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The Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Self-Discipline

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If you’d like to learn how to master self-discipline so you can have the patience for long-term success, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


There is a lot of motivational content going around on the internet intended to enable people to get off their butts and do some work. We have YouTube videos, blogs, podcasts, and more! Ironically, the jolt of energy given by all of this content lasts for a day or so until the person finds themselves looking for another dose of inspiration.

The concept of motivation has always been presented as the recipe for success. The passion that makes you wake up in the morning and check off your to-do list. But let’s be real, we as humans are inconsistent beings. You cannot expect emotional beings like us to feel the same level of enthusiasm every single day. That being said, if you wait around for motivation to come to your rescue, you will be waiting for a long time. 

The single most important ingredient for success is self discipline. Now we all know what it is. Self-discipline is a regulatory action imposed on the self, by the self, and for the self. Here we are accountable to ourselves for our actions. Mastering self-discipline or self-control can be new for many people, which makes the art a little out of reach. 

We have been conditioned to be answerable to an external authority since our childhood, either to a teacher, parent, or behaving under certain external norms. However, when no one is watching us, we would like to get comfortable on our couch and live to our heart’s pleasures. 

One of the major challenges I faced after the completion of grad school was having the liberty to live life on my terms. I was free to do whatever I wanted with my life. I could take a break and sit at home, get a job, travel, have a change of career, or opt for any other way of living. There were no due dates, deadlines, or submissions. This freedom was both enthralling and frightening. I would be the sole claimer of what I make of myself.  

Now you see, it is easier to control other people but self-discipline is a whole other story. You either become too lenient with yourself or extremely self-critical. Either you fall in the traps of procrastination or perfection. Self-discipline is neither of those things. Self-discipline is an amalgamation of the firmness of an authority with the support and love for self.

“I could only achieve success in my life through self-discipline, and I applied it until my wish and my will became one.” – Nikola Tesla

Here is the beginner’s guide to mastering self-discipline and walking the path of success:

1. Follow the 4S Rule (Start Small, Start Slow)

I have seen so many people plunge their willpower to death by setting their initial goals over-ambitiously. Just like learning any other skill, the art of self-discipline requires slow, deliberate, and repeated actions. Setting unrealistic goals at the initial stage is a recipe for failure. And remember, smaller successes at the starting point is of utmost importance to set up the tone of self-discipline.

2. Create both long-term and short term goals

This leads us to the know-how of realistic goal setting. Keeping a long-term goal and subsequently dividing up smaller goals leading up to it does the trick. Just make sure your daily goals are realistic, easily measurable, and take you in the direction of achieving the final goal.

3. What distracts you?

I know what you must be thinking, but yes, your Netflix subscription or that Xbox probably needs to go for a while or it might need to understand your avoidance towards it. 

Understanding your triggers and cutting down the time you spend on it, if not removing it completely, is crucial. These triggers can be anything, such as video games, media entertainment, social media, music, networking, or even as innocent as books.

4. Take out time to celebrate your success

It can be extremely easy to neglect or underestimate smaller victories simply because the bigger goal is yet to be reached. However, enjoying and celebrating the smaller accomplishments will not only strengthen your willpower but will work as an affirmation to your success. These achievements are there to remind you of your competence and fuel you to keep moving forward.

5. 5-minute rule to beat procrastination

There is a technique in cognitive behavioral therapy, wherein you perform a chore for 5-minutes and then if you do not feel like continuing it, you can put a stop to it. Now, it is usually observed that once you start working on a task, more often than not, you will continue doing it even after 5 minutes. The lesson here is to remember that the key to completing a task is simply starting it.

6. The obstacle is the path

This is one of my daily affirmations whenever I confront difficulties in my work. It is only acceptable that you start questioning everything when faced with a hurdle. A gentle shift in perception will make you see the obstacle is not something to fear, but it is a growth opportunity in disguise to increase your XPs.

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost 

7. Be your own cheerleader

There is a learning curve to every skill and the graph of success is certainly a messy one with too many ups and downs. You don’t want to be an over-critical boss to yourself. Instead, become your greatest supporter. After all, self-discipline is self-service.

8. Imperfection is the key

What I want you to do is complete the task. Trapping yourself in the loop of perfectionism will lead to stagnation. Additionally, allow yourself to have break days where you rest and do activities apart from your work.

Self-discipline, once learned, ironically, is the greatest form of freedom you will experience. There is no better time than right now. Have faith in yourself, and just START. 

What’s one new thing you’ve started this year? Share it with us below!

Divyanshi Garg is pursuing her Ph.D. in Psychology on Mindfulness. She is also a published researcher, high school psychology teacher, and a freelance writer. Her articles majorly reflect her inclination towards spirituality and self-improvement combined with her observation of human behavior. She writes mostly about her experiences and lessons learned in the area of relationships, self-improvement, happiness, and psychology. She is looking to start her podcast soon. You can read more of her work on http://www.divyanshigarg.com/ and https://medium.com/@DivyanshiGarg

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How Your Psychological Blind Spots Keep You Stuck in Life

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Sometimes, life doesn’t seem to make any sense. Albert Einstein once said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Here’s the funny thing. We will say that line about someone else, have a good chuckle, and then DO THE SAME THING OURSELVES! This time, it’s not that funny, is it? I know. I’ve done it myself. (more…)

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3 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself and Live an Optimized Life

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The secret to happiness lies in the way you live your life. People think of happiness as some destination they’ll reach when they’ve accomplished the hundred things on their life to-do list. Happiness is often associated with money, material possessions, or even great relationships. (more…)

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These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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