Should I practice self-discipline or luck?

Learning self-discipline: more happiness through control

Sometimes he just assaults us. The almost irresistible urge to reach for the chocolate bar, have another Coke or simply buy a nice pair of shoes or the latest bestseller. But is it perhaps better to withstand such impulses? Life coach Markus Drewes gives tips.

Some call it "self-discipline", others "self-control" or "self-control". Sure, each of these terms has a slightly different meaning, but the core idea is similar everywhere: having a grip on yourself.

This can be understood very positively, but under certain circumstances it can also have a negative aftertaste. Control and discipline don't really sound like fun. Interestingly, a German-American study has now proven the opposite: Self-control makes you happy!

Self-control: Not all renunciation is the same

Why should you want to have yourself under control at all? The most convincing answer: To a higher or bigger goal to reach. For this higher goal you may have to accept something that you do not like, which you may even perceive as a loss at the moment. For example, to forego something that you really want at the moment - but because you know that it stands in the way of a longer-term goal, you can resist.

Specifically: I can do without sweets if I really want to lose a few pounds. Or I can do without my usual calorie counting if I have to gain weight. I can do without just sitting on the sofa all day if I want to get fitter. I can do without another strenuous training session if my body signals to me that the last one was almost too much. So there may be a short-term loss associated with a long-term gain.

Self-discipline: Not all disciplines are created equal

There is hardly anyone who is always only disciplined. And hardly anyone who is always just undisciplined. So it can be that someone shows absolute discipline at work, but is quite chaotic in their private life. Or someone is so disciplined that he goes jogging every day, but also cannot resist the chocolate in the supermarket. In short: our level of self-discipline is of the situation, sometimes also from Area of ‚Äč‚Äčlife - also called "frame" or "context" - dependent.

Even people who look absolutely undisciplined on the outside certainly have areas somewhere in their life in which they are very well under control. Presumably, our unconscious often ensures that we simply avoid situations in which we could waver in our self-control.

To take the chocolate example: In the supermarket, we avoid the sweets aisle without consciously making a decision or even noticing it.

How can you learn to control yourself?

evidero tip: It is good that self-discipline makes you happy, but how can you develop it in everyday life? Markus Drewes explains which ones in the next part of our self-control series Motivational types there are. But it is also worthwhile to first find out in which areas of life self-control is easy and in which it is not. Then you will easily come across which one is your own inner driver or motivation types are: Are you a person who wants to achieve something positive, or rather someone who wants to avoid something negative?

Knowing this will make it easier for you to motivate yourself to strive for a long-term goal and be successful in doing it. If you want to find out more about this, read Markus Drewes' next article on motivational types here.

Otherwise, you can read more about the positive effects of self-control in the article.

Self-control makes you freer

Ultimately, self-control means to me freedom. And that for two main reasons.

First, just imagine what it would be like if we had no self-discipline at all. The danger would be great that we do some things to excess. We might eat as we like without paying attention to our health. Or we would work till we drop and end up in burnout. Self-discipline protects us from this.

Second: only if we do that correct measure adhere to and work towards our longer-term goals, we can achieve them! So control over ourselves enables us to create something in life. And that gives us the freedom to do what we'd like to do. On the other hand, if we don't have self-control, we can't achieve anything. For me that would be synonymous with lack of freedom.

Even in the short term, self-discipline makes you happy

But it's not just about the longer-term goals, such as the desired weight or the dream job. Even doing without itself can make you happy. Resisting the impulse to do something counterproductive or the luck of having overcome yourself. Certainly there are people who do without something and then think that they must be unhappy about it.

But some will pat each other on the back and say: You did well! That gives them a feeling of happiness. If, for example, you have pulled yourself up to sport in spite of everything and are proud afterwards, that inner weaker self to have tricked.

In the next part, I'll explain which two Sources of motivation there are and how these can help us be more disciplined. Because: Self-discipline can not only express itself in very different ways, it can also arise for completely different reasons.