What Is Self-Discipline – Definitions and Meaning

Self Discipline Definition

Self-discipline appears in various forms, as perseverance, restraint, endurance, thinking before acting and finishing what you started doing.

Discipline means the ability to carry out one’s decisions and plans, despite inconvenience, hardships or obstacles.

Self Discipline Definition and Meaning

Here are a few words that define and describe the meaning if discipline:

  1. Self-discipline means self-control, the ability to avoid unhealthy excess of anything that could lead to negative consequences.
  2. One of the main characteristics of self-discipline is the ability to forgo instant and immediate gratification and pleasure, in favor of some greater gain or more satisfying results, even if this requires effort and time.

The term self-discipline often awakens some discomfort and resistance, due to the erroneous notion that it is something unpleasant, and which requires a lot of effort and sacrifice.

Actually, exercising and attaining self discipline can be fun, does not require strenuous efforts, and the benefits are great.

True self-discipline is not a punitive or restrictive lifestyle as some people think, and it has nothing to do with being narrow minded or living like a fakir.

This skill is the expression of inner strength and staying power, which are vital for dealing with the affairs of daily life and for the achieving of goals.

You have probably noticed that it is similar to the definition for self control.

The Benefits

  • Self discipline, together with willpower, can help you overcome laziness, procrastination and indecisiveness. These skills make it possible to take action and persevere with it, even if the action is unpleasant and requires effort.
  • Self-discipline enables you to exercise moderation in what you do, become more patient, tolerant, understanding and considerate.
  • In addition, it helps you withstand external pressure and influence.
  • A self disciplined person is more punctual than others, and invests more time and effort in what he or she does.
  • A self disciplined person is more likely to take control of his or her life, set goals, and take concrete steps to achieve them.

Self discipline is well portrayed in the story about the rabbit and the turtle, who conducted a race between themselves.

The rabbit knew that he was faster, so he allowed himself to take a nap in the middle of the race.

Meanwhile, the turtle plodded along, but with willpower and self discipline, it eventually managed to arrive first to the finish line.

Like the turtle, with self discipline you can finish what you start doing.

In my book, Strengthen Your Willpower and Self Discipline, I have provided the necessary information, guidance and exercises for increasing both self discipline and willpower, the skills everyone requires for achieving success.

Self Discipline Definition According to Various Sources

Cambridge dictionary defines it as:
“The ability to make yourself do things you know you should do even when you do not want to.”

Merriam Webster dictionary discipline definition is:
“Correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement.”

Collins dictionary says:
“Self-discipline is the ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell you what to do.”

The Etymology of this term (Merriam Webster):
Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin disciplīna “teaching, instruction, branch of study, orderly conduct based on moral training”, from discipulus “pupil, learner” + -ina, suffix denoting a place or practice.

I hope these definitions answered your question, ‘What does discipline mean?’.

Here are a few synonyms for these words:

  • Continence
  • Restraint
  • Self-control
  • Self-mastery
  • willpower

Quotes about This Topic

“Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.” –Napoleon Hill

“Discipline really means our ability to get ourselves to do things when we don’t want.” – Arden Mahlberg

“Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear-and doubt.” – H.A. Dorfman

“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in.” – Vince Lombard

“The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing.” – Michael E. Gerber

“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

More self discipline quotes

Image source – DepositPhotos