I initially started writing this post as I took a step back and reflected on the thoughts and feelings I had processed during Isolation. It was suppose to be a short and sweet post for you all. But alas, here we are with a two part series.
I hope this resonates, challenges and speaks to you about leaning into the challenges that we face in order to become our authentic selves.
The current world landscape has left many of us with a lot more time to be alone with our thoughts.
I’ve felt like I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions for most of this year. As a self-proclaimed introvert living life at home didn’t seem like such a bad thing, at first. Then an old injury flared up and I felt more trapped in my own body that I ever had before. It felt like all my freedom had been taken away to somehow ‘enjoy’ this time at home. You can read more about my experience here.
When us Melbournians were told that we’d be headed for Lockdown 2.0, something leaped inside of me. I knew what to expect this time around and I didn’t want to waste it. I didn’t want to be unproductive. Something shifted inside of me and I wanted to do everything I could to not relive Lockdown 1.0.
This meant I needed to change some of my habits and acknowledge and accept that the current way I did things wasn’t always going to work for me.
I’ve learnt that we build discipline, when we challenge ourselves.
Jim Rohn said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
So how do we create discipline in our lives?
What allows one person to have such control over their actions while we might falter? How can we become so conscious about what we do on a daily basis that it ultimately becomes a part of our innate nature?
How do we create space so that we can occasionally throw caution into the wind and be spontaneous?
Well, the answer lies in our habits.
Over half of our daily behaviours are driven by habits. So in order to create discipline we need to have some sort of control over our habits.
The question we need to ask is how do we break bad habits and build good habits?
Part of it comes down to changing our neural pathways. These pathways have been etched so deep into us over time, that it’s hard to break our bad habits and form new ones. As the bad ones just keep getting in the way!
Changing our habits and creating discipline in our lives won’t happen overnight. As we start small, we begin to embody our habits and eventually we’ll get to a point where we won’t even remember how we lived without them.
There is a distinct link between discipline, motivation and our habits.
The first thing we need to focus on is where do we get the motivation to start or to want to change from?
For me, my motivation came from realising two things:
- What I was currently doing wasn’t working for me
- I didn’t want to be in the same place that I was this time next week, next month let alone next year
I felt like the first lockdown we were placed in, I was learning about what it meant to be alone with my thoughts constantly. For the first three weeks of lockdown I had little to no motivation. I had come out of a hectic 2019, and it was like my body was screaming – YES! Finally you’re going to rest! Then once I was ready to go, I hurt my back and that took me out of action right up until the start of Lockdown 2.0.
I feel like I’m a little bit more prepared for it this time around and I don’t want this time to go to waste.
As I tried to get back into the old way of how I did things, I only ended up feeling bad about myself because I kept failing. I just was’t getting the results that I wanted. So that is what motivated me to change.
So, what is your motivation to change?
Once you realise that you in some way, are causing yourself this pain because of the pressure you are putting on yourself, you’ll feel an instance release.
Good self-discipline won’t come straight away. It takes practice and it might just start with you ticking a box every single day until the thing that has challenged you the most, is something that you can no longer miss out on.
By tackling projects in small bite size actions, you won’t seem so overwhelmed by them. Want to run 5ks? Start with 1k? Need to clean out your garage? Start with removing 5 items.
A little bit of work towards the goal is better than no work at all.
It’s human nature to run when things get uncomfortable, hard or unfamiliar. We have our flight/fight response to thank for that. BUT – this constant running from things is actually what’s stopping us from achieving something more.
Next time you want to run, I want to encourage you to push into the discomfort. Even if it is a little bit at a time. Get use to being uncomfortable because great things never happen on the safe side of your comfort zone.
To build our self-discipline, we often need to fight urges. These urges are distractions, things that will steer us off the course and lead us straight down the path of procrastination.
I’m pretty good friends with procrastination. I’m also good friends with being a perfectionist. Often the two of them collide and I sit on the couch procrastinating in my perfectionism and I end up getting nothing done.
Anyone else often feel the same way?
What I’m trying to say is that, so often we think that everything needs to be perfect. You know, the timing needs to be right or I need to be in a certain position because I’m not good enough. Hello imposter syndrome.
We so often make the excuse that our action relies on an outside factor, resulting in inaction.
It took me awhile to switch up my mindset to a done is better than perfect model, and my gosh – was it hard! But once I released that and took the pressure off there was so much freedom. I didn’t feel stuck anymore.
Do I occasionally still procrastinate due to my perfectionism – uhh yeah 100%. But I don’t let it rule me anymore.
So how did I fix this?
Well friends, next week I’m going to give my secret tool to beating distractions and procrastination. If you don’t want to miss out on when the blog goes live, make sure you subscribe to my weekly newsletter.