The Connection Between Discipline And Self-Love
“Self-discipline is self-caring. When you say yes to self-discipline, you’re loving yourself enough to say no to things that are not healthy for your mind, your body, your spirit, or your life’s mission.” — Steve Maraboli
Are you renowned for your self-discipline? What does discipline mean to you? How do you stay disciplined during difficult times? What if I told you the ultimate act of self-love is not about indulging in our pleasures, but about embracing discipline? I believe discipline is an act of self-love because it strengthens our ties to uphold our greatest virtues. In other words, it is the foundation upon which we build our success and the guiding force that keeps us on track to achieve our goals.
Think about a river. At first glance, it may seem like a wild, untamed force of nature, with no rhyme or reason to its flow. But on closer inspection, we appreciate there is a method to its madness. The river has banks, which guide its flow and prevent it from spreading out too far. The banks are the discipline that keeps the river on course. In the same way, discipline is the bank that guides our flow, preventing us from spreading out too far and losing sight of our goals. It is the force that keeps us on course, even when the waters get rough. Self-love means honouring ourselves and doing what is necessary to grow as a person. Therefore, self-love is the greatest act of personal growth we can undertake because it helps us achieve long-term success. We must first construct the foundation that will provide the basis for the practice of self-love for personal growth to happen.
A common misunderstanding of discipline is that it is viewed as an unfavourable trait. People contend that being disciplined; we become robotic in nature, which takes the fun and enjoyment out of life. But we are looking at it from a limited perspective. Discipline is one of the most powerful tools to express self-love because it enables us to pursue our goals with determination and focus. Discipline is the force that keeps us going when things get tough. It is the grit and determination we need to push through the hard times. Having discipline is like having a roadmap that guides us towards a better version of ourselves in the future. For example, if your goal is to improve your health, you might form a habit of exercising regularly to create a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Therefore, by being disciplined to exercise daily, even when you don’t feel like it, you are committing to your long-term health and success. In other words, you are delaying short-term gratification for long-term rewards. Does this make sense so far? Do you realise that paying attention to the smallest habits and daily actions can assist you in maintaining your commitment towards your goals?
So what are the benefits of being disciplined? There are obviously many, including increased productivity, better decision-making and an enhanced mental and physical health. We can achieve a lot by being disciplined because we are focused on the long game instead of short-term satisfaction. Put differently, self-discipline helps us build self-confidence, inner strength, and a defined sense of purpose. In fact, there is scientific evidence and research that supports the importance of discipline to achieve long-term success. For instance, those who commit to writing their goals daily have a higher chance of achieving their goals compared to those who don’t write their goals. This is because we are creating powerful neural networks in the brain and, through repetition, those networks become reinforced.
How To Embrace Discipline In Your Life
“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” — Zig Ziglar
So how can we embrace discipline to achieve our goals? To start, we must know why the goal is of great importance to us. By creating a deeper purpose for our goal, we infuse it with the right emotions to help us achieve the goal and commit to the habits to get there. Hence, why it is important to set clear goals and create a routine that helps us achieve them. This doesn’t mean we will always hit the mark because life gets in the way and unforeseen circumstances may derail our progress. But if our goal is important to us, we must push past the obstacles and continue working towards our goal. Often, we may experience setbacks, such as procrastination and self-doubt. This is a common feeling, and even the most acclaimed athletes have experienced this. However, if they are committed to their goal, they will find a way around it and draw on their inner resources to overcome the short-term setbacks.
Is this idea resonating with you so far? Are you beginning to understand why the best form of self-care is to be disciplined and dedicated to your goals, because if they are important to you, you will reach them? Achieving your goals and mastering your own destiny means that you can have the life you have always dreamed of. But we can only accomplish this by establishing the foundations and support systems to make that success possible. Self-love comes from being disciplined to show up and stay committed to your goals, mainly when you don’t feel motivated. It requires showing up with discipline, passion and dedication and remaining purposeful about your goals. There may be times when you feel uninspired or doubtful about your goals and this requires self-enquiry to understand why these feelings are surfacing. It is not an excuse to abandon your goals for fear of failure.
So could you do it? Are you willing to develop a stronger sense of self-love and commit to your goals with passion and enthusiasm? If not, what is standing in your way? What will it take to achieve the goals and desires you hold deep inside of you? Are you waiting for inspiration to strike? Are you waiting for the perfect time to work towards your goals? Don’t wait for the perfect time or opportunity because it may never come. I assure you, life gets in the way and suddenly time has passed and your goals have fallen by the wayside. Moreover, you will have lost the spark of passion and enthusiasm you once had towards your goals. It’s all about momentum. Momentum drives action. Momentum is infused with power, energy and motion and hence why is it important to keep momentum on your side. Don’t lose sight of your goals, but keep the momentum moving, especially when you don’t feel like taking action. Do something small that keeps momentum working for you.
Considering this, I invite you to write in your journal or diary the areas of your life where you are lacking discipline. It might be your health, finances, career, or relationships. Write a specific goal for each area you would like to achieve. For instance, if you want a better job that pays more than you are currently earning, what is a goal that will help you achieve this? Now, working backwards, what actions and habits do you need to undertake to achieve this goal? It might involve working with a recruitment agency or updating your resume. Perhaps it involves improving your professional skills. Whatever it is, identify it and become more disciplined to achieve this goal. Infuse it with powerful emotions because it is shown that energising emotions associated with your goal, increase the chances of achieve it. After all, cultivating discipline to accomplish your goals is the ultimate demonstration of self-love, as it allows us to reach our highest potential.