Ep. 274: How to Have More Self Discipline

Ready to change your mind about weight loss? Grab The 5-0 Method to lose all the weight you want and keep it off forever.

Want more self discipline, so you can lose weight? Tune in to this week’s episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast to learn all about self discipline and discover the *best* way to get more of it.

People with self discipline don’t seem to have any trouble losing weight, do they? They get up early to workout, they never have trouble with snacking, they drink their water, and get plenty of sleep every night. You know that if you had that kind of self discipline, you’d be losing weight easily, too – but you’re struggling with having *any* self discipline right now. How in the world can you get MORE?

You can (and I’ll tell you how). But also… you might not even need self discipline AT ALL.

Join me on this week’s episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast, where I’m clapping back at the notion of needing more self discipline and offering up a kinder, gentler way to lose weight instead.

What You’ll Learn:

  • What self discipline IS
  • What self discipline and is NOT, and
  • Why self discipline could actually be HOLDING YOU BACK from achieving your weight loss goals

My friend, if there’s one thing to take away from this episode it’s this: you have the ability, the tools, and the power to make self discipline work for YOU, no matter how much of it you currently have.


Hello GoalFriends. Welcome to episode number 274, where we're talking about how to have more self-discipline. And I'm gonna tell you straight up right here at the top of the podcast, you might not need more self-discipline at all. And in fact, the idea of self-discipline could be the thing that's holding you back from meeting your weight loss goal. What? So why in the world are we talking about how to have more self-discipline? Well, we kind of are, and we kind of aren't because what we're gonna talk about today is what self-discipline is, what it isn't, and why you might not need it at all. Or if you do choose for yourself that you would like more, how to have more. So I have to tell you a funny story because I was, I was thinking about this concept. I've been thinking about this concept for a while. I get comments not super, super frequently, but with some frequency about how I must personally have a lot of self-discipline to be able to do the things that I do in order to, you know, get to my goal weight, maintain my goal weight, have a business, do the videos that I do, like, just everything that I do when somebody looks at the things that I do and some of the results that I produce, sometimes somebody will comment to me that I must have a lot of self-discipline and that's why I am where I am. And I've always found this word to be very, very interesting and not necessarily something that I would like refer to for myself. And I, so I went to, because I was developing this concept for the podcast today, I went to go look up the actual definition and as soon as I looked up the definition, I was like, oh my God, I've made a podcast about this before . So I went and looked it up because of course I had to, I was like, I've totally talked about this before. And yes, I have episode number 42 is called Self-Discipline and I didn't go listen to it. You're welcome to, I'll have a, a link for you in the show notes or the description box depending on where you're, uh, watching or listening. I didn't listen to it, just reading the show notes. I'm like, oh, I've always kind of thought about self-discipline this way. I have a feeling there's gonna be a fair bit of overlap. And the reason I really specifically didn't go listen to it is because, I mean, looking at the episode number, number 42, that means that episode is, I mean, from probably 2020, I know for sure that I have continued on my own self-help, self-improvement life coaching journey. I suspect that I'm going to offer you something at least slightly different in today's podcast. And I didn't wanna muddy my own waters with the way that I was thinking about this right now by listening to an old one. I think though, that it might be really interesting, I'm gonna call it supplementary material for you. In fact, I've got quite a bit of supplementary material for you for today's podcast. When thinking about self-discipline, the actual like straight up definition of it from, oh gosh, do I have where this is from? I think it's the Oxford Dictionary. Don't quote me on that just in case it's not, all I did was Google it. It was the very first, uh, response on Google and I'm pretty sure that's almost always either the Oxford dictionary or sometimes Miriam Webster, depending on, you know, how many hits either one of 'em gets. Anyways, self-discipline is the ability to control one's feelings and overcome one's weaknesses, the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. And I was thinking, as I often do when I read a definition like that about how that doesn't feel good at all to me, like there is nothing in any of that language that I like that I would take on. And this is really quickly, I'm gonna just gonna take a quick little, not quite left turn, but just a little bit of background information for you here. Gonna refer you to episode 89 where we talk about mind management, how, how everything in the world works is that you have a thought, that thought creates a feeling. That feeling drives your actions. So in order to get an action that you desire, you need to have a feeling that you desire, meaning like a comfortable feeling, a good feeling. I always like to put that one in air quotes because there's honestly no such thing as a good feeling or a bad feeling. We might think of a feeling like love or happiness as being good, but if for whatever reason that particular feeling doesn't feel comfortable in your body, that uncomfortable feeling would produce what we would call bad actions or actions that you don't want to be doing. So it's not really about whether or not the feeling sounds like it's good or sounds like it's bad, it's about whether or not it's comfortable or uncomfortable in your body, which would come from a thought. So when we're talking about whether or not we want more self-discipline, when I'm reading these, these definitions about, you know, controlling my emotions and overcoming my weaknesses, like everything in my body, my feeling about that definition doesn't feel good. Therefore, the idea of even having del self-discipline doesn't feel good to me, the idea of developing more self-discipline doesn't feel good to me. To me, self discipline sounds like it kind of smacks of perfectionism or restriction or control, and not in a good way, like control of something