Ep #109: Self-Discipline

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | Self-Discipline

How would you rate your level of self-discipline when it comes to your drinking?

Do you have it dialed in at a 10 (totally under control)?  Or are you closer to a 1-2 where you just say screw it and drink without knowing when you’ll stop?

Would you say that it’s because you don’t have enough willpower? Or that you just weren’t self-disciplined enough?

Contrary to popular belief, self-discipline is not the same thing as willpower.

Nor does it require being mean to yourself.  In fact, you get better results when you stop being mean to yourself and turn down the voice on your inner critic.

I work with a lot of women who are at the 1-2 stage.  I help them with techniques that build up their self-discipline around alcohol.  That way they’re not relying on their willpower to keep them closer to the 9-10 stage.

In this week’s podcast, I’m talking about small tweaks you can make to increase your level of self-discipline around alcohol (or food).  I’m committed to making these tweaks throughout November and sharing my progress with the members inside EpicYOU.

Join me on the podcast here.


Ready to change your relationship with alcohol permanently? I’m teaching techniques to increase your self-discipline inside EpicYOU.  You’ll learn these skills to live healthy, confident and in control around alcohol or food in any situation. Click here to join.


What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • What self-discipline is and what it isn’t.
  • The benefits of having high self-discipline.
  • One tool that helps you create lasting habit change.


Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 109.

Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.

Hello my beautiful friends, guess what? This weekend is our Halloween party. It is going to be so amazing. I am so, so excited. My sister and her family are flying out tomorrow for the bash. And I get to see my two little nephews who are three and four. And we are just going to have such a fun time going to pumpkin patches and doing all the fun stuff you get to do when you’re little. And it’s just so fun to throw this epic party for our friends, our community and our family.

I have to tell you that I’m speaking really fast because I am super stressed out too. Putting on this event certainly brings up a lot more emotions for me so I love it though. And one thing I noticed is that I don’t turn to alcohol now when I am stressed and that is huge, huge. And so, I want you to know that that is possible for you too. You can learn to manage your stress other ways. You can learn to embrace a little bit of stress. I am embracing this because stress is a sign that we care about something. And I care about throwing this beautiful epic Halloween party.

And so, it is important to me and I don’t want it to not be important to me. So, we’re going to talk today about increasing your self-discipline because this is a skill I want you all to work on. It is the difference between just an ordinary life versus an epic extraordinary life. So, we’re going to talk about how to increase your self-discipline because that is what we are working on inside EpicYOU this upcoming month. And I cannot, cannot, cannot wait. Oh my gosh, the stuff that we have in store for the ladies it’s epic, it’s so fun.

So, I am going to be sharing with you a little bit about self-discipline. Did you know that people have a reaction to this? Some people love self-discipline, some people, they identify with it. They’re like, “I am self-disciplined.” Or, “I have so much self-discipline.” And then there are other people that hear this word and they’re like, “Oh, self-discipline, yeah, that’s not me.” They polarize, they either think they have it or that they don’t. And I want to offer to you that you can have it in certain areas and then not have it in others.

I consider myself a pretty disciplined person but I wasn’t around my drinking. And it infuriated me because I could be so disciplined at other things but then when it came to my drinking it was like, “Yeah, laissez faire. I don’t know why I overdrink? I just keep overdoing it.” So, if that is you this is a podcast that you’re going to want to take notes and probably listen to again because we’re going to talk about how to get more self-discipline especially around alcohol.

So first let’s describe self-discipline. We know it is a skill. It’s not necessarily black or white, I have it or I don’t. It’s a skill that you can develop. So maybe you have it in one area of your life and you’re looking to develop it in another area of your life. Great, because that’s what we want to work on. Now, it’s different than willpower because willpower is not a skill. Willpower is basically fighting against yourself. That’s all it is. It’s like really fighting against yourself.

And I want to offer that you can be weak willed, you could be strong willed and still not have self-discipline in a certain area of your life. So, this is separate and different than willpower. This is self-discipline. And even if you had a negative reaction to me saying the word ‘self-discipline’ I want you just to stay open-minded during this podcast because I think what I’m going to share with you is going to blow your mind radically on this topic.

So, if you’re someone that’s like, “I don’t like this word, I just can’t be self-disciplined when it comes to my drinking.” I really want you to rethink that because it’s self-discipline that determines your success. And Lou Holtz is famously quoted with saying, “Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.” And I just want you to think back to something in your life that you are proud of or that you felt successful at. Did it require some level of self-discipline? My guess is that it did,

And so, I want to describe what self-discipline is so we’re all on the same page. And I love this terminology to describe self-discipline. Self-discipline is the mind’s ability to govern the body’s actions. It’s the mind’s ability to govern the body’s actions. And I even like to break it down even more, when we just look at that word ‘discipline’. Now, a lot of people have negative reactions to discipline because they think back to childhood, maybe they’ve been disciplined in a harsh way or they think back, discipline means something negative, something harsh.

