What Is Self-Discipline and How it Will Change Your Life

On March 6, 2015, In Personal Development by .

what is self-discipline

For years I have struggled with reaching my goals. One of my main problems was that I tried to change many things at once. I once was an extrovert athletic teenager that naturally attracted girls’ attention. But because of many reasons I turned into a fat kissless virgin that almost turned into an complete introvert.

I tried many approaches to change that and revert back to the person I knew I had in me…

One of my recurrent mistakes (I say recurrent, because I made this mistake even after I learned it was bad) was to try changing several areas at once. Is it possible? Yeah —I guess. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” So if you can conceive how to change multiple things at once (I mean, with a solid plan), by all means do it. There were also other mistakes. Like not understanding the power of habit and not having “skillpower“. We’ll get into all that in future posts, so subscribe if you haven’t:

I don’t want you to have the same issues. I want you to save you time so you can start living now the life you really want.

The solution is self-discipline.

It’s not a secret. But it’s so obvious yet so many people don’t get it right (myself included), that it almost is. And it’s the #1 “secret” to change anything.

Kop Kopmeyer is an author who researched and interviewed to find the traits of successful people. He then later wrote four books sharing 1000 different traits among them..

When asked what was the most important of those 1000 principles, he said: “There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, none of them work. With self discipline, they all work.

What is Self-Discipline?

Self-discipline is the bridge between reality and your dreams.

Imagine you decide today that you’re getting a perfect body. You are going to eat the right foods and do the right exercise to sculpt your body into perfection. And that is it. There’s no other option. You know that you will always make the right choices of food and exercising, because you have the self-discipline.

Better yet, imagine you decide today, that you’re going out with 10 girls this year. And that you’ll get an amazing girlfriend. Even if you have to dump some girls that turn out not to be the girl.

So you get the toolsmake a step-by-step plan, and just start approaching girls incrementally to remove your fears until you get a date with a girl you really like.

That kind of certainty about your future is what you get when you have developed self-discipline.

So I’m going to tell you the most important key to understand and use self-discipline right away.

The Real Meaning of Self-Discipline

My biggest issue with self-discipline is that I thought it was plain willpower. That’s not it.

As a kid I was a pretty smart and didn’t need much effort to excel. My parents (for whatever reason) didn’t push on me that spirit of consistent hard-work even if I didn’t feel like it. As a result, my idea of self-discipline was:

If I want to pull off any goal, I have to make a huge effort against what I feel like doing in the moment.

Again, that’s not it.

My breakthrough with self-discipline was the reading of Self-Discipline in 10 days (highly recommended). That apparently simple book connected the dots for me.

One of its key ideas is that self-discipline is the resolution of conflict between your limbic system and your conscious desire.

In other words, you want something, but your “inner child”, the emotional part that all of us have, wants something else.

You actually want a greater goal. But the inner child wants instant gratification.

The Solution to Develop Self-Discipline

The first step in solving this conflict, is actually talking to your inner child and telling “him”, with understanding and compromise, that your life will be better by doing the right thing. And also, by agreeing to have a moment of release and let him “play” after the hard work he doesn’t like.

The alternative that I did, was to get angry at myself. I didn’t recognize that duality, that tension of inner forces pulling toward different sides.

I didn’t compromise. Instead, I battled with “him”. Doing that can get you really hurt, broken, over time. Because different parts of yourself pull toward different sides.

emotion logic pull

That seems like a little nuance but try to apply it. It made an enormous difference in my life.

The second step is positive, specific, present-tense self-talk. This is a game-changer. When you struggle to do something, you start repeating with certainty exactly what you have to do, as if you’re doing it already. Your subconscious mind starts to get the message and sets your body to actually do the thing.

For example.

Let’s say you have a plan to get a girlfriend. You know where you are now, and the steps to reach your goal. Let’s say you start at a stage where you have trouble with simple indirect approaches.

You go out and try to approach girls indirectly, but you start overthinking and can’t even approach and say “hey, do you know where to find a good coffee shop around here?

So you stop for a minute. Think about that part of you that is keeping your from progress as your inner child, understand him and make a deal with him that it’ll be much better for you. Then you just start saying: “I’m asking about the coffee shop that girl now” a few times (positive, specific, present-tense).

That may seem nonsense but try it. Seriously. You can’t help but actually approach and talk.

Once that level of intimacy is mastered, you can move on and focus on the next one. Plus you get a huge confidence boost.

Self-discipline is like a muscle and once you get the ball rolling it becomes easier for other areas you want to change.

So, remember:

Compromise with your inner child instead of fighting him. Also, repeat positive, specific, present-tense self-talk about specific action you want to do.

This tip alone will change your life. And you can literally start using it now.

I highly encourage you to get Self-Discipline in 10 days to get a deeper insight. That is an affiliate link and I get a tiny commission at no cost for you, but don’t feel pressured to use it if you find it cheaper somewhere else online.

Here’s a diagram I made with the key concepts if you get the book (click to enlarge):

self discipline 10 days coggle

So the next step is for you to identify your most important roadblock in your progress. Not the biggest one. The one that, by changing it, you’ll get the ball rolling. Once identified, take action with self-discipline and kill it!

So, what are you going to put self-discipline to use for, now?