Tosan Okotie: How and Why You Need To Be Self Disciplined
We often cringe when we hear the word discipline; and even more, when we hear it has to do with ourselves.
Self-Discipline may not always be palatable but the rewards are great.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, Self-discipline is “the ability to make yourself do things you know you should do even when you do not want to.”
God has given each of us the ability to be self-disciplined and even the bible states, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Here are some benefits of being self-disciplined:
- It boosts your self-confidence.
- It keeps you healthy in all areas.
- It helps with proper time management.
- It accelerates productivity.
- People are able to build confidence in you.
- It gives you the power to overcome addictions, procrastination and laziness.
Here Are Some Ways to Build Self Discipline:
1) Understand Yourself: being self-aware is key to building self-discipline. Each of us know our individual strengths and weakness; likes and dislikes; needs and desires etc.. It is through this knowledge that we are able to understand where we are missing it and then take steps to improve yourself. Napoleon Hill said “Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. if you don’t control what you think, you cannot control what you do. Simply put, Self-discipline enables you to think first and then act.”
2)Desire to Improve Yourself: Most of us desire to improve on ourselves but don’t want it badly enough to take a step. Others want to improve but are too scared of leaving their comfort zone, while some have just decided to be as they are without any practical change.
Someone once said that “The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on or blame. You alone are responsible for the quality of it.” You must want to improve yourself before you can pursue the steps to self-improvement.
3) Changes start with small steps: we shouldn’t expect that we will get it right the first time we try. We may falter and fall back to square one but we must be determined to get back on track again till we can gain our footing. We easily give up on ourselves when we fail. Even the Holy book says that if we are faithful in little things we will be able to handle the much bigger things. We must keep our consistency in little ‘nos’ then when you need to say no in a larger situation, your capacity to withhold yourself from doing wrong would have been built.
4) Learn to say No: Learning to say no starts with the little things of life. For example, You want to shed weight or be disciplined in your eating habits, you must be ready to say no to some unhealthy foods when you’re with people or even when you’re alone. It is not just saying no but putting your mind and determination to the No. Yes, your mind may wander to the 3rd chilled bottle of soda for a day but the ability to walk away from that drink at that particular moment builds your momentum to stop the 2nd soda per day and so on. Shaykh Dr. Umar Faruq Abd- Allah said and I quote “Hunger is the first element of Self-discipline. If you can control what you eat or drink, you can control everything.”
5) Self-discipline is habit that needs to be formed: Self-discipline is not just a one-off thing. It should become a daily routine. Rev Sam Adeyemi said that “Success is a habit and failure is a habit. We start behaviors consciously and then we do them unconsciously”. A wise man once said and I paraphrase, when do a thing for a period of 21 days or more consistently then it becomes a habit.
Name of the Writer: Tosan Okotie
Tosan Okotie is a public servant whose unnerving interest in improving the lives of people constantly drags her into teaching and speaking on various subjects in this regard. She has organized several couples programs and a few teenage activities with her husband to enlighten people.