Self-discipline is an often-overlooked trait that is vital for professional growth. It is one of those virtues without which our careers can never reach their full potential. Anything that is worthwhile takes work and dedication. According to Merriam-Webster, its definition is:
Correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement
Self-discipline is often uncomfortable and unpleasant. It usually involves sacrificing in the present for an action that will move you closer to reaching a goal such as implementing a new system by a deadline or writing a chapter of your book. The word itself can even have a military ring to it because it requires perseverance through the challenges we face. However, the only way to sustainably get to where we want to go is through following the rules and doing the work.
Without self-discipline, we would never get anywhere.
Finding the willpower to get through obstacles is the foundation of everything we accomplish professionally. The good news is that everybody who works owns self-discipline. Showing up at work on time and completing projects by the established deadlines requires discipline. External factors, such as a set work schedule, make taking actions easier because there are consequences if the expected behaviors do not occur.
Sometimes there are goals we want to achieve that require us to exert our willpower because there are no direct external pressures. Here, self-discipline becomes more valuable. For example, when you are getting ready to start a new business, there is usually nobody following up with you to make sure you have done the necessary work. Setting aside the time to put together a business plan and taking the actions to begin your business requires significant determination.
As an entrepreneur, there is no one there telling you what you need to do. Most of the time, nobody cares as much as you. The only way to get from point A to point B is by proactively taking the actions that will get you there.
It’s How We Get Places
Frequently, the work is not fun, and self-control and the will to do them are the traits that will get you there. Self-discipline is how we fulfill what we say we are going to do. It also supports us in completing the tasks regardless of obstacles and excuses. Self-discipline drives us to where we want to be, the place where the rubber meets the road. Without it, brilliance and innovation don’t hold much value.
The benefit is clear: we achieve what we want to accomplish. On the same token, there is a hidden reward in being disciplined: it also attracts opportunities. If you show yourself to be a person who can be counted on, others will see it and will rely on you. A company that is consistent in its operations is a company that others will gladly depend on.
How to Work with It
Self-discipline is hard, and the more projects you have on your plate, the more your willpower will have to stretch. Here are some ways to push through when it is more difficult than usual:
- Find a partner who is committed to the same objective: You can hold each other accountable for completing the tasks you have set for yourself. It will also make the work much more enjoyable.
- Make it public: Tell your friends through social media or the rest of your team what you intend to accomplish. Letting others know adds another level of accountability for yourself.
- Add it to your schedule: Setting the time aside to do what needs to be completed will make it more likely for the task to get it done.
In the end, all the hard work is worthwhile. Just keep in mind your goals and purposes, and then use self-discipline as an invaluable tool to get to where you are going.