Self Discipline – A Vital Characteristic

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
November 15th, 2013 | Updated: March 23rd, 2020

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Lack of self discipline is a source of low self esteem.

self discipline and independence Self discipline is something we all need because it is a vital characteristic of successful people. Why? Because nothing is as easy as it seems. There are always unforeseen challenges and problems on the path to success and achievement. To beat these you must persevere and be strong.  Likewise eating disorders or other problems associated with excess (such as smoking or alcoholism) require will power.

Habits and actions

Excessive habits foster low self esteem and lack of self confidence. If you suffer from an obsession and cannot control it you may  blame or punish yourself. Likewise the reverse is also true low self esteem may cause some of these problems (eating too much, too little, binging or other damaging disorders), this is a vicious circle.

Self discipline helps you control your actions and make sure you stay on track. It is helpful if you suffer disorders like those above and need to break out and cure yourself. Please make use of help from friends or counsellors as this will support you in your efforts. Going it alone is very difficult! Learn more about building self discipline

Self discipline and your esteem

Self discipline matters to you:

  1. It effects your confidence – being in control of yourself, your emotions, moods and actions boosts your confidence and esteem!
  2. It effects how you see yourself – your self image is so much better when you know you can succeed and change
  3. It affects your ability to see a project through
  4. It allows you to stay focused on your goals
  5. It enables you to stay in control of yourself and of your reactions to any situation
  6. You can change your life anyway you want to
  7. You can cut out eating disorders, smoking or health problems caused by excesses – this requires will power and determination but if you have self discipline you can control and cure yourself of these problems, but do get help if you need it

Develop self discipline

  • Write a journal and note your successes – this will keep you motivated and on track!
  • Work on your goals
  • Develop your confidence – believe in yourself!
  • Learn moderation  Too much food, drink, TV .. or smoking (and a hundred other things). Analyse the effect this is having and begin scaling it down bit by bit. Don’t suddenly try to stop – that will probably fail anyhow. If you’re tempted to do something you’re trying to give up, remember why you’re trying to give it up and the benefits of that and think about a better use of your time – what else should you be doing to move towards your goals? Get back on track now!
  • If you falter be determined to try again! Tell yourself you’ll be stronger next time!
  • Reward yourself when you stay on course or in control despite difficulties or temptation

Strengthen your will power and self discipline

Below are some exercises that will help you strengthen your will power and practice self discipline. Some of these exercises may be easier than others, but you’ve got to start somewhere! Just as muscles get stronger as you work out, these skills can be strengthened by overcoming inner resistance, one step at a time.


There are dishes in the sink that need washing, and you postpone washing them for later. Get up and wash them now. Do not let laziness control you. When you know that in this way, you are actually strengthening yourself, it becomes easier to take immediate action, despite laziness and the desire to procrastinate.


You are sitting in a bus or train and an old man or woman, or a pregnant lady walks in. Stand up and give up your seat, even if you prefer to stay seated. Act so, not just because it is polite, but because you are doing something that you are reluctant to do. This is an exercise in overcoming the resistance of your body, mind and feelings.


You come home from work and sit in front of the TV, because you feel too lazy and too tired to prepare dinner or do your chores. Do not succumb to the desire to sit in front of the TV, push yourself to cook or complete at least


Do you like your coffee or tea with sugar? If you do, then for one whole week drink it without sugar. Do you drink three cups each day? If you do, then drink only two cups a day for one whole week.


Do you like to read some unimportant gossip in the newspaper or magazine? If so, abstain from doing so for a whole week. This might not be easy, but it’s good for your training. Remember, I’m not telling you to stop reading forever, but for only one week.


If you have the choice of going up with the elevator or climbing the stairs, choose climbing the stairs. Of course, you should only do this if you are in good physical condition.

Recommended books

Books are one of the best tools you can use so please click to visit self help books for my recommendations now!

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