To get something different than what we’ve got or achieve something greater than we currently do, we understand on an intellectual level that we have to give up what we have in order to get what we want. What prevents us from accepting this and acting on it is the fear of the ego which wants things to stay exactly as they are.
And yet we have all had experience of the joy and success and pride that come with achievement; the feelings that rise up when we meet a goal we have set and can look back at where we started and how far we have come.
The solution to getting past the ego’s screams that we cannot change, will not succeed, don’t have the energy to begin or the stamina to continue, is to find joy in the self discipline that arises from self love.
Discipline and punishment are not synonymous, rather they are at odds with one another. Discipline means to provide mental and physical training, whereas punishment means to inflict a penalty as retribution for a crime. We are not criminals for gaining weight, procrastinating on projects, losing our way, getting depressed or any of the things we wish to move on from. We do not need to punish ourselves by enforcing starvation diets, no play time, harsh self talk or other unhelpful motivation methods.
We can instead practice self love. Love for ourselves is what gets us moving towards our dreams, self forgiveness for our mistakes or misunderstandings, gentle approaches towards self improvement and finding joy in our successes no matter their size or relevance.
Training ourselves to be happier and healthier and guided by our intuition is the opposite of punishment. It is a celebration of our truth, our ability and our strength. Self discipline that helps us move towards our goals by training us to give up what no longer serves us or is mediocre or safe for what lights us up, excites us and helps us grow, is an investment in our potential, our resilience and our wellbeing.
Finding joy in self discipline means connecting with our ability to perform well despite the ego reminding us of our self imposed limitations and misunderstandings about what we are capable of. Finding joy in self discipline means recognising our limitless potential for greatness and loving ourselves enough to take the steps towards realising it.