lack of self control is causing me to waste my life

12 replies
Hey guys. I've been a reader of self improvement/self discipline materials for quite a while. To make a long story short, I'm able to get extremely motivated and make rapid progress for limited periods of time (months at best, days at worst). There have been so many periods in my life where I've been extremely motivated and disciplined and I thought that I could never go back to the old, lazy me but somehow it always ends up happening.

It's as if there's a "Hyde" inside me that tries to sabotage everything I do. Always making excuses to make things easier on myself. Sometimes I feel like if I'm not constantly aware, this demon will get me and I'll end up becoming lazy again. For example... this school year I was doing great in being kept up with everything, controlling my spending, working out... then I got a cold and I told myself that just for the duration of me being sick I'd break the rules/limits/tasks that I set for myself just because I was too sick to do anything. Next thing you know it's 2 weeks later and I'm lazy again.

I also have immense trouble restraining myself from doing things. Whether it's spending too much money, going on facebook, looking at porn, etc... I've developed ways to punish myself when I do certain things that I'm trying to stop, but again I prove to be my worst enemy and I always give myself a reason why I can make an exception and next thing you know the rule was a thing of the past. And often it takes me forever to get back on track because the lazy part of me makes me do whatever I can to avoid thinking about how badly I'm fudging up the goals I set for myself... which causes me to avoid confronting the issue for weeks and prolongs my laziness.

I just feel like I'm my own worst enemy sometimes. I want to make CONSISTENT change... become disciplined enough to do the things I need to do and not slip back into laziness... and learn how to restrain myself from doing things that harm me. Punishing myself doesn't work in stopping this.

Anyone with any advice or thoughts on the matter, please post. I have no idea what to do because every self discipline program I've tried, I've somehow managed to mess up.
#causing #discipline #lack #life #waste
  • Profile picture of the author mikey21
    It sounds to me that you are seeking and need inner peace.

    My best advice: Take up meditation and spiritual practice. Just let go and be. Shifting your vibration will help you transcend all your worries, self-destructive behaviors, negative thinking patterns, and all other "ego/identity" based problems.

    When you want to make significant life changes, you need to start deep inside the core of your own being and shift your "inner space". This will in turn allow you to start manifesting a better external reality; opportunities and solutions to solving all and any of your problems will miraculously show up in your life in most unexpected ways! Meditation helps your mind stay focused and aware, so you can be conscious of and work with the miracles presenting themselves to you!

    Be gentle with yourself, and embrace all your problems with Love- And watch how fast they melt away!

    Blessings to you and good luck on your inner journey- It gets better and better!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author terenceyang
    Yes, I agree with mikey21 in that you need inner peace.

    Another point to note is that you have to accept yourself for who you are. Admit that you have an issue (who does not), forgive yourself and love yourself. I am not saying that by admitting that you have an issue, you should stop at that. You have to forgive yourself and move on in life instead of wallowing in self pity or condemnation. You are worth more than that, diggitydoggz.

    When you do find yourself in such situations, quickly get up and move away from what is holding you back. Take a 5 minutes breather and distract yourself with some other more meaning and rewarding activities. When you are feeling better, return to what you have set out to do.

    Meanwhile good luck to you as you have already started out on a journey to better yourself.

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  • Profile picture of the author diggitydoggz
    any good resources that would help explain this whole inner peace thing more in depth?
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    • Profile picture of the author usmanshakir
      I am also facing this problem but i try my best to cop up.
      Actually the main reason of my failure is the mismanagement of my time.
      Sometime i spent my time doing nothing and sometime i utilize my every second at full effort.
      This is normal and we are the only one who can control ourself other wise we will be responsible.
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      • Profile picture of the author edmltw

        That's called procrastination. Everyone suffers from that. I have that problem too, and all I can do is force myself to keep on taking action.

        Keep reminding yourself to take action now!


