I am writing this blog today because after my most recent post “six-pack secrets” I got a lot of people messaging me saying they want to get healthier but lack discipline. This really brought a lot of attention to the topic discipline and where it exists in my life and other successfully “fit” people and if it exists at all. What I have come to find out over the years of living a healthy lifestyle and helping others along the way is interesting…
They’re just lucky
“Some people seem to just be lucky.” For whatever reason, their good health, prosperity, fun job, or pleasing personality are all just things that happened to them like magic. We cast things aside for ourselves that we desire because we weren’t born with them, our parents didn’t have it so we won’t have it. In short, this is only a dis-empowering belief. When we put the cause outside of ourselves we end up giving our personal power away to make our dreams come true.
Let’s imagine this is you…
You know deep down you could have what you want to have, be who you want to be and go where you want to go but you just can’t seem to be disciplined.
What does it mean to be disciplined?
I want to talk about this word disciplined for a moment with you. What does it really mean for us? Disciplined has its origins in Latin for tuition, meaning education from outside. Going back, we can see this entire idea of discipline continually implies that our source of success or happiness is somewhere outside of ourselves. It literally means to control, to follow the rules, to obey. If you don’t obey, what happens? YOU’RE WRONG! BAD BAD BAD!!! To live a life according to rules is no life at all, it allows no freedom, no creativity, and no love. Rather, to live life as if nobody will help you is a life of freedom.
Discipline = Motivation?
I know what some of you are thinking…”How will I ever be motivated” “Without rules, my would fall apart”. These are just fearful ideas in your mind. The truth is you don’t trust yourself. That is why you feel you must be disciplined, otherwise you will lose all control and destroy your life. This is a fear-based mentality, to live according to a set of rules. This is one of the greatest myths of all that; that you need to be scared, stressed and hate yourself in order to grow and change for the better. It in fact gets you no where; true growth happens only when you are relaxed and in a state of joy and inspiration. You cannot possibly be creative or come up with a good idea out of a bad state of mind.
My “I should list”
The point I want to make here is that discipline is basically a poor choice of words to getting anything you want. It is equivalent to saying “I should”. Now, the thing about the word should is you are, in effect, saying “I am wrong”. Either you are wrong now or you’re going to be wrong in the future. I personally see this as the problem in the first place. We have too many wrongs in our lives, we do not need to create an imaginary set of them too!
Okay, I know I’m throwing a lot at you and it’s all for good reason. In all my experience, this lack of self-love is the root problem. Many people like to think if they weren’t fat they’d love themselves, if they had more money or better health they’d love themselves. However, I am here to tell you, you have those problems because you don’t love yourself. If you want to start achieving your goals, you’re going to have to start loving yourself first.
Here are the ways to help you with this perception shift:
I will keep this simple; you feel like you should be disciplined, because you don’t love yourself now. By not fully accepting yourself; flaws and all, you have created circumstances in your life that reflect your inner-emptiness. Now that you can see this darkness in your physical world in the form of lack of money, health or whatever the case, you are searching in panic for a solution. You believe that solution to buckle down and discipline yourself. However, we’ve learned that discipline only comes from this lack of acceptance in the first place. There is no other reason you would reach for such self-damaging thoughts if you loved yourself. If you truly accepted yourself; in whole, you would happily more toward your goals. Instead of getting healthy because your fat, ugly, lazy or lack discipline you can start loving and accepting yourself. Without self-love every day, every workout, every attempt for a healthy meal will be only an attempt fused with a lot of self-criticism…”I’m not good enough”. Self-love is really self-acceptance at it’s finest. Some people have good lives because they focus on their good qualities, and some people have amazing lives because additionally they have found a way to love ALL about them; even that part that you could never see as lovable. For some this sounds like “well, if they really got to know me then they wouldn’t love me”. Or, “I love myself, but…”. There is no buts!
To get to a place of total acceptance I want you to try out a few exercises:
- Exercise 1 – Turn should’s into could’s: Think about the state of mind a should list puts you in? Instead of personal core values, you have turned what you most want into a standard of your own happiness. I want to personally invite you to remove the word should from your vocabulary along with the word disciplined. They put you in stress mode to accomplish something. Instead, let’s use the word could, and help us define a set of personal core values that will inspires and make us enthused about personal growth. To do this; take out a sheet of paper and write down all the things you feel like you “should” do in your life. Once you do that, rate the level of resistance and negativity you have toward each one 1-10. Next, turn each item on the list into a could list by finishing this sentence “If I really wanted to, I could…” As you add each of your should items to the end, notice the level of resistance with them now. Then ask yourself “Why haven’t I yet?” Is the answer maybe because you don’t even want to? Are there some things on your could list that you totally remove from your heavy list? For example; maybe for some of you it is “If I really wanted to, I could go on a diet” and you realized you don’t even want to. That in fact, your whole life you have been told by others because you were fat or “weren’t good enough”. Now it’s no wonder why every attempt to go on a diet has failed…You weren’t doing it out of your own choice to feel healthier, sleep better, or like your figure, you were doing it because you believed you weren’t good enough. If this is the case for you, let’s forget the whole idea about diet for now and work on accepting yourself as beautiful and complete where you stand.
- Exercise 2- The mirror exercise: This might feel “stupid” for some of you to do but I want you to know it works. In my experience, the more challenging it is for you to do, the more reason you need to do it. If you find this hard, then chances are you could really benefit from it. That is what self-love is about anyway, dropping your judgmental mind and embracing all things. Chances are, if you have a list of shoulds then someone has conditioned you in a way you probably are unaware of and do not find serving anymore. For example, if you were told “don’t talk to strangers” as a child, today that might be greatly affecting your business career resulting in your shyness. You were also most likely convinced by being looked into the eyes, which created an emotional impact, when you were told by a loved one, friend or stranger of something. To undo this, simply look into the mirror every morning and tell yourself “I love and accept you exactly as you are”. It’s a simple exercise, but it works.
- Exercise 3- Limiting beliefs: For this exercise, take about 30 minutes to write down every negative thing you were ever told by anyone that you can remember. What did people say about money, about your looks, about relationships, about your creative talents, anything negative you can remember. Now, as you begin to see where you are most emotionally impacted and how some of those beliefs might be affecting you today, simply observe them non-judgmentally. Look and say to yourself “So that’s where that belief came from.” Seeing the root of your own limiting beliefs will heal them. Awareness alone in a situation can dispel darkness by adding light to it.
- Exercise 4- Self leverage: Now that you have dropped your demanding, self-criticizing idea of discipline, began the process of self-love, and removed any mental blocks that have been keeping you stuck let’s work on finding your voice. I want you to make another list, this time writing out your main outer (physical) and inner (mental, emotional, spiritual) goal. Then underneath each goal I want you to ask yourself why you want this goal? When your why is from your heart, a place of self-love you will reconnect with your personal power. When you have a strong enough why, you can figure out any how. Maybe your outer goal is a healthy body; this whole time prior your why was because you weren’t good enough, because you were ugly, because no one would ever love you otherwise. Knowing those are all judgments of the past and projections of others you might have a new list of whys: because I love myself, because I am beautiful, because I want to experience more of this beautiful life; for myself, for my friends, for God, for flowers, for sunshine…whatever the case, for love.
When you start doing things because you love yourself, your life takes on a whole new meaning.
Because you love yourself, you eat the healthiest of food.
Because you love yourself, you live in an amazing house.
Because you love yourself, you do work that requires your talents and creativity.
Because you love yourself, your life loves you back.