August 24


Self-discipline versus Self-love

We all know people that are very self-disciplined. They are successful, and we admire them. Then there are those people who have lots of fun but no self-discipline. We love them, but their life seems rather chaotic.

Then there’s all the rest of us somewhere in between. Some days we are disciplined, and other days, oh well. We may be disciplined in the morning, but sit down at night in front of the TV and eat a bowl of ice cream or a bag of chips.

Don’t beat yourself up over this. It’s not really your fault. You’re not a bad or weak person. You just have to change your thinking a little bit.

We know that self-discipline is an important trait to develop. We know that every successful person has developed strong self-discipline. But what’s their secret? Could the answer be tough love?

Tough Love

As parents, we all know that we have to teach our children the basics of self-discipline. We make them get up on time to go to school. We make them do their homework. We make them go to bed at night. And we make them eat real food. We teach them with tough love.

It’s called tough love because it feels tough at the moment, but it’s really love in the end. We don’t do this because we want to be mean. We do it because we love them. It would be mean and irresponsible to let them grow up and not learn these basic life lessons.

What if the answer to learning self-discipline was actually self-love? What if we loved ourselves enough to give ourselves tough love?

I love this infographic from  It lists 14 strategies to increase your self-discipline. I personally believe that #4 is the most important.  But before you read on, I have two important tips:

Tip #1 – Pick only one thing you want to change in your life and do it for a month before moving on.

Tip #2 – Each day when you wake up, tell yourself “I love myself, and that’s why I’m going to do this today!”

If this all seems a little overwhelming, just remember your goal is NOT to be perfect today. Your goal is to just be a little better than you were yesterday. We can never be perfect, but we can always be better!




Bruce Fleck, PhD

About the Bruce Fleck, PhD

I help professionals overcome a health, career, or relationship crisis and make it a turning point for building a better life.

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