how can i discipline myself
“Every morning, before I put on my suit, I look at myself in the mirror as if I’m dead broke.(1) Then I go out and make something of myself.” – Michael Porcaro, Owner and Founder of Tides Enterprises
My band, NeedToBreathe didn’t reach success and stardom immediately; it took us seven years of mini successes to get their “big break”. Doing what we loved wasn’t lucrative at first, either. Seven years of being ready at a moment’s notice, constantly practicing, and relying on the support of our family and friends was not bringing us the success we were hoping for.
Every cent that we were earning was going back into the band for sound systems, lights, conversion vans, and all the other things we needed to make it big, even after signing with our first major label. Bear, Bo, and I were at the brink of success, but our momentum and determination was being covered with doubt; we were hitting a brick wall. Our goals were turning into a frustrating and nearly impossible task, and when our momentum slammed against a wall, we had to learn the discipline to get the hard work done anyway.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.(2)”
The Discipline To Do – formal discipline
The Discipline to Do is not an easy task. It requires tough choices each and every day. Setting a goal is the easy part- it’s following through that gets tough.
Once you achieve success and start achieving the goals that you’ve set forth for yourself, you’ll always reach new obstacles and new levels of resistance. As weird as it sounds, sometimes the biggest obstacle you will face is your own fear of success. It could be from a fear of failure, later down the road, or from limiting beliefs that you have deeply ingrained in your mind. At that point it can be easy to lose track of your momentum and focus.
As the old saying goes, “Make a plan. Work the plan.” It is very important to work the plan that you established for yourself by building the Discipline to Do.
Rebuild Your Momentum
If you’ve lost your momentum and focus, there are a few tips to help you rebuild your Discipline to Do.
Think back on your life dreams. What do you want to accomplish? Why? Take those dreams and embrace them.
Revisit the goals that you’ve made- the weekend goals, the weekly goals, the monthly goals, the yearly goals, etc. Make sure that your goals are broken down into small tangible goals that you can achieve. Small goals will help you achieve big goals.
Every goal is a critical step along the path to the successful life you’re trying to build. If you feel like any goal isn’t realistic, you can change it along the way. Set new reachable and challenging goals for yourself. Setting new goals might revitalize you.
Make sure to stick to making SMART goals.
Re-evaluate your beliefs. Do you have limiting beliefs that have crept back into the picture? Limiting beliefs can slow or stop your progress. Turn those limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs.
Get help from your influencers. A good influencer is someone who challenges you, holds you accountable, and has your best interest at heart. Everyone needs people along the way who are in his or her corner; people that are encouraging, motivating, and mentor you along the way. Seek out good influencers along your path to success. Nobody succeeds alone.
NeedToBreathe hit a low after seven years, and that is when we decided to double down on our discipline, and Bear, Bo, and I promised each other that we wouldn’t sacrifice our true sound and music to reach success an easier way, no matter how frustrating things became or how many setbacks we encountered.
We started over with concerts of about 20 people and built from there. Now Need To Breathe is headlining our own tours, playing at music festivals with forty to fifty thousand people in the audience, and have our fifth major label record coming out soon.
What are some of the habits that you have that are strictly reactive? Do you obsessively check your email, watch too much television, or continuously post on Twitter?
Think of a few things in your daily life that are reactive, and think of alternative proactive things to do instead. Make a note to yourself right now: “When I’ve finished reading this, I will __.(3)”
Fill in the blank with something that you’ve been putting off because it seemed too difficult, or because you never had enough time.
Think about the SMART guidelines and create a goal that will build discipline in your own life in order to accomplish it. When you’ve written it down, put that note where you’ll find it first thing tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is another chance to practice your discipline and work toward your goals. You can do it!