Catriona Futter – Equip For Life Coaching Becoming your best self and living life to the full – 07713 974138

Choosing to be disciplined

Choosing to be disciplinedChoosing to be disciplined – not a very glamorous idea, and nor always a very popular one. Being adventurous, or being a free spirit, or going with what feels best at the time seem to fit more in our oft individualistic and consumerist society. The unspoken assumption sometimes sounds like…

I want it and I want it now, and I am not expecting to work hard to get it. I simply want it handed to me on a plate, just like it happens for the select few on the multitudinous reality television come-here-to-get-instant-fame programmes.

Now, I fully accept that not all of us want fame, vast riches, glory. Not all of us want to rule the world, despite the song that suggests we do (a favourite on the 80s mix in our car!). But there is a subtly pervasive attitude that suggests in our modern-day western first world part of the planet that if you want it, you should get it. The idea of a strong work ethic, of commitment and hard graft, seem out dated and old fashioned.

But where does that really get us?

How often have you said, “If only I had worked harder/stuck at it/persevered for longer?” It could be with anything – academic studies, a creative project, weight loss, exercise, giving something up, taking something on. It could be choosing to be brave and committing to talking to your nearest-and-dearest about stuff that really matters on a regular basis.

Discipline is not a groovy or enticing word. But it is an important one, because without discipline, rarely do we get to where we really want to go in life.

A fabulous programme I watched recently highlighted this. Mind over Marathon followed the astonishingly brave efforts of 10 individuals with a range of mental health issues as they trained to run the London Marathon. Now that really is a challenge, and the discipline required to stick with the training programme was costly indeed. But these fabulous people demonstrated superbly the benefits of the discipline of regular exercise. Mental and physical health improvements and well-being, structure, goals, achievement, endorphins, team camaraderie. They had huge support, not least from the Royal family. But they still had to make that individual choice to be disciplined.

Many times, the choice to give up seems less painful, but that opens up the route to regret.

Instead, we can choose discipline, accepting the associated pain. But the key is to have a clear idea of WHY we are doing what we are doing because in that, there is motivation.

Because it is a true and classic coaching observation that most of us don’t suffer from lack of information, but lack of motivation. This is about vision, goals, action planning. Having support, and encouragement. Choosing to be brave and commit to the decision.

But ultimately being disciplined comes down to one thing – doing what you say you are going to do.

I can pontificate all I like about my desire to have closer and more connected conversations with MB, that enable us both to move on from the impact of his depression. We both know why this is important, and we have both agreed to it. And at the end of another week, I can come up with all the excuses in the proverbial book as to why – yet again – we have not managed to sit down together for half an hour and really communicate about how we both are and what we both need.

Regret can paralyse us, or it can precipitate action. Action that requires discipline, but produces results and not regret.

This week, where are you choosing to be disciplined? What are you committing to stick to, and why is it important to you?

Inspired? Encouraged? Get in touch!

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