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  • Profile picture of the author Aronya
    The problem with motivation is that it needs to be ongoing, and for most people, self-motivating consistently is difficult. My suggestions:

    1. Don't beat yourself up for falling off the wagon. You haven't lost unless you don't get back up and try again.

    2. Take stock of the progress you've made when you were feeling motivated. Look for evidence that you can do it. That could motivate you all by itself.

    3. Look for people/groups to associate with that will help to keep your head in the game. Sometimes it's enough just to be attending meetings of some kind to stay on track. At other times, you might need an individual to talk to who can re-motivate you, and help you to do the right things. Do something, Learn something, Share something, Change something - is a great resource for finding free groups to join with like-minded people.
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    • Profile picture of the author pjsweeting
      diggitydogg, I understand what you're going through- I too, tend to do this to myself so what I'm sharing with you comes from experience. I agree with the replies already given but I'm afraid they don't tap into the WHY or the fundamental reason that you're subconsciously sabotaging yourself. So why are you your own worst enemy?

      I, too, have studied a great deal of self improvement / motivational / psychology / sales for a good three years now. If you're familiar with Brian Tracy or Anthony Robbins then this might sound familiar to you.. I'm no Tony Robbins but I'll say it as best I can..

      Every single person, whether they recognize it or not, has a certain subconscious value placed on themselves. Call it self-image, call it a belief system about themselves, call it whatever.. this value that each person has subconsciously placed on themselves can be shaped by almost anything- their parents, relatives, friends, environment.. really any outside influence in your life helped shape this subconscious value and belief.

      Now take this value, this belief about yourself that has been shaped by every outside influence your entire life up to this point.. and picture a thermometer. Some peoples self value lay very high on the thermometer and they never accept anything less than this for their lives. On the other hand some peoples self value lay very very low on the thermometer and they are completely complacent about it. As a result they will grow very little and continue on their path for the rest of their life. Not to say that they can't grow- they just don't know they're capable of so much more.

      And then here is you. I don't know where your temperature is on the thermometer or how your beliefs about yourself have been shaped. But from what you've said.. let's say you're right in the middle at 50 degrees or so.. but you know that you are capable of so much more. And so for months at a time your external temperature begins to rise and you begin to become diligent, productive, creative, and you start accomplishing things you never thought. 60 degrees, 70, 75... this goes on for a while.. you feel like a new man, on top of the world. And then? Just like you said, you fall right back to 50 degrees. Square one.

      So what am I trying to say? Why did you fall back down to 50 when you were making such strong progress?
      Because your internal / subconscious / self value / self image never caught up to the person you were consciously becoming. The successful diligent person that you are for those few months is NOT the person your subconscious BELIEVES that you are. I don't know how old you are but let's say 35. Let's say you were a lazy bum for 35 years and for a few months you're going to be a changed man? Yeah right, that lazy bum is the only thing your subconscious knew for thirty-five years! Everyone has a temperature that they are a comfortable with and will always fall back to it in time unless they change their belief about themselves. That is why people win millions of dollars in the lottery and are back to broke in 5 years (forget the actual stats but it is very very high) because their belief system is still that of a person who brings home a 40k/year salary. That is why (again, forget the statistic) so many professional athletes, after retirement and after their multimillion dollar salaries find themselves in bankruptcy. Imagine that!

      It is your belief system about who you are & how you see yourself. Until you gain a new perspective on the person you really can be and change your subconscious fundamental belief on what you can achieve you will always fall back to your internal temperature because that is where your subconscious mind is most comfortable. I'm still working on this- it is a daily conscious effort to control and change the subconscious. But I'm coming along as well. The subconscious mind is very interesting- severely underestimated- very powerful. Almost scary how much it will control us if we don't control it.

      But it can be done if you're constantly aware of it. There are so many ways to change your belief system and improve your self image. But that's the good news- if you know what to change, it can be changed! Everything was learned so the bad stuff can be unlearned as well! I recommend tony robbins if you have never looked at his stuff before. People can say what they want about 'self-help gurus' especially with recent happenings.. but he is one of the pioneers and his 'material' is original, down to the earth, and absolutely real. It is just common sense.. on a deeper level.

