Kamilah MS

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Why Do We Need Self-Discipline?

Kamilah MS

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I am back again after we had our fifth K Mummy’s Focused Group discussion, on the 5th of June. I cannot believe that time flies and that we are going to have our sixth session this Saturday! Our members are gradually increasing too every week and I cannot wait to officially launch this platform to more mummies.

I decided to come up with the topic on discipline, to be specific, we discussed self-discipline and disciplining our children. To be honest, I do not quite fancy the word discipline. It sounds like hard work and it sounds like a pain. In my line of past careers, self-discipline is the key to achieve results and milestones and I can vividly recall how draining and tiring it was to maintain a certain set of discipline prescribed in the industry I was in.

I also learnt that I do not need to be disciplined in areas that I have no interest in, especially when the area of interest is not a means to an end when it comes to achieving my overarching goals.

It is a relief for me because for once, not being disciplined in an area that I had no interest in, does not make me a quitter or a failure. However, this does not undermine the importance of having self-discipline in our lives. It is still an important component for us to be able to succeed in life, even in areas that are of interest to us such as relationships, parenting, hobbies and more.

My area of interest has been about empowering people in their lives and it looks like I am not slowing down and I am increasing my practice of self-discipline to achieve greater heights, including typing out this blog for the K Mummies to refer back to and yourself to read and learn from.

During the discussion, I asked the following questions and gathered insights from five of the K Mummies who attended this session:

What is Your Understanding about Self-Discipline?

One of the mummies shares that self-discipline is the ability to commit to any particular task, project, etc. with commitment. It is also important to be on time to achieve our set targets.

Indeed, if we want to achieve something in our lives, we need to have the discipline to achieve them in a timely fashion and that we stick to the plan and see it through. What is the point of committing to something and not sticking to it and procrastinating? Time is our enemy in this case because if we do not set our minds to finish any tasks on time, we may drag and delay our accomplishments too and we have no guarantee if we were able to live and see an outcome in the future. Not having self-discipline could make us feel guilty especially when our time is nearly up or when we no longer had the ability to fulfil our goals. Guilt could be equally or ten times more painful than sticking through the plan.

I have had some regrets of not seeing things through and at the same time, thankfully enough, I have had more items in my checklist checked! It does give me a sense of fulfilment in my life. I still have some checkboxes that I am working on and will continue to add new boxes along the way too.

Another mummy shared that self-discipline is about controlling one’s feelings, I cannot agree more with this because yes, we are in this focused group and the theme of our group is self-mastery and self-mastery involves being able to control or rather, manage our feelings. Sometimes we may not feel like wanting to do what it takes to achieve our goals and if we honour that feeling of not feeling like it, then we will always be at the mercy of our feelings. If feelings control our actions, we do have the ability to shift our feelings to move us into action. For example, if you feel lazy or not in the mood always and it’s affecting your goals, then you may want to be around peers who can spur or cheer you on, or you could get yourself some presents to motivate you or listen to some audio to fire your belly and many more. We can work with feelings to allow us to take action towards our goals. Managing our feelings requires self-discipline too.

To add on, one mummy also shared that we must practice keeping the promises that we make to ourselves so that it would benefit us in the long run. Absolutely!

2. Why do you think Self- Discipline is important?

When we have self-discipline, it shows that we have a purpose and we set goals to achieve them and when we get to be self-disciplined and achieve our goals, we get to be a better person. So what does it mean to be a better person in this case?

You see, when you are consistent with your words and actions, you end up being a trustworthy person, not only to yourself but to people around you too. You are reliable and it also gives your children a sense of security to be around you because you are congruent in your behaviours, words and actions. It will also make your life a lot easier when interacting with others because people know that they could count on you.

When we have self-discipline, it gives us the power to stick to our decisions and we get to see things to fruition without changing our minds constantly. While it is ok to pivot along the way, ensure that the decision to pivot would still end up giving you a sense of fulfilment and accomplishments.

One mummy shared that having self-discipline also helps us to create a kind of structure in life and the mummy also added that it is not something to follow rigidly but a kind of guideline that we can refer to. I find that yes, we need to have some structure in our lives, even babies and toddlers love structures and predictable routines to give them a sense of safety, certainty and accomplishments.

Yes it is not possible to always stick through to our plans for the rest of our lives and in that sense, we need not be too rigid, this pandemic is a great example of rigidity may be a futile behaviour and at the same time, we need to not always give ourselves excuses for not following through our plans.

One mummy, Irma Niza, who is also my co-facilitator and a Habit’s Coach herself shared that having self-discipline can also help break unhelpful habits in our lives. After this group discussion, she is taking on breaking her sleep habit of going to bed late and not having sufficient sleep and days have passed and she has been disciplined in turning in early. I can connect you to her so that you can also learn how she gets to break her past habits too. Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

3. What stops us/others from Self-Discipline?

Feeling overwhelmed. We can get overwhelmed when we do not address our internal conflicts. Imagine feeling all sorts of feelings and having constant thoughts and not managing them well enough could easily make us feel overwhelmed when interacting with the external world. I have been through this and I realise that when the water is calmer internally, I can stay afloat comfortably in the real world and take on more challenges too.

Avoidance. Who can relate to this? We have a goal it looks scary because we have not been there and it is a lot easier to avoid it entirely. The funny thing about avoidance is that the more you try to avoid it, the more it piles up in your face. The perfect example given was our pile of laundry. It applies to every area of our lives too such as health and finances.

Sometimes we just love to be too comfortable in our current situation because we tend to prefer to do things that are easy and familiar.

On a final note, when the desire to change is not greater than the desire to stay the same, it could be challenging to take on self-discipline. In this instance, it could be because we feel numb about our situation that we simply have no desire to do anything about it or it could be that we have accomplished most of our goals in life and that we are left feeling pretty much blessed and contented with where we are now, assuming that we got all areas of our lives covered.

To be continued in part 2 of this blog in my next post as we unveil more about disciplining our children and why it is important.

I hope that this blog gives you an insight and understanding as to why we cannot forgo self-discipline as a person and also as parents.


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