Why Self-Discipline is the Key to Succeeding
Imagine that you’ve been working in the same job for the past five years. You like the work that you do, the people you work with, and the office environment. Yet you feel like your career is stagnant and see that you’re being passed over by your peers for promotions. No one likes to be left behind, so you wonder what you can do to change the situation.
WehnerEd previously noted that you could take the initiative and learn new skills for your personal/professional growth. That’s one way to go about it but even that requires a trait that all successful people have mastered: self-discipline.
Essential Life Skills defines self-discipline as “the ability to turn down immediate pleasure and instant gratification in favor of gaining the long-term satisfaction and fulfilment from achieving higher and more meaningful goals.” It’s a way to harness all your energy on activities that serve as steps to reach long-term objectives. It’s a trait that demands that you overhaul your entire life.
Let's apply it to the scenario in the first paragraph where you feel a discomfort or stagnation in your career. You are determined to get that promotion and you’ve come to the conclusion that your work performance isn’t as high as it needs to be. You’re not in danger of being cut but it's unlikely to get you promoted either. You decide you’re ready to create your own success. The question is, what changes will you make to take your talents to the next level? Which old habits are you prepared to remedy, and how will you go above and beyond what’s already expected of you? Which strategies will you employ to stand out from the crowd, and how do you know they will work?
A great place to start is eliminating the amount of time wasted throughout the day on social media or phone apps instead of being productive. If you can give up these things then not only are you on the first step to exercising self-discipline, you’re already on the path to achieving your goal of professional development. Short-term indulgences, distractions, and having extended breaks are normal. While it’s okay to give into them every once in a while, doing them habitually will set you back further from getting the success you want. This is the easy part.
The most difficult aspect of learning self-discipline is maintaining your focus on it. Success Story sees the trait as the purest form of concentration. Day in, day out, you will have to concentrate on one purpose at a time, put everything aside, and adhere to it until you’ve obtained the desired output. Sounds great on paper but you have to be mentally and emotionally prepared for what is to come. You have to be ready for the length of time it will take to exceed your past performances.
You might question the purpose of all this, particularly if you fail. It is in these moments that you will once again have to make the command decision whether to move forward or just give up. Frustration will set in and that’s okay. You just need to be aware that if you take a breather, pick yourself up and start again. Take pride in the fact that you have already exercised genuine self-discipline. You will probably have more failures along the way but if you can learn from them and continue trying, you will make progress toward your larger goals. All it takes is the willingness and determination to keep on practicing and soon you will gain the mastery of your skills as well as self-discipline itself.
At the very least, your supervisors will take notice of your efforts to be self-disciplined. Discipline is one of four key skills you need to be a leader, as identified by Maryville University. Developing this skill will boost your perceived value, and managers will start to regard you as someone preferred for upcoming promotion cycles. It’s what makes self-discipline such an excellent trait to have. The time and effort to learn it is already a reward in itself.
Self-discipline is a trait that will mature you as a person and can benefit other aspects of your life as well. It’s about concentrating on what you want and not letting old habits or emotions get in the way. Take time to reflect on how you can improve your self-discipline today and to initiate your journey to a better you. If you would like support to strengthen your self-discipline, please schedule a free introductory coaching call with us today.
Feature written by Kelsey James specially for WehnerEd.com