Carol the Coach: Self Discipline

Many clients come to coaching because they want to acquire self discipline. Most people are not born with this personality trait. The average person has to create a plan that supports self-discipline. Acquiring self-discipline can be a difficult process. It requires ongoing work. The payoff is in the endorphin high that you can get when you are successful and then self discipline becomes effortless.

Self-discipline insures lifelong changes that result in success for the long term. Michael A. Janke, a motivational coach,says that “self-discipline is the ability to regulate your conduct by principle, persistence, and sound judgment rather than desire or social acceptance.” Self-discipline is a sure guarantee for a solid sense of self-worth. It is the vehicle for prosperity, honor and integrity. To be truly self-disciplined requires that you focus on what you gained as opposed to what you lost. Recovering addicts focus on their strengths, coping skills, and restored sanity. They embrace what they have gained as opposed to what they have lost—the alcohol in their life.

People who are losing weight look at their improved mental and physical well-being as opposed to the deprivation of sugar, fat, or carbohydrates. Self-discipline is the ability to create a mindset where you focus on the positive aspects of “control and substitution”. It is imperative to focus on the positives and look at what you will be gaining from changing your behavior. If you can’t focus on what you will likely have lost you will likely not accomplish your goals—because you have not acquired the mindset to achieve them.

In a society that emphasizes immediate gratification, saying “no” is an essential component to developing self-discipline. It requires that you learn how to manage your desires, impulses and behaviors as opposed to having the immediate gratification that typically controls you. Addicts will tell you that relapse is a normal part of recovery, and yet true recovery will not occur until you create a strategy that offers you substitution and hope. It should not be viewed as a failure to relapse. True recovery requires that you accept these failures in combination with creating a strategy for success.

People who live a self-disciplined life were not born that way. They had a “felt shift” in their thinking, coupled with a plan that they could incorporate into their lifestyle. A felt shift is a pivotal attitudinal change in how people view life. I believe you can control your own destiny if you have the proper infrastructure to support you.

What do you need or want to change in your life?

  • Make a list of all of the obstacles and reasons that you haven’t been successful.
  • Make a list of all of the reasons that you want the change.

If your obstacle list is longer than your change list, you aren't really ready to make the change. Do not set yourself up for failure. If you are not psyched up and ready to set up the proper supports to do the work then you need to stay in the contemplation stage of change and ask yourself “What is it that I really need to make this change

Finding the right supports and having a positive attitude is essential to creating the self discipline necessary to actualize goals. You will always be more successful if you can create an enthusiasm and excitement for all of the positive things that will occur when you practice the art of Self-discipline.

Carol Juergensen Sheets LCSW PCC is a psychotherapist and personal life coach. She does motivational speaking and empowerment trainings locally and nationally. To find out more about her services–contact her at or call her at 317 218-3479. You can watch Carol the Coach segments on WTHR’s Channel 13 Wednesdays @ 12:50PM.