uncontrollable. For me personally, the reason I might not want to develop more self-discipline or have more self-discipline is because the actual definition of self-discipline doesn't even feel good to me. So here's where I'm gonna offer you the opportunity to really think about whether or not self-discipline as a definition feels good to you. Whether or not it feels like, for example, perfectionism restriction or control in a bad way, or if it feels good to you, if those words, that language in the definition of self-discipline feels good to you. And I will further offer you that this taking a moment to like deconstruct a word language concepts and decide for yourself because of how it feels in your body, whether or not it's a word or a concept or an idea that you would like to use for yourself, that even this act of thinking about the definition, feeling the feelings in your body and then deciding what you'd like to do with it is self-discipline. It's slowing your brain down, thinking about something, deciding for yourself how you feel about it, and then moving forward with your own concept of it in a way that will get you where you want to go. Very interesting, right? Even though I don't personally love the definition of self-discipline by thinking about self-discipline, I am exhibiting some self-discipline. . So weird, right? But this is what we do around here. We unpeel the onion and we dig into the layers. The other reason why self-discipline might not be something that you would like to use might be something that's actually holding you back from meeting your weight loss goal is because the concept itself doesn't seem like it applies to you. Like when you hear that definition and you think about self-discipline, you almost, I'm gonna say like use it against yourself. Like you think of self-discipline and honestly, i i not just you, I'm not pointing fingers here saying you think of self-discipline. I think we as a society, the way we talk about self-discipline, I think that we all kind of think of self-discipline as a quality that you do or do not possess. And so this is where I'm going with why the, the concept of self-discipline might be holding you back from your weight loss goal is because you think that you don't possess this as a quality. And what I'm gonna offer you here is that I don't think self-discipline is… I don't think it's something you're born with. I don't think it's a thing. I actually think that self-discipline is a, a collection of feelings that drive actions because that's what feelings do. Feelings always drive actions that we actually just like the results that we get from those actions. And so thinking about it that way really opens the door for rather than thinking that we could be, you know, possess this quality of self-discipline from perfectionism or restriction or control, but rather thinking of it as a collection of feelings that drive actions, that get us results that we want, really opens the door for having all kinds of different feelings that drive different actions, that get us results that we want. And thinking about it this way for me feels amazing because there are all kinds of feelings that I love to create for myself that drive different kinds of actions, that get me results that I'm looking for. And again, almost none of those feelings is some sort of a feeling of discipline for me personally, the kind of feelings that feel good and therefore drive actions that get me good results are things like curiosity. You've heard me say this like I'm gonna say a million times at this point. I do have an entire episode of what used to be the Fitness Matters podcast. It's now the Get Your GOAL podcast, but episode 73, it's called the Best Feeling. And spoiler alert, the best feeling in my opinion is curiosity. I love curiosity. I truly, truly believe that curiosity will get you everywhere you want to go. And you are welcome to disagree with me. You are welcome in fact to create your own collection of feelings that drive the actions that you want to drive, that get you the results that you want to get. This was the list, and it's probably not even exhaustive, but this is the list of feelings that I really enjoy feeling, that I think produce in me the actions that other people would see that they would look at and describe as self-discipline. So curiosity, number one, determination. I love determination, motivation. And in fact, here's what I'm also gonna, I told you I have lots of episodes for you to listen to as like supplementary materials for this podcast today, episode number 238, how and where to find Motivation. Motivation, again, a concept that I think we as a society attribute to being like a quality that you either possess or you don't possess, or maybe even like a thing that's outside of you, a quality that's outside of you that you have to get somehow. I will tell you really quickly, spoiler alert on this one, that motivation is actually a feeling that you can generate for yourself by thinking thoughts. Other feelings that I love to generate for myself that drive the actions that I want to get, the results that I want are things like self-love, self-respect, self trust. I love this one. In fact, you know what, that just sparked something in me. I am 99.9% certain that I have a podcast episode about self-trust. And since I didn't look it up before I started talking, I don't know what number that one is, but I will have that one available to you in the show notes also, because I suspect that that one is also kind of old and therefore, my, my thoughts about that concept may have changed over time, but it can still be a really nice, like jumping off point and another way of thinking about the concept of self-trust as a feeling that you generate for yourself from your thoughts. There's also a couple of other feelings, and I put these at the end of my list because I wanted to kind of parse them out with you that one of the feelings that could generate for you actions that get you the results that you want is a feeling of pride. Now, I know that that word might have some baggage for you. I think lots of us grew up being told that you shouldn't be prideful, that you know, pride goeth before a fall, that a feeling of pride is automatically a bad one, that nothing good will come from feeling proud of yourself, that you shouldn't feel too proud of yourself. I, I don't know why that totally just sparked something, some kind of memory in me of being told that for some reason, and I can't come up with what it is right now, but I know that it does not generate a good feeling. So it's why I'm offering to you that when you think about these feelings and whether or not they actually drive the actions that you want, notice whether or not that feeling of pride feels good. Does it feel