential for making and breaking a habit. I won’t go too deep into the anatomy of habits but if you want to read further on the matter check out “The power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg or watch the “Tamed Course” by Improvement pill on YouTube, he sums up the book really well.  I read the book but it wasn’t until I saw his videos that I was able to put what I’ve learned into practice. In short you should not waste your time fighting and resisting your bad habits, but instead focus all your energies on creating better ones to replace the old ones. This applies to behavioral habits as well as ways of thinking, meaning, for example if you make a habit of justifying actions that you know do not contribute but rather hinder you from  reaching you goals,  make the habit to decide to do the opposite before you have any time to think your way out of it. An example of this is in the mornings, as soon as I would wake up I used check my social media and rub one out (not the best way to start the day) before anything else. The way I am changing this is when I feel the urge, but before I start to do ether of this things I get up to set up my one cup coffee maker, and get myself to the bathroom. I hop in the tub and run freezing water on myself. My breath quickens, my seances spike, and the urge to jump out is overwhelming. I do this till the water doesn’t feel cold anymore, and by the time I’m done with this, my coffee cup is set and ready to be my reward. Surprisingly this works very well for me and my bed is no longer attractive. Furthermore after doing that, I feel like I can take on whatever my day brings.

One thing I do want to mention is that, no one thing applies to everyone. You must find what works for you. You have to observe yourself and figure out what behavioral change you need to make so that you can interrupt the negative thought process that leads to negative behavior. Also I am still in the struggle, I am no where near complete but I am doing my best and if you find that you have the same itch to improve, I suggest you do the same. I’ll leave you with this, even if you fail to stick to your new routine, do not allow yourself to fall into a spiral of self destructive feelings that you will get after you fail. You must accept the feeling but remind yourself that as long as you try again tomorrow all hope is not lost.

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