It’s a word that gets thrown around A LOT. It’s especially prevalent within diet culture and the fitness industry.
Self-discipline; the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weakness.
I think that sums up perfectly the way most people use it as a “motivational” stick with which to beat people. If the diet fails, it wasn’t the diet it was your lack of self-discipline. Not seeing gains in the gym? That’s because you lack self-discipline [neither of those statements are true btw].
Can you see how this word can become internalised as something negative when used in a way to apportion blame and responsibility onto the individual when we know that there are so many factors that affect health outside of our immediate control?
Another definition of self-discipline is “discipline and training of oneself, usually for improvement.” Now this is the one I prefer but it can still have a lot of the [negative] synonyms that come with it such as self-denial, control, strictness, puritanism etc and so any attempt I make at implementing and self-discipline creates almost automatic barriers.
As with anyone who owns a business, I’m very aware that I need to operate within some level of self-discipline in order to get work done but for some people that work is to restrictive or binding.
So replace self discipline with wanting structure.
Structure; framework, plan, system, organisation, design, arrangement… those words can feel so much more positive to some people than self-denial, restriction, restraint or control.
There are so many words for us to chose from. If a word brings up a negative response for you or creates a barrier, can you replace it with one that feels more affirming and meets your needs.