By Keith Cook

The term self-discipline often causes some discomfort and resistance. You get the idea that it will be an unpleasant experience, difficult to attain, requires a lot of effort, or having to stop doing something. Well, it does require effort and the sacrifice is maintaining focus long enough to make it habit.

I recall the discussion my coach had with me about discipline. It was one of the first characteristics he instilled in me. My coach defined discipline as mental focus. Being able to focus all your thoughts on one subject until it becomes your only thought.

One reason my coach required me to become disciplined was to build character. He knew without self discipline, I wouldn’t accomplish my goals. I did not have discipline or focus and I needed to develop it. Like a body builder consistently working with weighs to grow and challenge the muscles to get bigger.

My coach noticed that my self esteem was low and provided me with challenges to build confidence, respect and pride. “Imagine what you could accomplish if you could simply get yourself to follow through on your best intentions no matter what.” Steve Pavlina The goal of self discipline is being able to make a decision and knowing that it’s a guaranteed done deal, no questions asked.

Self-discipline can empower you to stop procrastination, overcome fears and accomplish goals. When self-discipline is combined with actions like passion, perseverance, determination, finishing what you start, doing what you say, it becomes a powerful tool. It empowers you with the ability to follow thru with your decisions and plans, in spite of circumstance, hardships or set backs.

So how do you build self discipline?

The way I would describe building self discipline is illustrated while building endurance. When I was in school, I was sprinter and my event was 200m dash. And what helped me build strength and get better at that event was running the 400m dash. Now in the beginning, I didn’t have a clue why my coach had me sprinting one lap because that wasn’t my event. My coach knew that running the 400m dash was within my ability to do and not beyond my limits. So a little higher standard for me to aspire to, but not out of my reach.

So I trained and trained and each time I ran the 400m dash, my time got faster and faster. My coach explained that running the 400m dash, pushed me, made me stronger, and built more endurance so I performed better in my event.

It’s like progressive training. Once you accomplish a goal, you increase the challenge which only translates into bigger gains. The method or idea behind self discipline is to set goals you can achieve but will challenge and stretch you as a person. So you are going to have to get out of your comfort zone because that’s were the fun begins.

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Filed under: Empowering YourselfGoal SettingKeith CookOvercoming FearsPositive Thinking

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