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Self-discipline is not innate, it's a decision you make

Updated: 18 Sept 2019

# indie making

# 12 of 27


Self-discipline is a decision you have to make. You must decide to commit. Over and over again, every second if needed.

Why? How?

When is the last time you decided to do something?

Probably 3 seconds ago, when you clicked on a link to this page.

Did you make the decision consciously? Or were you on autopilot? (Yay, welcome either way!)

The truth is, the myriad of tiny decisions we make every second, whether consciously or on autopilot, add up to create our life.

When you see soccer stars, popular singers, or successful businesswomen, you might think, “I’d never get there. I’d never achieve what they did.”

But that’s not true.

To reach “success”, however you define it, you must first commit to it.

And committing to reach a goal means having the self-discipline to work towards it.

That self-discipline is often taken as an inherent trait, something some people are born with, others are not. But that’s not (entirely) true.

You can develop self-discipline, just like a muscle.

There are two steps you can take starting today. The first is to notice when you make decisions. Try to spot when you choose the “easy” option, like watching a TV show instead of working on a portfolio. Notice when you avoid thinking about something because it scares you or it requires effort. Try to spot the times when you switch to autopilot.

Then, once you are more mindful about your daily decision-making process, start to make “commitment” choices. Start small - maybe choose to do the “harder” thing once or twice a day to start.

For instance, if you want to build a design portfolio, create one icon a day. Once a day, CHOOSE to sit down and do it.

The more you train that muscle, the more self-discipline becomes easy and enjoyable.

The key is to change your decision-making process to default to working on your goal.

Because it may be the “harder” task in the short run, but you very well know that once you’ve binge-watched the TV show without having read the WSJ report you wanted to read, you’ll feel pretty bad. So in the long run, what’s worse?

As indie makers, self-discipline is a survival mechanism. So let’s flex it!



Léa Oriol

I'm the CEO of Mivvy, a platform where women learn high-value skills from female experts. I'm a software engineer, product maker, and design geek. Let's connect.