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Everything in Moderation - Including Self-Discipline

 

My mum used to say that too much of a good thing was bad for you. Admittedly, at the time she may have been trying to teach me the benefit of not drinking so much lemonade after another visit to the dentist.


The lesson still rings true for me in my life today. Sometimes I become “too self-disciplined” in my life. What does that look like? For me, it’s following my plans without deviation, even when I’m sick. Squeezing more into my day when needed and not stripping anything out in response because we made that commitment to ourselves.  Going for a run when my body wants a rest.


A red flag for me can be when I notice I’m working more than normal and I’m starting to “should” and “have to” myself about what needs to get done.


Don’t get me wrong, there are so many upsides to having self-discipline in our lives. We can better manage our thoughts, so we don’t get waylaid by distractions, and we get our stuff done. When we have developed the discipline of showing up in our lives the way we want to, then we don’t waste time with the mind chatter about deciding whether we will do what we plan when we planned it. It just gets done.


The problem arises when we are being “too disciplined” and we have stopped managing our mind. We may be operating on autopilot without forethought so ironically one of the benefits of developing discipline is overridden because our awareness declines. We don’t notice when we are working too much or saying yes too much and are feeling exhausted.


So, what drives us to becoming “too disciplined”? It’s a bit like the chocolate. We get a bite of something that tastes good, and we want more. We enjoy getting our work done and the hit of dopamine that comes with accomplishing stuff, and we crave more. We are getting so much work done so what’s the problem?


Well, we start overworking. Overscheduling. We stop creating time in our lives for rest and recovery. Our way of life becomes unsustainable for our bodies, mind, and soul. It can become habitual which means our brains believe this is now the norm.

 

The first step in breaking out of this habit is awareness. Noticing whether there are parts of your life where you are becoming “too disciplined.” How is it affecting your life? Are the benefits you receive worth the cost?


Try exploring how your life would improve if you used some discernment and started having everything in moderation, including your self-discipline?

 

 

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