Chapter 22 — Section 4: Discipline
Since I was a teenager, I’ve sorted memories in my head as if they were in a little filing cabinet. It’s like I store the stages of my life, & things they’ve taught me into their own little separate areas in my mind. If I didn’t actively draw a hard-line from one lesson to the next, everything would be all… jumbled. & that is why I chose to type this blog post out like it’s a chapter in a book. This helps me separate my current lessons from old ones in front of my eyes rather than just in my head. & for me, that is the best way to articulate “this season” of my life. With that being said — in this long, crazy, rollercoaster “book of my life”, welcome to Chapter 22 [my age] Section 4 [the month of April]
I moved across the world, & decided to continue following my passion of creating content. Just because I’m really excited & optimistic about this chapter of my life, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t ever intimidate me, & unmotivate me. Because sometimes it does. For instance, I occasionally get intimidated by the language barrier here. Earlier today, just thinking about going to grab lunch gave me anxiety. Anxiety because I knew I’d practice what I needed to say a hundred times, & the worker would still hit me with words I haven’t learned yet. I just imagined myself staring back at them flustered, not knowing what to say. & that thought terrified me.
I also get intimidated when I work really hard on editing a photo or video, & it doesn’t get the recognition I feel like it deserves. I get embarrassed wondering if my work is even “good enough”. Sometimes these things make me want to curl up on the couch, turn on the television, & hide away from the world for the rest of the day. Where I can just be away from everything & everyone — pretending like my insecurities don’t exist. But the truth is, they do exist. They are still there, & ignoring them won’t make them go away.
I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way either. We don’t always feel motivated — whether it’s doing house cleaning, working out, ordering lunch, or even doing something that we love. Sometimes it’s because we feel intimidated, & other times because we just feel lazy. That’s normal. We’re only human. BUT — when we aren’t feeling motivated is when we need to discipline ourselves the most. If we let our laziness, insecurities, or fears consume us, we will never step outside of our comfort zone. & outside of our comfort zone is exactly where we need to go in order to grow. In order to become better versions of ourselves.
Disciplining myself, truly disciplining myself every single day was something I didn’t realize I wasn’t doing until I actually thought about it. The 2019 new year rolled around, & my husband & I were evaluating our progress from the previous year. We were rating ourselves in different areas from one to ten — one being the lowest, & ten being the highest. We discussed where we could improve, especially on the lower numbers. & I scored lowest on self-discipline.
When it came to my goals for content creating, I was disappointed for not doing as well as I wanted to. I realized that in 2018, I didn’t discipline myself as hard as I should’ve. I only made & released content when I was feeling motivated // inspired. But on the days I was anything but motivated, I wouldn’t post anything. No blogs, vlogs or photos. I wouldn’t create. I wouldn’t use my voice when I could’ve… when I should’ve.
I realized that I wasn’t going to get the results I wanted if I only worked when I felt motivated. Because the truth is I won’t always be motivated. Nobody will ever be 100% motivated all the time. Again, we’re only human. I understood that I truly needed to discipline myself. Consistently. Discipline myself on the days where I’m being hard on myself. Discipline myself when I’d rather just hang out. Discipline myself when I’m tired. I understood that I needed to buckle down, & just do the damn work!
So I created a schedule. I decided that every 15th of the month, I would release a blog post, & every Thursday, upload a new video to my YT. & so far, I have been o n t r a c k ! At the end of each day, I feel a lot more satisfied knowing that I choose discipline over motivation. I now go to bed not worrying about the kitchen being dirty, but being excited to wake up to a clean one. I go to bed feeling happy knowing I was brave enough to walk over to the store, despite the language barrier, & put delicious food into my tummy. I feel proud of who I am when I discipline myself. & I want you to feel that, too.
So, I challenge you! Take a look at your own life, & think of where you want to be in a week. One year… Five years… Ten years! What can you choose to do today that will slowly but surely get you there? & If you aren’t feeling motivated, this is where it is most important to discipline yourself! Just remember, outside of our comfort zone is exactly where we need to go in order to grow. You got this.
♡ Valerie Karen.