The Self Discipline Trap

The Power of Self Discipline quoteThere you go, you’ve just done it again.

After a few weeks of planning and doing that thing that you so wanted to change, you’ve lost interest and given up on the whole idea.

You carefully planned a daily schedule, you knew exactly what steps you wanted to take in order to get your hands on that special prize…

And now?

All fallen by the wayside.

You’re angry. You feel guilty for letting yourself down. You were so close to mastering the art of self discipline this time, you could smell that sweet success in the air.

You imagined what you could achieve after you’ve overcome your worst fears. Your accomplishments had no limits; confidence, wealth, love and forever happiness.

Now you’re back to your old ways – a failure who cannot even control their emotions.

But is it really so bad?

Well, let me tell you something. Faltering and giving up from time to time, is all part of the process. It shows you’re on the right tracks.

It may seem you have to start all over again to regain whatever you lost, however, you’ve already learnt from what went before. Some of it stuck and became a part of you.

You’re not alone

The most self disciplined goes off the rails at times, even if they don’t admit it. Self discipline is important, but truth is, it’s hard to keep it up.

Especially when you’re new to something. The initial enthusiasm is sure to wear off, particularly if you don’t see immediate results.

This is even harder when you decide to build your confidence and self esteem. Living with low self esteem for so long becomes so much a part of you, that it stops you from even trying to do anything different.

And as you know for change to occur, all you have to do is challenge your unhealthy thinking.

And yes, I hear you say – ‘if it was only that simple’!

If it was, there wouldn’t be unhappy people in the world.

Is self discipline damaging?

So there has to be a motor behind the actions that enable you to pursue your goals. This is partly down to motivation and partly self discipline.

But the very idea of having to be self disciplined to reach your goals, is counter-intuitive.

You see, the word ‘self discipline’ creates a demand in your brain. It tells you that you must behave a certain way to get what you want. After all, if you’re disciplined, you cannot steer away from a predetermined course of action, right? You have to do something perfectly to get results.

This is bad news if you’re someone who suffers low self esteem. Because all you do, is create more rigid rules around you. There’s nothing feeds it more than unmovable rules and beliefs that lead to distorted thinking. Where everything exist in shades of black or white, actions are shoulds, musts and have tos.

In fact you’re so self disciplined already, that you developed low self esteem with it.

What can you do instead?

Take a step back and forget self discipline to begin with.

  • First off, let go of the idea that everything has to be a certain way. You can still maintain your standards and preferences, as well as being more flexible about how you’d like things to be.
  • Second, decide that you’re already disciplined enough. I’m sure you can control yourself from over indulgence most of the time. And if you can’t, it’s an indication of underlying emotional issues. Use this as a signal for change and make the necessary steps towards it. If that’s what you chose to do.
  • Take life in your stride. Things always change. You have the best chance of growing and becoming the best version of your self, if you keep an attitude of ‘whatever comes my way, I’ll deal with it‘.

You have to trust your ability to take charge of your life, which will ultimately help you establish self discipline.

Self discipline is a double-edged sword; it can be powerful when it helps to see your desires through.

But if you obsess about it too much, you create an environment of inflexible demands on yourself. Which can hold you back from achieving the very things you most want.

Don’t give into the self-discipline trap.

Take things at a steady pace and in your own time.

It’s better to take one step at a time and build rock solid confidence. Trying to meet unrealistic expectations too soon burns you out and takes you to a worst place than from where you started.

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