good? It's gonna drive good actions if it feels uncomfortable, if you're having more thoughts about it that feel uncomfortable, this one might not fit into your, your concept of self-discipline. For me now, because I've done a lot of work on the word pride and the feeling of pride, I actually really enjoy feeling proud of things that I have done. And I've done, like I said, the the mindset work on this, you get to decide for yourself whether or not pride feels good or doesn't feel good. If pride feels good, Then move forward with it. The other one that I love feeling is wonderment. That to me is such a beautiful, like testament to me, kind of delightfully surprising myself with what I'm capable of. That's what wonderment means to me. So wonderment absolutely drives some very good actions that get me the results that I am looking for. So I love the feeling of wonderment. The reason I say wonderment really specifically, the reason I even bring this up is because it might not be one of the feelings that you thought of immediately when you were thinking about what kinds of feelings can generate the actions that I want that will get me the results that I want. And I wanted to offer you the ability here to kind of think outside the box. You probably have some preconceived notions. I mean, we have a literal definition of self-discipline that really kind of pertains to a perfectionism, a restriction, a controlling of yourself. You might think that those kinds of feelings are the only things that can generate the results that you are looking for. And by offering you this feeling of wonderment, I want you to really empower yourself to think about what feels good to you. It might be really surprising to you when you start to generate this list of feelings that drive actions, that get you the results that you want. And this is really what I'm gonna offer you in terms of like how to have more self-discipline. If you would like more self-discipline, what it might take for you is to like redefine the word. Yeah, there's a, there's a, an agreed upon definition of the word self-discipline. But that doesn't mean that you have to accept that one. It doesn't mean that you have to use that language. It doesn't mean that you have to use even the word self-discipline in order to get the result that you want. You may or may not use the word self-discipline. And if you do like the word self-discipline, you might want to generate for yourself a slightly different definition. You also might want to borrow the concept of self-discipline that I have offered you here, which is to say that rather than thinking about it as a quality that you either do or do not possess, especially if you have in the past considered it a quality that you do not possess, like if you have used the definition of self-discipline or the, the idea that it's a con or a quality that you put don't possess against yourself, here's how to have marked self-discipline is to redefine the word and reconceptualize it as a quality that you can possess because you can generate feelings for yourself that drive actions that get you the results that you want. So really the upshot of it all is that you can use the word self-discipline if you like the definition and you like the concept of it. You can also use the word self-discipline if you redefine it for yourself and reframe the concept of it. You can also, and here's my favorite part, because this is what I offer you in every, every piece of advice I have ever given you, is you can take this and make it your own. Maybe, maybe what you want more of isn't self-discipline. Maybe you'd really like to define yourself and have a concept of yourself that gets you where you wanna go. That's a completely different word. And I will tell you that what I think I have a lot of is not self-discipline, even though I get described as a self-disciplined person, even though I exhibit what you might consider the quality of self-discipline. I gotta be honest with you, the way I describe myself, the thing that I think of the definition that I have not even looked up, which is so funny, I probably should look this up at some point, but I haven't, the word that I like the quality that I think I possess, the, the feelings that I generate for myself in, in service of this concept that I have of myself is that I am stubborn , I really like that word. I take it on happily. I am actually not going to look it up just in case the definition proves me wrong here. I enjoy thinking of myself as a stubborn person who will stubbornly get where I want to go, because that word holds no baggage for me. It feels good, I can then generate good actions from it. I can think about it as a good concept and work within that concept to, you know, create feelings for myself that drive actions that get me where I wanna go. I love the idea of having stubbornness, of being stubborn, of having the feeling of stubbornness that works for me. And this is what I really, truly overarchingly want to offer you. Rather than thinking that you need to stuff yourself, your round or square peg in a round hole of self-discipline, that maybe you don't need more self-discipline at all that maybe, not even, maybe, but that you can Love what you already are that already feels good that you are already doing for yourself. And simply generate more of that by accepting and loving what you already are. R I know that this might have been, uh, a kind of a lot to take in, uh, as my, as my podcast topics so frequently are, let me, let me offer you the, the too long didn't listen version of maybe you don't need to be more self-disciplined, but rather that you can love and accept and work with exactly what you are right now to get where you want to go. My friend, I really hope that this one was helpful for you today. Thank you so much for coming along for this ride and I'll talk to you again soon.

Listen to the full episode here, and be sure to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.

Originally aired February 12, 2023
Want more self discipline, so you can lose weight? Tune in to this week’s episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast to learn all about self discipline and discover the *best* way to get more of it.
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Meet Your Host

Mindset expert and certified life coach Pahla B knows a thing or two about changing your mind to change your weight and your life. She’s the creator of The 5-0 Method, Amazon-best selling author of the book “Mind Over Menopause,” and former yo-yo dieter who has cracked the code on lifelong weight maintenance. Join Pahla B each week for the personal insights, transformative mindset shifts, and science-backed body advice that can help you lose all the weight you want and keep it off forever.