What is Discipline?
According to my pastor, I am a walking example of discipline. In his eyes, my ability to lose seventy-five pounds and training for a half-marathon are displays of discipline.
The official definition of discipline according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:
- training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
- a : control gained by enforcing obedience or order
b : orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior
c : self-control
To me, discipline is doing all that is necessary to create a desired outcome. To reach that desired outcome sometimes includes doing something we do not like or that challenges us. It is the doing of what we do not like and the challenges that can limit us from achieving those outcomes, however.
That is why this post poses the question, Are You Limiting Your Opportunities by Limiting Your Discipline?
Change Your Outcomes
Before today, did you ever consider the differences between when you showed discipline and when you did not?
When the difference hit me I felt the weight lift off of my shoulders. It was eye-opening to see what was the cause of me risking potential opportunities.
By knowing why you are limiting yourself, you can do what is necessary to change your outcomes.
What follows are the comparisons having discipline and our behaviors when we have a lack of it. The post ends with what we can do to not limit ourselves from our lack of discipline.
Acts of Discipline
One day when preparing to give an appeal at church, I thought more deeply about my own discipline. Yes I showed a great deal of discipline when I lost weight, trained for and ran a marathon, and wrote my book. Here is what I realized in regards to demonstrating discipline:
Discipline requires self-control. Like the definition states, you are the one in control. What you do is up to you. You are the one who controls whether you pass or fail.
Discipline follows a plan. We are living in a time when finding instructions for what you need to do are a Google search or YouTube video away. When you do not know how to do something, look it up and follow the plan.
As a result, with the combination of self-control and following a step-by-step plan, you create opportunities for yourself. Likewise, you achieve your desired outcomes.
But what happens to your discipline when something is outside of your control and when you cannot find a step-by-step plan?
So Much for Discipline
Here is what experience has shown me when I am not the one in control and I do not know what to do. Let me know if you relate.
Procrastination and avoidance. Lack of knowledge is a daunting feeling. There is a sense of a lack of control. Rather than taking action, you instead procrastinate or avoid what you are trying to accomplish.
Self-doubt. Not being in control, or lacking in self-control, reverts to self-doubt. Your self-doubt leads to inaction.
Confusion. The feeling of not knowing and searching for the answers, but not being able to find them results in confusion. Do you know what happens next? By now I hope that you do: more inaction.
Procrastination, self-doubt, and confusion are ways in which we are limiting discipline. In addition, it should be clear by now those behaviors cause us not to take action. And our in action is limiting our opportunities.
Are You Limiting Your Opportunities by Limiting Your Discipline?
If you now realize you are limiting your opportunities as a result of your lack of discipline, here are some suggestions for dealing with what you cannot control and you do not have enough knowledge to create a step-by-step plan:
Have faith. Stay the course with positivity. Keeping your mind open and believing in possibilities provides you with the strength you need to combat procrastination, self-doubt, and confusion. Faith and belief also keep your mind open to making necessary changes and keeps you disciplined.
Take action. I talk about taking action a lot in canwilldone.com. Action is the key to change. If you have been taking action, but still feel like you are lacking or confused, reassess. You will likely need to change your course of action.
Invest in a coach. You are not going to have all the answers. Coaches are trained in what you need to know or do who will guide you. You will also get the knowledge you are currently lacking from them. Also, you will get more done with the assistance of a coach or reliable partner than you would alone.
Are you limiting your opportunities? How will you now going about changing your outcomes? Share in the post comments.