Self-Discipline

Concept of Self-Discipline

Take a nap or work out? Rudely respond to a friend who has just texted some upsetting words or remain calm? Take a break with coworkers in the meeting room or continue to prioritize a project with a major deadline that is due? When one chooses the latter in each of those scenarios, they have just engaged in the concept of self-discipline. What is self-discipline? Self-discipline is the power to manage a person’s thoughts, emotions, or behavior in the face of temptation to achieve a specific goal. From this self-discipline definition, it is easy to see how this term is often referred to as self-controlwillpower, restraint, persistence, and determination. The concept of self-discipline can be used in someone’s personal life, social communication, and professional life, such as:

  • Personal: Sticking to a diet and exercise plan to lose weight
  • Social: Remaining polite to someone when they have angered or frustrated you
  • Professional: Doing your work instead of socializing with others in the breakroom

Self-discipline is important because it helps with facing an impulsive response that goes against our goal or temperament.

Self-discipline varies from person to person and situation to situation. Essentially, having self-discipline in one situation may come naturally to a person in one instance but is a significant struggle to that same person in a separate occurrence. Self-discipline can be reduced to one word: motivation. This motivation will help a person avoid conflict or achieve their goal, but getting and maintaining it is not always easy.

Five steps to help with achieving self-discipline:

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Importance of Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is widely seen as a positive attribute to a person’s personality. The ability to resist temptation or to put aside unwanted conflicting emotions or thoughts can positively affect someone’s life in many ways. Friends and employers see that person is not impulsive. Having self-discipline and not being impulsive shows that someone carefully thinks things through to better themselves and the people around them (family, employer, community, etc.). The maturity that comes with getting older can sometimes quell impulsiveness; however, even adults can get caught up in making hasty decisions that can lead to adverse consequences. Even when the gratification is instant, self-disciplined people can hold out for more satisfying results despite those results possibly coming much later.

Another benefit of having self-discipline is that it can help with getting rid of self-proclaimed bad habits. Getting rid of bad habits can take time, but the advantage is that frequently this leads to a beneficial lifestyle change. Things such as eliminating nicotine or eating healthier provide significant long-term health benefits outside of the immediate goal of quitting smoking or losing weight.

Self-discipline is also important because it helps to avoid procrastination. Procrastinators needlessly avoid work or decisions despite knowing that there will be negative consequences due to the postponement. This results in a loss of productivity, chronic stress and anxiety, feeling the need to rush, and can lead to poor performance.

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