Making Friends with Discipline

Making friends with Discipline


One of my client’s favorite guided visualizations is the Personal Power Room exercise, where they go through this sacred palace and walk through the 7 Different Rooms that comprise their Personal Power. And while some people feel more connected with the room of Love, and another one with Lightheartedness, they all, in one way or another, have the exact experience when they enter the Discipline Room.

It’s usually grey with cinder block, austere and punishing, with everything from whips and chains, to cold steel workout equipment, and a bed of nails. Of course the images of oversized Catholic School teachers with long rulers and pursed lips get into the act as well.

We usually laugh about it, because clearly they are not alone and they are almost always, in some kind of adversarial relationship with discipline and that is what is stopping them from moving forward, and why they seek my support as a coach. Sound familiar?

So here’s the challenge, since it takes discipline to create anything that’s really worth having, and you’re allergic to discipline, what do you do?

I say make friends with discipline, and use some wordsmithing to do it.

I have a love affair with words so when I started to look at the root of the word discipline, I soon discovered that it’s DISCIPLE; which is basically a student, or one who is being mentored by a great teacher or leader.

As soon as I bring that up to my clients, they light up. My clients love to learn, and love to grow, and by far are really curious people. So when I ask my clients, what would they like to be a student or follower of, a spirit of lightness and openness returns to them. They usually say things like “Joy,” or “Health” or “Passion,” to which I say, “What practices allow you to be a student of those qualities or principles?

As a coach, we often teach what we need to learn. So I am looking in my own life, and if I think “I must be disciplined and write a blog every week,” it’s time to take out the cinder blocks and whips and chains, and eat my greens in between. But if I think I am a disciple of celebrating the lessons that show up in my life every day, as well as my love affair with sharing them, then writing a weekly blog is an opportunity to be a student of  all those meaningful qualities.

So look at something you’ve been procrastinating about, that you don’t haven’t had the the “discipline” to be consistent with. Now ask yourself what you are interested in being a student of? If you need to do more marketing for your business, perhaps, you need to be a student of learning to promote yourself; attracting abundance, or in certain cases, creating a team to support you in what Gay Hendricks in his book, The Big Leap, calls your “Zone of Genius.”

Try it on even if you are doubtful if it will fit. Remember that chartreuse scarf that your BFF told you would look fabulous on you, and you looked at her cross-eyed and now it’s your favorite piece? Try it on! and tell me all about it. I would love to hear from you and please share it with your communities.

If discipline is an old and punishing concept for you and you want to see it in a new light, so that you can go to the next luscious level of your life, I want to talk to you. Shoot me an e-mail at, and let’s set up a complimentary 20 minute consultation, where we can discuss your goals and see if we’re a fit.