Why Is Self-Discipline So Difficult?
You’re all fired up and want to transform your life for the better. You’re willing to eat clean, exercise hard, wake up early to hustle and grind – just so you can be the winner you want to be. The motivational video you watched the previous night made you feel like anything is possible and you just need to make the right changes.
So, you make the changes. You eat right, exercise hard, and do whatever you have to do only to give up one week later because it’s just too hard. The juice doesn’t seem worth the squeeze. You feel like you’re destined to be average or even below average because you don’t have what it takes. But is this true? Or are you just not aware of what it really takes to transform your life? All too often, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. One may have the best intentions, but lack the fortitude to keep going because he or she has a false perception of how tough the journey is.
You Need To Break Your Mold
Just like how the phoenix rises from the ashes, to become a ‘new you’ the old you has to die – and this is a painful process. It CANNOT be done overnight. You’ll have to make gradual changes every day. Aiming for 1% improvement daily is more than enough to transform your life, even if it doesn’t seem like much.
You’re Fighting Yourself
When breaking the mold, it will feel like you’re fighting yourself – and you are. All change is met with resistance. If you’re broke, you’ll find that controlling your spending habits is a tough job. If you’re overweight and trying to eat clean, you’ll have cravings for sugary foods and junk food. If you’re trying to be productive, you’ll constantly feel the urge to check your social media or binge watch Netflix shows…or whatever you like to do. You’re fighting yourself on every level because your old habits gave you enjoyment and pleasure. The new ones feel like work and your mind is trying to ‘protect you’ by making you do what’s easier for you even if it’s detrimental to your well-being in the long run.
Herein lies the contradiction – and it’s something you must be aware of on the journey towards becoming a more disciplined person. You’ll be battling yourself at every turn, but you will overcome the challenges and rise to greater heights. Believe me, I struggle with this every day.
Delayed Gratification Requires Patience
Self-discipline is intertwined with delayed gratification. If you’re avoiding the junk food today, it’s because you’re trying to achieve a fit and healthy body tomorrow. If you’re working on your business while sacrificing time that could be spent on entertainment, you’re hoping to build wealth and financial freedom in the future. The common denominator to all these goals is that they take time to achieve. You’ll need to be disciplined for quite a while. It can take anywhere from 3 months to even a year to get a body that turns heads. You’ll need patience to stay the course. This is extremely hard because the process is not fun and you need to see progress to stay motivated. When you’re impatient, it’ll feel like what you’re doing is not working. In reality, it is working…it just needs more time. Yes, another struggle.
Once the initial motivation to get started begins to fade, then the process will become a grind. You’ll need to just focus on building the habits necessary to achieve your goals and aim for 85 to 95 percent compliance. Trying to achieve 100 percent compliance is difficult because slip-ups are inevitable every now and then. The key is to correct yourself after an error and to keep going. So, being aware that the process of developing self-discipline is a relatively long and rigorous one will make you understand that you’re in this for the long haul. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. So true.
Your Environment Isn’t Helping
Sometimes, you’ll need to change your environment to help stay disciplined. If you’re trying to build your business during the weekends when you’re free, you might wish to avoid hanging out with friends who like to hit the clubs and party hard. If you’re trying to lose weight, your kitchen will need to be free of unhealthy food and snacks so you’re not tempted to binge eat. Struggling to beat your social media addiction? You just might need to delete your social media apps on your phone and use a social media blocking app on your computer. Making your environment more conducive to supporting your efforts will help ease the resistance you face when trying to build self-discipline.
It’s tough to stay disciplined, but if you really want that something, whatever it may be, you’ll get there. I hope some of these pointers have helped. Just remember that all the pain and effort will be worth it in the end. Self-discipline is the key ingredient to success.
Until next time,
2 Replies to “Why Is Self-Discipline So Difficult?”
Truly Jessica, I know so well what it feels like to fight yourself on a daily basis lol. As I dig deeper into my mind through patient mental training I see the sneaky ego programming that says not to move forward, to take it easy and to basically run away from all of my fears. This feels so incredibly uncomfortable and frustrating and moments but as I wade through the fight and keep going things do grow for me on many different levels and I can see it all coming together nicely. Excellent post my friend.
Thank you so much Ryan! It is a HUGE struggle for me every single day!