No, it’s not what you think. It’s discipline. Before you get all antsy that this post is upholding the patriarchy, here’s why.
Whenever we hear the word discipline used in a sentence in reference to the female gender, it’s usually about how she relates to men. Namely, the way she dresses, the way she acts and how desirable that makes her. Scratch that.
We’re not talking about that today. And frankly, I don’t think we’ll be talking about it ever.
Discipline is something that’s essential for a woman’s success in pursing her goals. Sure, everyone needs to be disciplined in this regard. But since I’m a woman and I can only speak to things from experience – this is all about discipline in regards to the feminine gender.
In the most basic sense, discipline is basically training someone to act a certain way, or live by a certain set of rules. Discipline also involves using punishment to correct disobedience. It’s a really broad word. However, for the purpose of this article we’re going to think of discipline as being self-motivated. The “certain way you’re supposed to act” is being successful, and the “punishment used to correct disobedience” will be the dissatisfaction of not achieving your purpose.
So that’s the kind of discipline that every woman needs. The kind that will keep her sticking to her desired path and striving after the goal she wants, even when it seems like she’s hit a dead-end and she keeps getting no’s.
In theory, it’s easy to think of that kind of discipline. However, developing that kind of discipline – the kind that is an essential ingredient to success – involves a multitude of tiny, repetitive actions.
Discipline in your success formula
So, how does this kind of discipline relate to you and being successful? You see when you develop discipline, you’ll be able to pull yourself through the rough spots, get yourself out of metaphorical ruts in your life and keep shining.
Discipline is essential to maintaining some of the routines necessary to achieve your goals. Routines like:
- Waking up on time, all the time – This one is a sore point, because I know that most of us like sleeping. Sleep is blissful, magical and entirely ethereal. But, it might just be inhibiting you from getting to where you should be. Think about those extra 30 or 40 minutes you try to salvage in the mornings. If you were investing that time elsewhere, on something more productive, would your life be different?
- Resisting the urge to escape the world through social media – Believe it or not, social media wastes a lot of our time. I know from personal experience that between Facebook and Instagram, I can lose a ton of time if I’m not careful. Without discipline, I wouldn’t get anything done. Eric Thomas always says that we use social media so compulsively to escape our reality. It was something that got me thinking – if I feel the need to escape my reality through social media, something must be wrong with my reality to begin with, right? Therefore, I need to spend my time working to change that reality, and not escaping it.
- Finishing what you start. Take for example, something like writing blog posts twice per week for this blog. Even though I’m an avid writer and I can churn out as much as 10,000 edited words on a good day, it takes a considerable amount of discipline. You have to be able to finish what you start, even when you don’t feel like it. Which leads me to my next point.
- Controlling your feelings. As women, we have a lot of emotions. Even if you’re not exactly “emotional,” we do feel a lot and think a lot about those feelings. It’s easy for these feelings to lead us to make decisions that we wouldn’t of, had we been thinking straight. It requires an exceptional amount of discipline to keep your emotions in check. You can’t allow the way you feel to cloud your judgement. Clarity of thought is essential for success. You can’t rely only on your feelings to lead you.
- Training your mind. It also takes exceptional discipline to keep your thoughts focused on what they need to be focused on – how you can keep getting better. You’re going to need a heck of a lot of discipline to swat those negative thoughts and prevent any naysayers from leeching your joy and enthusiasm. I can never forget an example that one of my dearest friends shared with me when he was explaining how your thoughts create your reality. He likened a thought to a foot path in your mind. Every time you thought of that particular thought, it was like walking through that foot path again. The more times your mind traversed that path, the more prominent it became. Eventually, if you thought about it often enough, that foot path became an undeniable furrow. In short, he was telling me to ensure that I thought positively as much as I could. Repeated negative thinking becomes deeply engrained in our minds as easily as positive thoughts do.
Discipline is essential for the success-minded woman. It’s that D-word that every woman needs. When she’s got it and she’s applying it in the right way, she’s untouchable. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from knowing what you want, and being able to accomplish it.
What other parts of your success formula requires discipline?