I much prefer the term self-management to self-discipline, it has a more empowering feel to it. Self-management comes from the premise that we can change ourselves and manage that change. Self-managing is about knowing ourselves and how to structure our lives to achieve the best possible outcomes. Steven Covey, author and speaker, gives 3 integral qualities of a good self-manager: integrity, humility and gratitude. I like the definition the ICA (International Coach Academy) learning module gives of integrity: words that match deeds, behaviour that mirrors our values, honour commitments, dependable, including when no-one is looking!
‘Words that match deeds’ reminds me about how being impeccable to my word, even to myself, is so important and builds self-trust and self-confidence. Self-management includes self-acknowledgement, recognising our achievements and celebrating them. Self-management requires us to know ourselves, develop disciplines or practices in our day to move us forward and that support us, and make these practices a priority in our lives every day. If we do these, we are showing to ourselves that we value how important self-management is.
Bill Turpin, a trainer with ICA, says, “One of the greatest obstacles to moving forward in life is the sensation of fear“. It could be fear of pain, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, or even fear of our own greatness! “At the heart of fear is inactivity”, Bill says. Fear paralyses us emotionally and physicallly, and prevents us from moving forward in life. It only takes one good decision to turn everything around, and a good dose of self-management. Growth is anything that keeps us moving forward. Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed with too many projects, and this is where I come in, I can help you build some life balance into your daily life.
Knowing myself and what I want to achieve, knowing how to structure my time and activities, being aware of where I need to improve, setting priorities, taking small steps toward a big goal, making good decisions that support my values, my goals, and my life purpose, accepting myself, not judging myself, not putting unrealistic expectations on myself, developing good habits, taking care of myself, having some built-in flexibility, and at times it means finding someone to do for me something that is too big for me to do alone. Are you a good self-manager of your life? Or do you need some help to learn to take control and mange your life well?