How To Develop Self Discipline
No matter what, a part of you does not want self discipline.
part of you is always
saying, "take it easy." Or, "let's worry about it
later." Or, "let's just sit down and watch some TV instead."
you are ever going to develop the habit of self discipline, you need to
understand the above fact. Think of it as a little person
that is always sitting on your shoulder , telling you to avoid taking
The art of self discipline lies in your ability to
communicate with this little person. To be able to overcome the
influence that this person has when you really need to get something
Fortunately, there are thousands of different ways to overcome the influence this little person has on you.
am about to present to you some of the ways that I have found to be
But before we do that, we first must understand more
about this little person. We need to know exactly how
thinks and exactly what
this person says to get us to avoid doing what
we most need to do.
Meet Your Little Person
little person sitting on your shoulder is not an enemy. Although it may
seem like it sometimes. This little person is simply doing it's best to
protect you from harm.
It's telling you not to work on that
project because you might fail and get upset. What the little person
doesn't understand is that you are going to fail if you don't start
working on the project! The little person only thinks about the very
short term consequences.
So what kind of things does the little person say?
Well, the little person on your shoulder is willing to say whatever it takes
get you to stop doing whatever it is you are considering to do. So the
little person may start out by saying, "is there really a point to
If this happens, you must reaffirm to yourself that what you are doing is
important. And that you are going to do your best to get the job done.
heard it before, but a positive attitude is the key. One of the biggest
fears that destroys our self discipline is this. We think that if our
project fails, then we are failures. Of course, nothing could be
further from the truth!
The next time you are facing a
challenge, understand that you are a successful person for trying. And
the outcome of the project itself cannot change that. You're only a
true failure if you didn't try.
The little person is going to
try and put you down all of the time. It's going to say, "you're not
smart enough for this!" Or, "you can't handle this right now."
You absolutely must
in yourself if you want to develop self discipline. Have the attitude
of strong belief that nothing is going to stop you from reaching your
goals. Politely let your little person know that they are wrong and you
are going to prove it to them!
As mentioned before, the little
person is going to try whatever it takes to get you to stop doing what
it is you are considering to do. So if you overcome the little person's
first attemps at getting you to quit, the little person isn't going to
And that's when the little person is going to try procrastination
It's going to tell you, "let's work on this later." It might even say something like, "let's do something else right now."
little person is either going to want you to quit, or it's going to try
and persuade you to tackle on something a little easier. This is when
you need to take a step back and ask yourself if the little person has
a valid point. If it doesn't, then you need to use some of the tricks
in the next section that deals with overcoming this little person's
Overcome The Little Person
are thousands of ways to try and overcome the influence of the little
person. And many of these tricks can be found on various pages on this
Understand though that knowing about the little person is at least
of the battle to developing self discipline. What you need to do to
overcome the little person can vary from person to person and from
time to time.
You should experiment and try new ways to get yourself up and going. What kind of experiments do you try?
like to give you one example of what has worked really well for me.
It's a very simple trick you can use if your little person is telling
you to put things off until later. Here's what you do...
Simply state out loud (or in your head) what it is you want to be doing, as if you are actually already doing it.
example, if I was sitting on the couch but I really wanted to be
working this website, I would say over and over, "I am working on my
website. I am working on my website. I am working on my website."
This sounds stupid. And you may be right. But if you give it a try, you are going to be absolutely baffled
by how well this works. I know I was!
reason it works (if you care) is because your subconscious mind doesn't
know what is real and what isn't. It simply does what it is told. So if
I keep telling myself that I am working on my website, it won't take
long before my subconscious mind becomes frustrated because I'm not
working on my website! And it will demand that I start doing it!
this a try the next time you can't get started doing something that you
need to do. It's probably the single greatest trick you can use to
spring yourself into action.
Other things you can experiment
with are things like writing down your goals or visualizing yourself
doing the work. I strongly encourage you to read a few of the articles
from the thought and thinking
area of the site. This is where I keep you up-to-date on the latest tricks I have learned to help your self discipline.
What You REALLY Need To Know
want to stress again that knowing about the little person is half the
battle. You will learn over time how you can communicate with this
person so that you can do what it is you want. Understand this...
You're not going to win every battle with the little person!
And it's vitally important that you don't get yourself down about this! Self discipline is not a personality trait. You don't "have" self discipline.
Self discipline is a skill. A skill that you use.
And with any skill, it takes practice in order to get good at. The more
you practice, the better you will get. And just because you may be good
at using self discipline now, doesn't mean that you're ingrained with
it for life.
Practicing self discipline is something you are going to have to work at for a lifetime.
that the secret to develop self discipline lies in your ability to
understand what the little person is telling you. You need to listen to
this little person, and then learn to communicate with them so that you
both agree that what you are doing is the best thing to do.
work well with this. Constantly find new rewards that you can give
yourself when you do something important. Only you know what reward
will work best.
Writing your goals
down works well also. Have yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
This let's the little person know that it's worth doing some of these
If you really want to learn more about self discipline, there's really only one book you need. It's called Self Discipline In 10 Days.
It's very short and compact (which I usually don't like
in a book), but this book is absolutely perfect and I refer back to it
often. To be perfectly honest, it has been one of the most influential
books I have ever read. And believe me, I've read a ton of books!
wish you the best of luck on improving your self discipline. Remember,
don't get yourself down. Simply strive for improvement. None of us are
perfect and our self discipline isn't going to be perfect either.
Our little person is going to tell us to have a big piece of chocolate cake and were going to say...
Not a bad idea!
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