Self-Candor, Discipline, and Discomfort

Woman doing workout ropes in a gym

I’ve learned in life there are Three Levels of Commitment:

  • Level One: You say you’re going to do something, but flake out and don’t follow through.
  • Level Two: You say you’re going to do something, but quit when it gets hard.
  • Level Three: You’re all in – you can trust yourself, and others can depend upon you.

I’ve found that in life, depending upon the initiative or goal, I’m bouncing around all three levels…but when it matters, I’m Level Three. 

If I were baking a Level Three Commitment cake, first off, it’d be chocolate. The additional ingredients would be: 

  • Self-Candor
  • Self-Discipline
  • Discomfort

Self-candor is our ability to be really, really honest with ourselves. We can do this while still practicing self compassion, BTW. Self-candor is admitting to ourselves that we’re not living up to the expectations we have of ourselves. Maybe we’re over-committing, and under-delivering. Or, maybe we’re procrastinating or waiting for someone else to swoop in and solve our problem. Self-candor allows us to live in reality…it grounds us with the truth about our situation and the acknowledgment that we’re the only person who can do something about it.

Self-discipline is the action that results from our honest conversation with ourselves. It’s waking up when our alarm goes off while resisting the urge to hit snooze. It’s having tough conversations, staying on task with our to-do list, following through on the promises we’ve made to ourselves and others.  

Finally, and this is a big one – discomfort. It’s learning how to be okay with not being okay, like:

  • Feeling like you want to quit during a HIIT workout…but hanging in there anyway.
  • Making a big change and existing with uncertainty and ambiguity.
  • Being tired, but persevering because there’s a lot on the line if you don’t nail the presentation.  

I’ve discovered that regardless of the level you’re living at, life is hard – it’s hard being flakey (Level One), it’s hard quitting when the going gets tough (Level Two), and it’s hard being self-disciplined (Level Three). Yet, only one level gets you to your goal.  

My challenge to you: challenge yourself to strive towards Level Three. You’ll be amazed by the self-trust and confidence you’ll build in such a short period of time as you live up to your expectations that you have for yourself.

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