The dirty “D” word – Discipline

For a good portion of my early years, the “D” word meant spankings (yes, I come from that generation), and later, grounding.  Discipline was something my parents did to me and we did to our dogs when they were “bad.”  Discipline was an unpleasant word.

In my late 20s – early 30s, discipline meant nose to the grind stone, getting it done, work work work.  Discipline was something my bosses did to me.  Discipline was also counting fat grams, lifting weights, hitting the cardio.  Discipline was something my body did to me.  Discipline was an effort-filled word.

Then I started my own business.  I stopped using the “D” word.  Funny thing, even more work got done and I was much happier.  Having clients forced me to practice some of that “D,” but it was effortless, fun and rewarding.  Discipline was an invisible word.

Interesting evolution…

In the last couple of years, I’ve been feeling a shift.  I’ve been questioning myself, but I haven’t figured out the words to talk about what’s really going on.  The dialogue usually begins with – “I really should start working out more often.” Or – “if I could just do a little business and marketing every day.”  Sometimes – “just eat a little more leafy green stuff or go to bed a little earlier.”  But… “I don’t have any discipline!”  Discipline is a missing word.

A few weeks ago I was having this conversation with myself in the car, AGAIN, lamenting how I ever got anything done in the past AND how to become disciplined now!  Suddenly it hit me – I AM disciplined.  I am pretty disciplined about taking an afternoon nap every day.  I’m very disciplined at having a pint of ice cream whenever the mood hits me.  I am super disciplined at watching Big Bang Theory (syndicated and current), Parenthood, and The New Normal.  I have acres of discipline around lunch with French fries.  This list could go on for awhile.

LOVE the reframe.  With the reminder that I DO, in fact, practice many things in a disciplined way, I realized I might be able to shift the ice cream to yummy smoothies, add 15 minutes of Pilates while watching Big Bang Theory, and substitute a side salad more often at lunch.  Discipline is becoming a fun word.

What are your top three “disciplines?”  In the comments below, tell us about your relationship with the not so dirty “D” word. 😉

Great love and big hugs,

6 thoughts on “The dirty “D” word – Discipline

  1. Discipline, the order by which live.
    Routine, the order of how discipline functions.
    Without discipline you have chaos.
    Paula Ham

  2. I have a mixed relationship, too. Discipline has helped me get good things accomplished and it can become a compulsion. I like to think of it more as “practice” — as Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”

    • Thank you, Susan, for the reminder of excellence as a habit. I breathe more deeply and calmly when I play with the idea of excelling through repetition (vs., for example, competition).

  3. I’ve always attributed a harsh connotation to discipline. Sharp edges, defined lines. I would use the harshness to “discipline” myself into compliance and submission. For me, the reframe of “committed” helps soften the edges and create expansion. I do appreciate the invitation to clean up my view of the dirty “D” word. 🙂

    • Yes, harsh is exactly what I felt about discipline for years. I love the option of committed 🙂 Appreciating you, my friend Joi! muuaah

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