willpower and self discipline, a toy star wars figure holding a light sabre to chocolate bars

“Discipline is the only way to change behaviour” – Will Smith

Self-discipline is the ability to control one’s behaviour, thoughts, and emotions in order to achieve specific goals or adhere to a set of standards or principles. It involves the practice of restraining impulses, overcoming distractions, and staying focused on tasks or objectives, even in the face of difficulties or temptations.

Self-discipline is often associated with willpower and the ability to delay gratification.

It requires individuals to make conscious choices and consistently follow through with actions that align with their long-term goals or values, even when there are immediate rewards or distractions that might hinder progress.

Key aspects of self-discipline include:

Commitment: Being dedicated and committed to a particular goal or set of behaviours.

Persistence: Continuing to work towards a goal despite challenges, setbacks, or obstacles.

Emotional regulation: Managing and controlling emotions, such as anger, frustration, or impatience, to maintain focus and avoid impulsive actions.

Time management: Effectively managing and prioritizing time to allocate it towards activities that support one’s goals.

Avoiding distractions: Minimizing or eliminating distractions that can divert attention or hinder progress.

Accountability: Taking responsibility for one’s actions, progress, and outcomes.

Consistency: Establishing and maintaining a regular routine or pattern of behaviour to support progress towards goals.

Developing self-discipline can be challenging, as it often requires individuals to step out of their comfort zones and make sacrifices in the short term for long-term benefits. However, practising self-discipline can lead to increased productivity, personal growth, and the achievement of desired outcomes.

How Our Brain Is Trained:

The statement “It is how our conscious brain trains the unconscious brain. This is because our brains like to be ‘lazy'” highlights an important aspect of self-discipline and how it relates to our brain’s natural tendencies.

Our brains are composed of conscious and unconscious processes. The conscious brain is responsible for decision-making, reasoning, and deliberate actions, while the unconscious brain handles automatic behaviours, habits, and instinctive responses.

These two aspects of the brain work together, but they have different inclinations.

The conscious brain, being the seat of willpower and self-discipline, plays a crucial role in training the unconscious brain. It sets goals, establishes standards, and consciously chooses actions that align with those goals. By consistently making intentional decisions and taking purposeful actions, the conscious brain influences the unconscious brain and helps shape its automatic responses and habits over time.

However, the statement also mentions that our brains like to be “lazy.” This refers to the brain’s tendency to seek efficiency and conserve energy. The unconscious brain prefers automatic, habitual patterns of behaviour because they require less conscious effort and mental energy. These automatic responses are often ingrained through repetition and reinforcement.

Self-discipline involves overriding the brain’s inclination for laziness and establishing new patterns of behaviour or thought processes that require conscious effort initially. By consciously choosing actions aligned with our goals and consistently repeating them, we create new pathways in the brain, strengthening neural connections associated with self-discipline. Over time, these actions become more automatic and ingrained in the unconscious brain, making self-discipline a more natural and effortless part of our behaviour.

Self-discipline is a conscious effort to train and shape our unconscious brain. While our brains naturally gravitate towards automatic responses and efficiency, through deliberate and consistent practice, we can establish new patterns of behaviour that align with our goals and values. By consciously training the brain, we can overcome the inherent tendency towards laziness and develop greater self-discipline.

“It’s what we do that matters, not what we know”:

“It’s what we do that matters, not what we know” emphasises the importance of taking action and implementing knowledge rather than simply possessing information or theoretical understanding.

While knowledge is valuable and provides a foundation for understanding concepts and principles, it is through action that we truly manifest change, achieve results, and make an impact. Knowing something intellectually does not necessarily translate into tangible outcomes or personal growth unless it is put into practice.

We can do that by utilising:

Application of knowledge: Knowledge becomes meaningful when it is applied in real-life situations. It is through the practical application of what we know that we can solve problems, create value, and make a difference.

Transformation and growth: Actions lead to experiences, which in turn contribute to personal growth and development. It is through actions that we can learn from successes and failures, adapt, and refine our approaches.

Results-oriented focus: Ultimately, the value lies in the results or outcomes produced by our actions. Merely possessing knowledge without taking action limits our ability to achieve desired goals or effect meaningful change.

Overcoming inertia: Taking action requires overcoming inertia, which can be a barrier rooted in factors such as fear, procrastination, or a lack of motivation. By actively engaging in tasks or initiatives, we break through inertia and propel ourselves forward.

Learning through doing: Action provides opportunities for hands-on learning, experimentation, and feedback. By doing, we gain practical insights and a deeper understanding that goes beyond theoretical knowledge.

It’s important to note that knowledge does play a vital role in informing our actions. It provides us with the understanding and tools necessary to make informed decisions and choose appropriate courses of action.

Knowledge alone is insufficient if it remains unapplied or disconnected from the action.  This is why a lot of self-help books appear not to help at all.  Many people simply read them but do not take the actions described within, or practise them enough to create a new neural pathway.

This highlights the significance of translating knowledge into action. While knowledge is valuable, it is the actions we take based on that knowledge that leads to tangible outcomes, personal growth, and the ability to create meaningful change in our lives and the world around us.

How Can Coaching Help?

A coach like me can play a valuable role in helping you bridge the gap between knowledge and action, and in fostering self-discipline to achieve desired outcomes.

I can assist in this process by helping you utilise:

Goal-setting and clarity: I can help you define clear and specific goals that align with your values and aspirations. By working together, I can help you gain clarity on what you truly want to achieve and establish a roadmap for action.

Accountability and motivation: I can provide accountability and serve as a supportive partner in the journey toward achieving your goals. I can help you stay motivated, overcome obstacles, and maintain focus on taking consistent action. Regular check-ins and progress assessments with me can help you stay committed to your goals.

Action planning and strategy: I can assist you in developing action plans and strategies to bridge the gap between knowledge and action. I can help you break down larger goals into smaller, manageable steps and provide guidance on prioritisation, time management, and resource allocation.

Overcoming limiting beliefs and obstacles: I can help you identify and overcome limiting beliefs or self-imposed barriers that may hinder your progress. By challenging negative thought patterns and providing support, I can help you develop a more positive mindset and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.

Skill development and learning: I can identify areas where you may need to acquire or improve specific skills relevant to your goals. I can provide resources, tools, and guidance to enhance knowledge and competencies, thereby empowering you to take effective action.

Feedback and reflection: I can offer objective feedback and reflection on your actions and progress. I can help you identify strengths, areas for improvement, and potential blind spots. Through this feedback loop, you can adjust your approach and refine your actions for better results.

Developing self-discipline: I can provide guidance and strategies for developing self-discipline. I may introduce techniques such as habit formation, time management, and self-regulation practices. I can also help you understand your motivations, values, and strengths, aligning them with your actions for enhanced self-discipline.

Ultimately, I will serve as a supportive guide, helping you bridge the gap between knowledge and action by providing structure, accountability, and personalised guidance. I create a safe and empowering environment that fosters self-discipline, motivates you to take action, and helps you achieve your desired outcomes.

Not Sure How Coaching Works Or If It’s Right For You?

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Not Sure How Coaching Works Or If It’s Right For You?

Your first session is free, book here, You have nothing to lose:

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