Freedom is the number one reason most women choose to become entrepreneurs, so it’s no surprise that the word discipline often gets a bad rep from them. It’s the complete opposite of freedom, right? Wrong! The truth is having self-discipline gives you more freedom. Nisha Kaunda, mindset coach and founder of Born To Amplify has worked with hundreds of female founders. Here are her top five mindset shifts to help you build more self-discipline in your business and life.
It’s easy to get caught up in everyday details and lose sight of the bigger picture. Taking the time to gain clarity on your vision is the perfect antidote to that. When you know what you want, why you want it, and what impact it will have on you and your business, it becomes easier to focus and work on the right tasks instead of trying to do everything.
Just one thing
Try changing just one thing instead of making big sweeping changes. Small consistent steps are proven to be far more effective at helping you build new habits that stick for longer. Not only are they easier to implement, but done consistently, they start to compound and produce highly impactful results. For example, if you’re trying to build a more effective morning routine start with your wake-up time until it becomes a habit. Then add the next step which may be exercising or meditating and build that up into a habit and then the next step etc. Layering small steps consistently is the best way to build your self-discipline.
Disruption may sound counterproductive to building self-discipline but it’s not. Your comfort zone is the arch-nemesis to discipline. When things get hard, it kicks in, hijacks your emotional brain, and activates your fight or flight response mode. This is where most people give up or let the fear of failing sabotage their efforts. By practising the art of disruption, you can learn to override that immediate emotional reaction. Be spontaneous and try to disrupt one “normal” part of your routine every single day: take a different route to the office, order a new drink instead of your usual coffee, try brushing your teeth with your other hand or listen to a song you would normally never listen to. Make it a game, so that it’s fun instead of stress-inducing, and challenge yourself to see how many ways you can disrupt your day.
Keep it simple
The fundamental truth about motivation is that it doesn’t last. No matter how connected you are to your vision and your why there will be times when it gets hard and the monotony of it all becomes boring and frustrating. That’s where discipline kicks in. Discipline is the art of making yourself do the things that matter to you no matter what and the best way to tap into that is to keep it simple. Break down everything that needs to be done with clear deadlines, prioritise, and then get executing. The less you analyse everything, the more you can focus on action and implementation. Bear in mind though that simple doesn’t mean easy!
The more you pay attention to your existing habits, thoughts, and beliefs the better equipped you then become at identifying what needs to change in order to improve your discipline moving forwards. Take note of how you react to certain situations, what your triggers are, how you talk to and about yourself, what your blocks are, and how you spend your time. Look at these in relation to your goals that you clarified in step one above: are they helping you to achieve that vision or are they holding you back? If you’re struggling with this, work with a coach or a mentor who can give you an objective point of view to dig deep, and be honest with yourself.