      Sorry for the lengthiness of the response- I'm just very passionate about this sort of thing. Hope it helped.. if not.. scratch the whole thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Williams
    First off, good on you for such an honest post about yourself. That's a very good start and key element.

    I agree with pjsweeting's post above, that it begins with your beliefs, your core beliefs, and in particular the ones you have about your self-worth, the value of your time, and maybe your ability to break through to what ever level it is you are aiming for.

    Changing those can be instantaneous for some, a 'light-bulb' moment, a certain milestone or the like, but can take longer for others.

    I'm a little troubled by your comment about 'punishing' yourself. Studies have long shown that punishment, and fear of punishment, are small deterrents when it comes to modeling behavior.

    Better to set small goals, and reward yourself for meeting them. This is the kind of motivation that can last. Avoiding a good smack with the switch when I was a boy made me feel relieved for a moment, but mostly just led to me being more diligent about not getting caught :-)

    One of my favorite 'get it done' tools is the 11:00am rule. I set out a major task, or several tasks, and set the deadline for 11:00am (you can of course adjust the time to your schedule). You might be surprised at two things here; what you can actually get done and the lack of feeling guilty for not getting it all done (if the task/list was too optimistic) being replaced by a feeling of accomplishment (and astonishment still for me at times) at what you can accomplish, when you have things set out clearly to do.

    If your problem is staying with things for a long time, you might find it more productive to just schedule short times to work on the tasks, rather than beat yourself up for not being able to stay at one thing. For me, I can never stay with one thing for long periods of time, so rather than fight that, I just break the tasks into smaller items, attack them hard in short bursts, and set time limits/goals for most things.

    Try just doing that part, even for your shower, brushing your teeth, whatever. I do this even with my 2 young sons for regular things they have to do daily, such as homework, math drills, kanji (they're attending Japanese public school), getting dressed, and other things. We use a kitchen timer, and make those things games. Now they often initiate the 'timing' aspects of things, and enjoy the time rather than just dreading it.

    Oh yeah, and they get rewards for hitting certain times, or bettering their times and the like. Usually it's additional DVD watching time, a family board game or other fun activity, so it doesn't have to be anything major, it just needs to be something that matters.

    Anyway, decide 'why' you should do the things you need to be doing, what are the benefits and desired outcomes, and when you're tempted to stray from your tasks just ask yourself, "is this taking me towards that goal?" if not, "am I willing to accept that?"

    If your reason for doing it is strong enough, and you have the tasks clearly outlined, goals set, time limits in place, you're going to have a lot stronger chance of getting there.

    Be well,
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  • Profile picture of the author Vendetta
    Don't feel alone man. When reading your post, I thought I could have wrote it myself.
    Really good advice about meditation and finding your inner self.
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  • Profile picture of the author zapp99
    Wow, guess I'm not alone in having all these 'traits'...

    I know they exist... I know they're sucking me back in every time... its hard to resist... and when I realize I'm sinking into the quicksand... too much time has passed, and I regretted not fighting back hard enough...

    I think what CharlieSage said is very true and useful... set small goals and achievable tasks first, focus, work on it, and give yourself a pat on the back once you're done... baby steps to the ultimate goal!

    Someone pls tell me the logic behind Google ranking my blog at #1 for "stop animal abuse"?

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    • Profile picture of the author diggitydoggz
      Thanks a ton to everyone who replied. Lots of good ideas that I'll definitely be looking into deeply. Also good to know I'm not alone in having this problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author thefallsman
    It sounds like you're searching for something that will solve your problems with that kind of behavior you might be depressed based on how your discussing yourself. I wouldn't set such high goals and expect to reach them so soon.

    There are definitely a lot of people with this sort of thing so definitely don't feel alone like everyone else has said plus you seem like a pretty bright guy I'm sure you'll figure it out
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