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ep.29: Building The Habit of Self-Discipline

Today, I am sharing with you a mini course that I put together on self-discipline, how to do what you say you will do. What is it? Why does it matter? What's the secret to keeping promises to ourselves and how to make it impossible to fail.

I will also share with you strategies to create your own rule book, setting clear minimums and maximums to guide your actions.

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What you'll learn:

  • Why relying on willpower alone is not effective for those with ADHD

  • Developing habits and personal boundaries for self-discipline

  • Creating a personal rulebook with clear minimums and maximums

  • Strategies to prevent one missed target from turning into a recurring pattern

"Be willing to be uncomfortable, because it's hard before it gets easier. Use your feelings as fuel."

Useful links mentioned:

Listen to the Episode:

Or watch the video on Youtube

Click here to read the transcript:

Welcome to Learn to Thrive with ADHD. This is the podcast for adults with ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms. I'm your host, Coach Mande John. I'm here to make your life with ADHD easier. Let's get started.

Today, I am sharing with you a mini course that I put together on self-discipline, how to do what you say you will do. So, what we're going to cover, what is it? Why does it matter? What's the secret to keeping promises to ourselves and how to make it impossible to fail? So, if we've not met, my name is Mande John.

I am an ADHD coach for adults. So, what is it? Let's talk about the difference between discipline and self-discipline. So, the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior using punishment to correct disobedience. So, as we can see here, discipline has that. Punishment factor self-discipline is the ability to control one's feelings and overcome one's weaknesses the ability to pursue What one thinks is right despite the temptations to abandon it.

So, the ability to take action despite physical mental and emotional deterrence is self-discipline Coaching and self-coaching or willpower. So why willpower doesn't work? So, I have an example here of a beach ball and willpower is a resource that can be exhausted. And the example of the beach ball is you can push a beach ball underwater, but you can only hold it there for so long.

And so, we can think of that similar to willpower. Why does it matter? How self-disciplined we are determines how we feel about ourselves. We need to care about ourselves enough to give ourselves the respect we would give others. What we are saying is we don't matter. So, when we let ourselves down constantly is what I'm talking about here.

Then we say that we don't matter, and we need to make sure that we care about ourselves just as much as we care about keeping commitments to other people. So, the person you believe you are the person you will create. Why do we keep our promises to others, but not to ourselves? So, we are social creatures, and we don't want to be apart from the group.

We keep our promises to be liked and accepted. We think we are only letting ourselves down, but that's not true. The truth is, when we let ourselves down, we are affecting others because we have less to give when we don't feel good about ourselves. So, keeping promises to ourselves is simply a habit that we need to develop when we develop this habit.

We can fire the manager. So, what I'm referring to right there is when we develop habits, we are going from our prefrontal cortex where we have the problem as adults with ADHD to the habitual part of our brain. So, we can start developing that habit of keeping the promise to ourselves. So, confusion, don't stay stuck in confusion.

Ask yourself, what if you did know? What's the next smallest step and how can confusion benefit us? So, what I'm talking about here is Confusion can be an indulgent emotion. That's come up a lot with my group coaching and one on one coaching talking about indulgent emotions and What I'm saying here is don't stay stuck in confusion about how to develop that self-discipline for yourself So make it impossible to fail Know why you want to do what you want to do.

What are your rules? What rules do we already have? And what if we had no rules? So, you can create a rule book for yourself is what I'm referring to here. What are your minimums and maximums? What is the least you're going to do towards something and the most you're going to do towards something? What are your non negotiables?

So personal boundaries, setting limits with ourselves, make a commitment, no negotiation, just like we were talking about. Negotiating with your brain. So, your brain has its priorities to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and keep you safe. And oftentimes when we are trying to develop self-discipline, we are working against our brain's priorities.

So, what if we miss? What I'm talking about here is if you have said you were going to do something and you didn't follow through, it doesn't mean anything about you as a person. You don't want to give up and you can just try again. Don't miss it twice. Be willing to be uncomfortable. Everything is hard before it gets easier.

Using feelings as fuel. How can you use your feelings to move you forward on what you want? What would you need to feel? What would you need to think to feel that? And from that thought and feeling, what kind of actions do you want to take or stop taking? And celebrate your small wins. When you follow through and when you do the things you say you will do, be sure to celebrate no matter how small.

Okay, so this is a mini course that is a bonus in the ADHD Academy. If you liked this and would like more, be sure to join us over there. so much.

Thank you for your time and especially your attention today. If you haven't looked into the ADHD Academy, you'll want to do that. This is my membership with bingeable courses, weekly live coaching, new courses every month, a community of like-minded people, and more. Be sure to head over to to get the details. See you next week.


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