As you develop self discipline there will be obstacles to overcome. Mental and emotional associations you have in your mind about developing self discipline are some of the biggest. See if any of these associations ring a bell?
Developing self discipline is hard work
Developing self discipline will take time and practice.
To be disciplined means willingness to sacrifice.
Do any of these or thoughts like them sound familiar? These kinds of thoughts in the mind point to beliefs that Self Discipline means not having fun, not enjoying your life, and not being able to do what you want. With these types of agreements in the mind we are automatically going to avoid anything that involves discipline.
Being disciplined doesn’t mean we will we be unhappy. But if we have these thoughts and underlying beliefs we will act on the perceptions that it will.
With these types of agreements (core beliefs) in the mind the conclusion our mind makes in order to be happy is to avoid discipline and practice. In more specific practical situations it might take on self sabotaging behaviors. We would not stay on a diet because eating healthy means eating foods we enjoy. Getting regular exercise appears to be hard, painful, and no fun when you have these beliefs. When your mind relates commitment to a big story about what you will miss out on, going to school and getting advanced degree becomes a bigger struggle in the mind.
With these associations people eat unhealthy food, don’t exercise, and avoid advancing their education because of false beliefs in their mind that distorts their perception.
When you change or eliminate these associations in the mind eating healthy, exercise and doing something like getting an advanced degree isn’t such a struggle. It isn’t a struggle because you don’t have to fight the beliefs in your mind to do it.
Eliminate the Resistance to Developing Self Discipline
One of the easiest and fastest ways to develop self discipline is to eliminate the beliefs in the mind that create resistance to doing something. You free up your motivation to do it by letting go of your reasons for not doing it.
One of the ways to do this is to invalidate all opposing resistance with an overwhelming argument. The reason that you have to use an overwhelming argument is that it eliminates believing any of the opposing thoughts. If the overwhelming argument is done well enough, it shatters the opposing beliefs that the thoughts arise from. You do it once instead of have to struggle in your mind with daily resistance. This ensures that you can act with a singleness of purpose towards your goal.
I’ll share this simple example of how I used this technique for myself when it was time to learn website design. I had avoided learning web design for several reasons for a long time. For people who have a mind full of chatter, this technique may not work as well. In order to eliminate a lot of the chatter and opposing thoughts in your mind I suggest using the techniques in my Self Mastery Course.
The overwhelming argument is a technique that I adapted from an Anthony Robbins audio. He calls it something like a Dickens exercise. I have to give him credit. He has good tools. Not all of them helped me, but some were very useful at a certain juncture in my process.
There are a couple steps to the process, but in short I looked back at my challenges getting all the website work done the way I wanted when I wanted it done. Not being very capable myself I was always dependent on other people.
I projected living out all that struggle and dependency into the future for about 10 years. At the same time I projected out another possible future of doing all my own web design work when I wanted it done and how I wanted it done. This second scenario looked so much better than the first. It made my life easier and less dependent on others. By using an exaggerated time frame of ten years I was able to make an overwhelming argument for the benefits of spending the time it would take learning. I then produced all the arguments of resistance against learning website design in contrast to this long term benefit scenario. None of those thoughts could stand up against how much better my life would be. The comments about it being work and the time it would take fell apart when compared to the ten year benefit.
In the way I had constructed the scenario of possible futures the advantages of learning web design overwhelmed any issues of time and effort. I eliminated any future second guessing of my decision. In this way what looks like self discipline is just a lot of good motivation with no resistance. Most work isn’t â€œhard work until we struggle with it in our mind. When we don’t clear these internal struggles it then takes discipline to complete the task.
I had already researched the issue and determined that I was making a good decision. I wouldn’t have necessarily used this technique if I wasn’t sure of the direction I was going to take. If you are still exploring different directions you want to leave room for further assessment and skepticism.
One of the reasons I used this technique was that it would set up motivation and a momentum of action. After completing these scenarios in my mind about taking on my own web design I grabbed my keys and headed to the book store to find some training materials. When you have no resistance or obstacles in the mind taking action and getting things done is easy and almost automatic.
I don’t consider myself a disciplined person. It’s just that when I decide to do something, I make sure to dissolve any other part of my mind that would resist doing it. I can then act with singleness of purpose that makes getting things done efficient and without distraction. This isn’t discipline so much as it is really about not having your mind divided against it self. When you develop self mastery your mind becomes a tool you use instead of an adversary you struggle against.
From an initial point of view developing self discipline entails hard work, not having fun, and missing out on what you enjoy. When you release the resistance to develop self discipline the reverse is actually true. I had a lot of fun learning website design because I decided to do so. When you have a lot of fun doing something you can get a lot of work done without it being hard. By developing discipline over your mind you actually have a lot more free time to have fun and enjoy your life.2