5 Ways to Develop Discipline Within Yourself

During the past few weeks, I have identified a couple of areas of my life where I have been lacking discipline, not focusing on myself or being responsible. Yes – I have been self-sabotaging!

I have slipped back in to a little people pleasing and moving my attention from the life and career I want to create to trying to fix things or trying too hard and in the process giving my power away to a variety of things I have no control over. Can you relate?

Subsequently, this post is a reminder on discipline and things I can control. I will cover –

  • What is Discipline?
  • 13 Quotes on Discipline, and
  • 5 Ways to Develop Discipline Within Yourself.

Let’s get started..


What is Discipline?

There are a number of definitions about discipline –

  • “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.” ~ Google
  • “Activity that provides mental or physical training.” ~ Oxford Dictionaries
  • “Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.” ~ The Free Dictionary
  • “behavior that is judged by how well it follows a set of rules or orders” or “a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules or orders.” ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • “training or conditions imposed for the improvement of physical powers, self-control, etc.” ~ Collins Dictionary.

The origin of the word discipline is from the Latin word discipulus and discipline which means knowledge and instruction.

As you read the definitions of discipline above, you may like to reflect on what it means to you. What words jump out for you, how will you embody those words and embrace them in your life?


13 Quotes on Discipline

  1. “What lies in our power to do, lies in our power not to do”. ~ Aristotle
  2. “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” ~ Buddha
  3. “The first and best victory is to conquer self.” ~ Plato
  4. “The ability to do what you know you should do, whether you feel like it or not.” ~ Brian Tracy
  5. “Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” ~ Jim Rohn
  6. “With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.” ~ Muhammad Ali Jinnah
  7. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
  8. “Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.” ~ Thucydides
  9. “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” ~ Lao Tzu
  10. “Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.” ~ Author Unknown
  11. “Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.” ~ Author Unknown
  12. “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
  13. “Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.” ~ Napoleon Hill


5 Ways to Develop Discipline Within Yourself

  1. Think long-term (not just short-term gratification) – do you have a vision for yourself and your life? How are you creating that vision? Do you focus on long-term or short-term gratification? Do you know the areas that trip you up or where you are on automatic pilot? If so, how do you stop and interrupt your automatic pilot? If you would like an idea, there is an activity here that can help you.
  2. Focus on one change, one habit at a time – have you ever noticed by making many changes at the one time, how overwhelming it can be? Remember, you only have to make one change at a time and then move on to the next one.
  3. Finish what you start – how do you feel when you have unfinished projects in your environment? Quite possibly drained. If so, commit to yourself to write a list or all of the things that are unfinished in your work and life. Once you have done this, commit to completing one action to take you closer to finishing what you start. As you are doing this, notice what happens to your energy and how you feel!
  4. Remove temptations (yes “out of sight, out of mind”) – as you are developing your habit of self-discipline, you may like to remove any temptations from around you and in your environment. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”
  5. Observe your language and thoughts – your thoughts and language are continually giving you feedback around where you are and where you want to be. Are you focused more towards what you want or where you want to be? Not sure what I mean? A little while back I wrote a post on 3 Obstacles to Connecting to the Power of Intention. In that post, I discussed four (4) ways of thinking that can prevent you from connecting with the Power of Intention. Those four (4) ways were –
    • thinking about what’s missing in your life,
    • thinking about the circumstances in your life,
    • thinking about what has always been, and
    • thinking about what “they” want for you.

The great thing is, when you become aware of these four (4) ways of thinking, you can interrupt the thought, change your perception and/or observe it and then re-align and focus on aspects of your life that feel better and in the process interrupt and/or let go of the self-sabotage.

As you are developing self-discipline, remember no-one is perfect and make sure you be self-compassionate!

I hope this post has helped you identify what discipline is for you and 5 ways to develop greater discipline in your career and life. Feel free to share any comments below or pop on over to our Facebook page.


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