If you want to succeed in life and business, you need mindset, strategy, action – and self-discipline.
We face many things in life, and if we want positive outcomes, we need self-discipline. It enhances our lives. We achieve more and are ultimately happier. The happier we are, the more success we have.
What does the Bible say about self-discipline?
In 2 Timothy 1:7 we read, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”
There we have it. God gave us self-discipline. And if he gave it to us, we are to use it. We may find it hard to be self-disciplined, but God gave us the Holy Spirit to help us. It is like a muscle. We have it, but if we don’t use it, it won’t get stronger. We build on our ability, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to be self-disciplined.
What are the benefits of self-discipline?
Many! Let’s take a look at a few of the areas of our lives influenced by self-discipline.
Health – physical and mental
As you know, health is paramount. We have these incredible miraculous bodies and minds but we have to care for them. You must have a level of self-discipline if you are going to maintain a healthy mind and body. Eating healthy and exercising takes energy and many days it’s easier to skip the workout and eat on the go instead of practicing healthy habits. Instead of thinking of either as a punishment, think of them as habits that you’ve created to nourish your mind and body.
Reframe your thoughts about the benefits of eating healthy and exercising. Then, create and implement a strategy to visualize what your habits will look like, and what you know you can adhere to. Take action consistently. You need self-discipline for all three, mindset, strategy, and action. If you aren’t disciplined and don’t adhere to the strategy and action, you won’t succeed and ultimately, put yourself at risk.
If it’s too hard to adopt healthy eating and start exercising at the same time, choose one, and then add the other. But exercise is equally important to your mental health as it is to your physical health. The same with eating healthy whole foods. When you have self-discipline, you choose to take positive action and do the mindset work to reframe your thoughts, you create a strategy and implement it, and you take action consistently. The food you eat influences how you think and feel so self-discipline to eat healthy is of utmost importance.
It may feel like a sacrifice
In Romans 12:2, Paul tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Sometimes, we must do the hard thing and not conform to what society is influencing us to do or think.
Maybe you want to give something up or change a behavior that isn’t healthy. It will feel like you’re sacrificing the fun stuff and it will be hard. Again, this is where self-discipline (self-control) is critical. We can’t change if we don’t adhere to a strategy, that may feel strict and hard. But if you want to be healthy and/or achieve success, sacrifice and dedication are necessary. When you struggle with making a sacrifice in the name of self-discipline, think of how Jesus suffered so that you could have the Holy Spirit in you to guide you and support you.
Another example is a journaling practice. You know that journaling is beneficial to your mental health and overall wellbeing but you try it for a day and then stop. Self-discipline is key to creating a consistent journaling practice. When you employ self-discipline, you will be consistent and see results faster.
But remember, if you slip up a day or two, it’s okay. When you practice self-discipline, you will be able to quickly get back into the routine you are striving for.
Self-discipline can influence relationships in several ways. How easy is it to get annoyed at someone? With self-discipline to do mindset work you can transform your mind to think more positively so that the small annoyances, and big ones too, don’t bother you as much. Self-discipline will also help you prioritize time with loved ones. In addition, as you employ self-discipline to improve or maintain your health, you will be more present and positive in relationships and be able to do and experience more, with more joy. When you are self-disciplined to take care of yourself by eating healthy and exercising you reduce stress and therefore are happier when with family, friends, and co-workers.
Paul’s letter to Titus provided the expectation for elders of the churches. In chapter 1 verses 7 and 8 he says, “Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.”
Self-discipline, self-control, and willpower all rolled up into one job description. Paul may have been outlining how elders were expected to live thousands of years ago, but the same applies to us today.
Self-discipline will help you adhere to the strategies you create to achieve your goals. It will help you set reasonable goals and achieve them in a timely manner. Self-discipline is an integral part of taking consistent action. Instead of putting things off, which will increase stress and ultimately negatively impact your relationships and health, self-discipline will allow you to check things off your list and achieve what you need to achieve the way you need to do so.
Level of happiness
When you are healthier you are happier. Likewise, when your relationships are going well, you are happier. The happier you are, the more likely you are to achieve success because happiness improves productivity.
This is pretty straightforward. When you are self-disciplined to put in the time to learn on a consistent basis, you will learn more. The more you learn, the more you can apply to achieve success in all aspects of your life. Knowledge is power. Use self-discipline to start learning more scripture. Dedicate time each day to read the Bible or do devotions. Instead of letting life distract you, use self-discipline to adhere to the strategy to learn more and therefore, grow spiritually, or in the knowledge you need for other areas of your life. Data shows that people who are self-disciplined learn better and perform better.
People often get stuck in a someday phase. To get out of the someday phase you have to learn and do. At first, you’ll spend more time learning and less time doing, but then the time split will flip. You’ll need to spend less time learning and will do more. When you know more you hesitate less and take more action. The more action you take, the better you perform. For example, with public speaking.
The more self-discipline you have, the more you’ll practice. When you practice more, your talk will come off better and resonate more with the audience. This is also true if you are on a sports team or a work team. The more self-disciplined you are to practice, take action, and dedicate necessary time to projects, etc. the better your performance will be. Self-discipline also applies to being more thorough and making fewer mistakes because you take your time to ensure things are done right.
Self-discipline is key to persistence and consistency, both of which help you achieve more. Not only that, but self-discipline helps you navigate and overcome adversity. You stay focused on the positive instead of letting the negative overrule your heart and mind.
Be an example to follow
When you practice self-discipline, you become an example to follow.
If you aren’t achieving your goals . . .
Do you feel like you could achieve more? And I don’t mean by working more. If you employ self-discipline, you will use your time better and become more efficient. Maybe it’s staying off of your phone, not scrolling on Instagram, eating healthier, time blocking, or exercising. Whatever it is that you need to do, use your self-discipline and do it. If you believe you can, you will. And the added bonus, if you believe in Jesus as your savior, you have the Holy Spirit in you. He will give you the power of self-discipline when you ask Him to. If you’re struggling, ask.
Struggling to grow your business and need accountability?
If you are struggling to grow your business because you haven’t yet tapped into your self-discipline and need accountability to take intentional effective action, schedule a free consult with me. Let’s see how I can help you.