This One Thing Is Critical to Your Success and How to Develop It

Back when I was a Surgical Tech, I would get up at 5:30am and get my three kids (all under age 6 years old) ready for daycare and elementary school. I was always running late trying to get into work by 7:00am for my first case.  There I worked four days a week until 5:30pm.

Read: My CRNA Journey: Surgical Tech To CRNA- The Unbelievable

After getting off work I drove straight to night nursing classes an hour away at the local community college. I wouldn’t get back home until almost 10pm on those days. I’m still not sure when I even studied. But, I did this for 2 years and I eventually graduated with an Associates of Nursing degree.

I’m often asked how did you do this? Basically, it took a lot of self- discipline which I mastered as a child thanks to my grandmother. Don’t worry, it’s alright if you didn’t get it. This article is full of tips to get you there. 

What is self- discipline

We all know that self- discipline is the ability to push yourself to take action towards your goals or agenda. And this means pushing yourself regardless of how you feel or think. This also means showing up in spite of what others think, distractions or unfavorable odds. 

Read: How To Get Laser Focused And Actually Achieve Your Goals

Can self- discipline be learned

I believe self- discipline is one of the most important life skills to develop. Just think about it. When you develop self- discipline you start accomplishing things. You start working out, eating better, studying more, or even taking classes.

Unfortunately, most people lacking self- discipline believe that they can never learn it. This is completely false. Improving your self- discipline requires practice on a daily basis so you can eventually make good decisions, break bad habits and accomplish goals. 

What causes lack of discipline

There are a number of reasons people lack discipline. One of the most common reasons is due to procrastination. Basically, it is the delaying or postponing of tasks which keeps you from following through on what you need to get done. 

Research shows this occurs in spite of our best intentions because the brain tends to value immediate results more than future results. This makes perfect sense to me as when we set goals we are actually envisioning our future selves. We don’t immediately think of the work needed to get to that point. While your future self can set goals, only the present you can take action on those goals. 

How to develop self- discipline

  • Choose and set goals 
    • The key to setting goals is actually following through on them. As you get further along in your CRNA journey, it will get harder to sustain the momentum you had in the beginning. And this occurs whenever you either get bored from low bound goals or you push so hard you burn yourself out. So you want to be somewhere in the middle, the sweet zone is where you see the progress and continue showing up day in and day out.  
  • Identify any roadblocks 
    • Unfortunately, there will be roadblocks while working to advance in your nursing career. I know I hit many roadblocks as a student registered nurse anesthetist (SRNA). Mostly I dealt with impostor syndrome. I felt I wasn’t good enough to be where I was. And if you didn’t know, roadblocks can stop you in your tracks and make it tough to achieve success. But identifying these challenges now will give you a clear vision and help you reach your full potential.
  • Determine your “Why”
    • Your “Why” is a statement of purpose for why you do the work you do or the life you want to have. Finding your purpose creates a sense of meaning in your life and is also critical to your success on your CRNA journey. I find it helps to right down your “Why” statement and refer back to it during obstacles, difficulties, and setbacks. 
  • Get rid of old unwanted habits
    • Everyone has some type of habits, some useful but some unwanted. The key is to identify the ones that are holding you back and preventing you from staying focused. One of the ways to do this is by practicing mindfulness. Basically, just being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions without placing judgement. As you become more aware, you may find it easier to not act on any of your old habits so you get stuff done. 
  • Steer clear of distractions 
    • Discipline also requires you to stay focused by limiting your distractions. Being organized with a planner and to- do list is a great way to avoid distractions. What has helped me over the years is having a plan the night before of what I need to accomplish the next day. Just start off by writing down two or three things that must be completed no matter what and I guarantee you will start seeing progress. 
  • Don’t let fear stop you 
    • Being fearful is not necessarily a bad thing. However, letting fear stop you from doing things you truly want to do is a problem. Here is a trick I do now whenever I am faced with fear. I get specific with myself about what it is I am fearful of and imagine the worst happening and how I would react. Then I focus on trying to eliminate that possibility and honestly it’s usually all about being prepared for it. Or realizing if the worst did happen it likely wouldn’t be a big deal. 

Read: Challenge Yourself To Fear Less In Your Pursuit Of Being A CRNA

How can I be more disciplined on my CRNA journey 

  1. Don’t wait until everything “feels right” before taking action. 
  2. Be sure to take breaks and reward yourself. 
  3. Change your thinking. You will have ups and downs on your CRNA journey. The key is to acknowledge whatever you are going through and keep it moving.

Bottom Line 

Of course, developing self- discipline may be difficult but it is important for your health and life. The more disciplined you are the more you will achieve. And no matter how bad you want to get into CRNA school, self- discipline is required to apply yourself to put in the work to make it happen. Why not go into this year committed to improving your self- discipline and see what great things follow? 

P. S. Remember CRNA Chase ACADEMY WILL launch in the next couple of months. Get on the waiting list right now to be a FOUNDING MEMBER! Stay tuned for the launch date announcement! 

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