#Discipline: When Motivation Runs Out

Ah, the age-old debate: motivation versus discipline. Which one is the true driver of success? If you’re a female founder juggling a startup, possibly a family, self-care, and myriad other responsibilities, knowing which one to rely on can be the game-changer.

Motivation: The Spark of Change

Let’s start by understanding motivation. Motivation acts as the spark. It’s the “why” behind our actions. Why do we want to launch a new product? Why do we want to expand our market? Why are we burning the midnight oil from time to time working on our businesses? These are crucial questions that hinge on our motivations.

Motivations can be intrinsic (driven by personal satisfaction) or extrinsic (driven by external rewards). For example, the thrill of solving a problem might be intrinsic, while securing funding from an investor might be extrinsic. While the latter might give you an immediate push, it’s the former that usually sustains you in the long run.

Discipline: Building The Bridge to Success

If motivation is the spark, discipline is the bridge that leads to ultimate success. It’s the day-to-day graft, the mundane tasks that inch you closer to your goals. It’s waking up an hour earlier to prepare for the day, consistently updating your business plan and keeping up with industry trends, or getting yourself to attend network events when all you feel like doing is watching Netflix.

When you nurture self-discipline, it doesn’t just impact one area of your life. It’s a keystone habit, affecting your health, productivity, personal growth, and even mental well-being. Plus, let’s not forget that the modern world is teeming with temptations, from social media notifications to the comfort of the ‘snooze’ button. Self-discipline equips you to forgo immediate pleasure in favour of more substantial, long-term rewards. 

Cultivating Self-Discipline: Practical Steps

It’s one thing to recognise the importance of self-discipline, but it’s another to cultivate it. We’ve put together a list of actionable steps to start building self-discipline today:

Step 1: Begin with Baby Steps

Dive into discipline by setting small, tangible goals. These act as confidence boosters, proving to yourself that you can exercise discipline. For example, dedicate specific hours to business strategies or research, and gradually increase your commitment.

Step 2: Reframe Habits

Identify and weed out bad habits. Are you spending too much time on non-essential or distracting tasks? Reframe by allocating specific periods for them and incorporate good habits that serve your goals and well-being.

Step 3: Commit to Continual Learning

Discipline in the entrepreneurial realm often means staying up to date! Dedicate time each week to learn something new related to your industry. Tools, podcasts, or even Xena’s weekly Power Room event can be a goldmine of information. 

Step 4: Lean on Technology

Use apps to manage time, track habits, and network!

Step 5: Embrace Challenges 

Stretch your boundaries and don’t be afraid to venture into unfamiliar territory. This not only fosters discipline but also serves as a catalyst for growth.

Step 6: Affirmations and Mindset

Combat negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Remind yourself daily of your potential, your vision, and your capabilities.

Step 7: Celebrate the Journey

Discipline doesn’t mean depriving yourself. Celebrate milestones, no matter how small. This can act as a reinforcement, a reminder of why you’re putting in the hard work.

The Synergy: Motivation and Discipline

While motivation can get the ball rolling, discipline ensures that it keeps moving, even on an uphill slope. Start small and make incremental changes. This is discipline in action. Let motivation act as the wind in your sails, but rely on discipline as your compass, guiding you steadily towards your destination.

More To Explore...

Rise and unlock the collective potential of the female economy.

Join a community of South African Female Founders, Female-Led Businesses, Mentors and Leaders on a mission to grow together. Plug into a network of Fempreneurs (like-minded women) who are here to listen, support, help and mentor.

Not a business owner yet? Subscribe to our #Dreampreneur Newsletter.