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23 Oct, 2012

Mastering The Art Of Self-Discipline – Bev James

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: app|Bev James|do it or ditch it|Tips

Mastering The Art Of Self-Discipline – Bev James

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” Lao Tzu

How many times on average does someone attempt a goal before giving up? Would you guess one, two or three? The real answer is less than one. Many people give up before they even try.

Self-discipline is the trait that makes the difference. It goes hand-in-hand with determination and resilience. If you know you can rely on yourself to be disciplined in your approach, you know that there is a possibility of success. Without it, it is easy to feel defeated before you even start or to become easily distracted from your goal.

I work daily with experts who are at the pinnacle of their chosen profession in business, sport and every area of enterprise. When I am asked what is the one thing that sets those who succeed apart from those who fall short of their true potential? Or what do successful achievers do that others don’t?, the answer is always rooted in their self-discipline.

Successful people are willing to do the things that they don’t necessarily want to do in order to get the results they want. They tend to put the needs of the goal ahead of instant gratification. It’s all about desire, not denial.

They put in extra hours and effort to achieve the outcome they want because they always have an eye on the long-term goal. Rather than stopping to question whether they want to do something, self-disciplined people are more likely to get on with it!

A self-disciplined approach delivers improved performance and successful results – and keeps people on track. They know that, without self-discipline, nothing will ever happen and nothing will ever change. They will fall behind and lose control.

You can plan, dream, create and think positively all you want and still not make your business a success if you don’t take action in a self-disciplined way. Self-discipline feeds self-esteem and puts winners in the driving seat. I believe it is the core trait that sets successful people in every field of endeavour.

Mastering the art of self-discipline is like investing successfully in time. Those who plan ahead and who complete tasks within the time allocated develop the confidence to know they can achieve their larger goals.


Mastering The art Of Self-Discipline


  • Self-discipline creates self-reliance, which feeds self-confidence. If you know you can rely on yourself to deliver results, you are more likely to aim high in your ambitions.

  • Self-discipline goes hand-in-hand with effective planning and time management. It ensures that you are in control – and leading the action, rather than reacting to the others demands.

If you know what you are doing, and when and why you are doing it, you will be less likely to be taken off-track.


  • Self-disciplined people have a long-term plan that sets out their goals and ambitions, supported by a short-term plan in the form of a daily ‘do it!’ list. The devil is in the do its! Don’t just list them – do them!

If you create a plan and stick to it, you will achieve more, more efficiently, and create more hours in each working day.

  • Being self-disciplined sends a clear message to others that you can be relied upon. You will attract like-minded people to do business with you and work with you.


  • A self-disciplined approach to life enables your auto pilot on those occasions when the going gets tough.


  •   Self-discipline drives action. It turns targeted thinking into focused doing, even when you’d rather be doing something else.

Self-discipline is easier to maintain when developed as a habit in every area of our lives. Build your self-discipline muscle, daily. Ask yourself what changes in my own approach will make the most difference to my success?

Watch your attitude to food, exercise, watching TV, using social media, playing computer games and so on. Be honest with yourself – what are your distractors?

Do you get up as soon as your alarm clock rings – even when you don’t want to? Or do you tend to press the snooze button and start your day with a delay?

Do you eat only when you are hungry or do you tend to treat yourself even though you ‘shouldn’t’?

Are you the kind of person who is punctual, who is always on time for appointments? Or do you leave everything to the last minute?

Do you spend first and worry about the money afterwards, or do you always save up for what you want?

By becoming aware of your current behaviour, it becomes more possible to be increasingly self-disciplined in your choices and efficient with your use of time.

From the very moment of waking up and getting out of bed each morning, through each area of your working day, become watchful and aware of the diversionary tactics you may use to avoid doing essential tasks.

By matching your desires to the actions you need to make your dream a reality, you can begin to apply the self-discipline required to make your future a certainty. It is a skill that those around you will begin to learn and benefit from too – by following your example.

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9 Responses to "Mastering The Art Of Self-Discipline – Bev James"

1 | Nick Choukair

October 23rd, 2012 at 5:40 pm


Perfect, Typical You Bev, Generous, Inspiring and Caring!

2 | Lou Ferguson

October 23rd, 2012 at 7:31 pm


Great reminder – thanks !!

This is an absolute prerequisite to success.

I have achieved this in most areas apart from time management. It’s a working progress. Behind procrastination is a limiting self belief of ‘not good enough’. This in turn feeds the nervous system and becomes self defeating !!

Any advice would be welcomed !!!

3 | Suresh Patel

October 23rd, 2012 at 8:48 pm


Dear Bev
Thanks for the article on Self -Discipline. I found it very useful. There is only one thing missing: A good definition. I hope someone will find some nice definition.

4 | Fran

October 24th, 2012 at 12:53 am


Interesting and insightful article. There’s alot to reflect upon in this! Thank u

5 | Dave Paton

October 24th, 2012 at 9:47 am


This is a timely reminder for me personally and – because it it is work in progress for me – I can add a couple of tricks to help with the muscle in the early stages.

Firstly, it can be pretty daunting to think of changing our lives totally in one burst. If that overwhelming prospect is holding you stationary then start with one target. Perhaps reduce TV watching to after a later time than usual, perhaps put a 10 minute walk into your schedule at lunchtime, or set you alarm for 10 minutes earlier so you can still press the snooze button AND get up earlier! As you accomplish the small things your belief and confidence will grow and you may find yourself changing more and more aspects of your approach much more quickly than you expected.

The other thing is be gentle with yourself. If TV or video games or other distractions (the not urgent, not important stuff in Steven Covey’s quadrant) feels important to you then programme time for those activities – but as a reward for doing something you don’t like first. You’ll be amazed how quickly those seemingly essential distractions lose their power to divert you.

Grindstones are for sharpening knives – not noses!

6 | alex moate

October 24th, 2012 at 9:59 am


Brilliant article- just what I needed to read on a dreary Wednesday morning, am off to write a to do list now!!

7 | Tony James

October 25th, 2012 at 7:44 am


Excellent article, Bev, much needed! A neat idea is to set out your daily plan (or ‘do it’ list) the night before then, a) in the morning you hit the ground running as it were, and b) your subconscious mind works on it overnight. As regards distractions maybe some of us need a, ‘don’t do it’ list:)

8 | Frances Carter

October 25th, 2012 at 5:20 pm


Oh my goodness – what a valuable and timely article! Thank you for going beyond simply identifying the problem (lack of self-discipline looks like ‘this’…) and actually providing strategy that I can put into practice.

9 | Bev James

October 26th, 2012 at 3:34 pm


Thank you all for your great comments! Really delighted to hear that so many of you enjoyed this article!

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