google.com, pub-4922120348093541, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
top of page

The Darkside of Discipline

Self-compassion is a better approach to growth and resilience than strict self-discipline since the latter can lead to depression, anxiety, and burnout, contrary to popular belief.


Darkside of Discipline

In the bustling landscape of modern life, the pursuit of self-discipline has long been heralded as the path to success, resilience, and personal growth. Yet, for many women in their 40s, the relentless quest for self-discipline can often feel like an uphill battle, one fraught with stress, anxiety, and burnout. Contrary to popular belief, a growing body of research suggests that self-compassion may offer a more sustainable approach to navigating life's challenges.



Understanding Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is the practice of controlling one's impulses and overcoming weaknesses to make choices that align with long-term goals. It helps individuals to achieve success in areas like health, fitness, career, and personal life. However, in some cases, the pursuit of self-discipline can turn into self-punishment, leading individuals to criticize themselves for perceived failures and shortcomings. It is important to maintain a positive outlook and avoid being too hard on oneself while striving for self-discipline.


The Dark Side of Self-Discipline

Sometimes, in our pursuit of self-discipline, we may unknowingly neglect our present needs and desires, which can have negative effects on our emotional and mental well-being. Swinburne University of Technology conducted research that shows how uncontrolled self-discipline can be harmful for entrepreneurs, leading to symptoms like obsession, distress, and anxiety. Similarly, individuals with eating disorders often exhibit high levels of self-control, which can result in a dangerous cycle of deprivation and self-harm.




The Role of Self-Compassion

In contrast to the rigidity of self-discipline, self-compassion offers a gentler, more nurturing approach to personal growth and resilience. Rooted in kindness and understanding, self-compassion encourages us to embrace our humanity, flaws, and all. Rather than viewing setbacks as failures, self-compassion invites us to treat ourselves with the same warmth and empathy we would extend to a dear friend facing similar challenges.


Embracing Kindness Within

As women in our 40s, we often have to manage a lot of responsibilities such as work, relationships, caring for others, and more. It's easy to feel like we need to be self-disciplined all the time to achieve our goals, but this can actually be counterproductive. Instead, if we focus on being kind to ourselves and practicing self-compassion, we can cultivate a greater sense of inner peace, resilience, and overall well-being.


Practical Steps Towards Self-Compassion

Here are some tips to practice self-compassion:

1. Practice mindfulness: Take a few moments during your day to check in with yourself. Acknowledge your thoughts and emotions without judging them.

2. Challenge your inner critic: When you face self-critical thoughts, counter them by reminding yourself of self-kindness and acceptance.

3. Cultivate gratitude: Reflect on joy, connection, and growth moments. This will help you develop a sense of appreciation for the richness of life's experiences.

4. Seek support: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or professionals who can offer encouragement and guidance on your journey towards self-compassion.



As women approach their 40s, they may be burdened by the demands and stress of maintaining self-discipline. However, by embracing self-compassion as a guiding principle, we can cultivate greater resilience, well-being, and fulfillment in life. It's essential to understand that genuine growth and transformation come from extending kindness towards ourselves as well as others.

Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page