Life frequently presents challenges and issues on the path to success and accomplishment. To rise above these challenges, you must be able to stay calm and composed in the face of adversity. You need to persevere and persist, even when you feel like giving in. If everybody gave in at the first sign of adversity; we would have a very unpleasant world. While life doesn’t have to be difficult, we do have to accept some challenges and obstacles along our journey. Self-discipline is required to rise above the challenges and keep progressing towards your goal. When you master self-discipline, you will find that you are able to accomplish your goals, in every area of your life, with greater comfort and ease.

Self-discipline isn’t just required when you are trying to add something positive to your life. You also need this skill to cure and overcome eating disorders, addictions, smoking, drinking and other damaging habits. Improving your life does require that you identify and overcome your most negative habits too. While it does seem like a negative focus, applying your self-discipline to eliminating bad habits frees up space in your life for more positive outcomes.

Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting

To maximise the benefit of self-discipline, you must have effective goals to motivate and inspire you.

If you do not have effective goals, the 'Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting' will help you get on track.

5 Benefits of self-discipline

Acting with self-discipline leads to self-assurance, self-regard and inner strength, and to happiness and satisfaction and; of course, it leads to much better outcomes in each area of your life. However, the following are some of the benefits of self-discipline which you might not automatically think of.

1. Self-discipline establishes inner strength and character

benefits of Self discipline dennis prager quote

When reading a great book, ‘The Chimp Paradox’, by Dr. Steve Peters, I was taken by a wonderful statement he made. He states that you already are the person you wish to be. It is just your emotional mind which stops you from behaving in the manner which you would like to behave.

Think about that for a minute. You may be a kind and caring person but if you lose your temper easily, others will see you as an angry person. In this instance, you don’t need to change who you are. You need to change how you behave. Then, others will see you for the person you really are i.e. you already are that kind and caring person but your temper is stopping you from showing that to the world.

Self-discipline helps you to stop acting on your temper and instead, act based on your kind and caring character.


You can learn more about your emotional reactions with article on Understanding and Managing Your Emotional Triggers.

2. Self-discipline enables you to withstand temptations

benefits of Self discipline Jesse Owens quote

Life is full of temptations which can take you off track and prevent you from achieving your goals. These temptations are usually only momentary and with the exercise of some self-discipline, you can get past them.

In the modern workplace, these temptations tend to take the place of distractions e.g. social media, a conversation at the water cooler or checking your phone. These are just some of the many potential temptations / distractions which exist. When you recognise the temptation, you can put a strategy in place to prevent it. This just requires a little self-discipline.  

For example, during the working day, my friend Jay locks his phone in the drawer of his desk and refuses to check it between breaks. To make this habit easier to stick to, he has told all of his friends that he does this so, we know not to expect an immediate response.

Of course, temptations also exist in the form of bad habits and addictions. Self-discipline, when coupled with appropriate strategies, is a very valuable tool in overcoming these temptations.

Values Based Living

If you would like to eliminate distractions and get focused, check out 'The Modern Professional's Guide to Organisation and Focus.'

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. - Jesse Owens

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3. Having self-discipline heightens your chances of success

benefits of Self discipline Epicetus quote

If a goal can be achieved with great ease, I would argue as to whether it should really be considered a goal. Goals require you to grow and stretch; to improve your knowledge, skills and attitudes. In meeting these requirements, you improve the quality of your life, along with improving your ability to take on bigger challenges.

So; goals should be challenging. You will face obstacles and barriers which you need to overcome. This is what creates the personal growth. To overcome these barriers and achieve your goals requires self-belief and self-discipline. The ability to persevere and persist in the face of difficulty is often the difference between success and failure.

4. An individual with self-discipline builds better relationships

benefits of Self discipline St Augustine quote

Take a moment to think about the things you value in a relationship – intimate, friendship or otherwise. You probably value honesty, loyalty, dependability, integrity etc. All of these characteristics require a strong character. They require somebody who will act true to their beliefs and values, even when it would be easier to do otherwise.

As already mentioned, people with self-discipline develop a stronger character. They are well practiced in doing what they know needs to be done, even when they would rather do otherwise. They are generally somebody you can count on thus building respect and trust amongst their peers.

Values Based Living

Learn to be identify, define and prioritise your values with 'Values Based Living'.

Pursuing Excellence

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5. Self-discipline makes it more difficult to be offended

benefits of Self discipline Amit Ray quote

Self-disciplined people are calmer, more confident and assured. They know who they are and what they believe in. They always do what they believe to be right. As frequently mentioned, it might not be what they really want to do at the moment in time but the self-discipline and the strength of character demands that they be true to their beliefs and values.

One of the major benefits of behaving this way is that a self-disciplined person can always be confident that they have done their best. When you have this confidence, its easier to take criticism and insults on the chin. If you know you did your very best and you couldn’t have done any better, you will be able to hold your head high knowing that criticism and insults are meaningless. Of course, you would be prepared to listen to constructive feedback but negative feedback holds no water.

Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting

To maximise the benefit of self-discipline, you must have effective goals to motivate and inspire you.

If you do not have effective goals, the 'Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting' will help you get on track.


Self-discipline is critical for your persistence and perseverance. Life isn’t fair and you will struggle from time to time and face lofty demands. Some of these demands will have been self-inflicted as you create challenging goals to help you improve yourself and the quality of your life. Of course, rather than be a slave to demands and expectations, it is far better to be proactive and design the life you really want. You can then break your goals down into small bite-size actoins which you can perform on a daily basis. Using your self-discipine to complete these actions will ensure that you reap the rewards you deserve from life.


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