Why Self Discipline Fails - Ivana Chapman

Why Self Discipline Fails

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Trying to discipline yourself may not work very well.

Why does Barrack Obama, leader of the Free World, struggle to give up smoking?

Why has Oprah Winfrey, billionaire mogul and one of the most powerful women in the world, spent her life fighting a battle with her weight?

It seems counterintuitive, and possibly even ironic, right? These powerful people, with so much drive and determination to get to the top of their fields, are unable to control crucial aspects of their lifestyles. You would think that they would succeed at whatever they put their minds too.

Yet they don’t.

What’s going on here?

Discipline Fatigue

It turns out that discipline doesn’t work the way we would expect it to. Instead of being a universal, consistent quality, it actually gets used up.

Think of discipline like a muscle, but not just in the basic way.

If you work your muscles, they get stronger. But if you overwork your muscles, or don’t give them time to rest and recover, you’ll cause fatigue.

What Can Oprah and Obama Do?

Running the US of A or multiple large companies probably wears out a lot of discipline muscle. The solution to that dilemma is far from simple.

I’ve coached many a disciplined CEO, company President, or Partner in a law firm who struggled with working out and eating right.

Maybe you’re worn out with the discipline of your career and feel like they don’t have anything left to commit to your fitness and nutrition regime.

Get Guidance

What are you supposed to do, quit your job?! I don’t recommend that. What I do advise is to get more support in the area that you’re struggling with. Get yourself a coach to keep your fitness and nutrition on track.

The funny thing is that people always say they’ll get a coach when “things settle down” or when they “can find a bit more time”.

That’s backwards.

If you had plenty of time and motivation for your nutrition and fitness routine then you’d probably be able to get by on your own. Get support when you need it the most.

When you feel like your discipline is fatigued by other commitments, get someone else to provide structure for you.

Don’t try to do everything yourself.

You’ll only fatigue that discipline muscle and wear yourself out.

Ivana Chapman 

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 6-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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