It means I was criticized, means I was slapped or the belt was brought out or something of that. So, there is a negative connotation to discipline. I want to change that word for you and use disciple because self-discipline is more about discipling yourself. A disciple is nothing more than a learner or a student who’s following a teacher, or a leader, or a philosopher. Now, when I hear disciple it brings me back to Sunday School. Jesus had 12 disciples.

What were the disciples? They were 12 people that were following his teachings, they were learning about him, they were learning about what he had to share. So, I’m not going to bring this into any more religious context, you could be a disciple of whatever religion or whatever faith. But self-discipline I want to argue is discipling yourself, meaning you are a student of yourself. You are learning about yourself. It’s learning how you work, how you operate, what lights you up, what turns you off, what drives your decisions, what motivates you in life.

It’s why you do what you do, or why you want what you want, or why you don’t want things. It’s all being a student to you. Now, we’ve all been students, we’ve all been disciples. I have a daughter right now, she’s a disciple of the seventh grade. She’s learning the seventh grade curriculum as it’s being taught. I was a disciple of pharmacy for many, many, many years, honing that craft, learning about how drugs manipulate the body. And so maybe you are in a certain field and you have a certain discipline.

Maybe you are a lawyer. Maybe you are in real estate. Maybe you are in sales. So, you’re a disciple in those areas. Maybe you are a schoolteacher so you are the teacher discipling your students, teaching them. So, when it comes to self-discipline you are a learner of yourself. That’s all self-discipline is, is learning how you operate. And I love this definition because who doesn’t want to learn more about themselves so they get the results that they want in their life?

And so, if we have certain results that we love we keep doing that same thing. If we have results that we don’t like, like we’re overdrinking, or we’re overeating, or whatever, we look at what is driving that behavior and how we can change so we can disciple ourselves differently, or something else. Maybe you’re yelling too much at your kids or yelling too much at your spouse and you want to be different with your kids or be different with your spouse. So, you need to disciple yourself differently so you get a different relationship with your kids and your spouse.

And so, you’re learning what sets me off about my kids, what sets me off about my spouse. How can I change that? And this is the work I did. I wanted to learn why I was polishing off a bottle of wine every night. Why was I doing that? Because I wanted to disciple myself differently. So, to increase your self-discipline you have to study yourself, you have to study yourself to know what changes you want to make. And this is a skill my friends, it develops over time.

Because there are days, whether it was high school, or college, or even grade school, you didn’t want to go to school. But because of self-discipline you went. It’s the mind’s ability to govern the body regardless of how the body feels. This is not about feelings. This is about discipline, discipling yourself to do the right thing, to do the thing you want to be doing. And now that we’re older we disciple ourselves to go to work. We go to work whether we feel like it or not. Again, it’s using the mind to govern the body to take these actions.

And building this skill will help you build new habits, and habits that last. And if that’s not exciting enough think of all the other benefits you get with self-discipline. When you have high self-discipline you are in control of yourself. This is all about the self. When you have high self-discipline you keep going. When you have high self-discipline you stay committed and you stay in the game, even if you take a day off here or there, you’re still in the game, you’re still committed to your goal.

People with high self-discipline overcome addictions and overcome procrastination. Now, you may find that odd that I put that in the same sentence. But think about it, what is an addiction? It’s something you do over and over that you want to do less of. What is procrastination? You not doing anything and you want to do something or more of something. So, it’s an overage and an underage. And when you have high self-discipline you overcome the addictions and you overcome procrastination which means you stick to progress on getting to your goals.

And you know what’s so fun about that? When you accomplish one goal you set another. So, you actually achieve more goals and you achieve them at a faster pace than most other people, when you have high self-discipline. And here’s the kicker, you might think, what’s the point of all this, I just set more goals, and get more goals, and get more goals, you know why? Because people with high self-discipline report greater satisfaction in their life. Now, my friends who doesn’t want high satisfaction in life? We all want it.

We all want to know that we’re going after a life that matters. And so, we are focusing on how to increase your self-discipline this month inside EpicYOU because when you have more self-discipline you get more success, you get more of the results that you want, and you get more of the life that you want. Think about any area in your life that you don’t have the result that you want. And what if you had more self-discipline in that area, would you get your result faster? Absolutely, 100%.

Would that bring you satisfaction? Absolutely, 100%. And it may even challenge you and change you in the process. So, it’s not just self-discipline for self-discipline, it’s self-discipline for growth and evolution of who we become in the process. and that’s why I want you to build this muscle, it becomes your super power. When you know how you best operate and how to get results quicker it starts fueling you and giving you more momentum in life.

So, diving down into self-discipline I first want to talk about what it isn’t. Because this is a highly polarizing word, I want to make sure that your brain is really onboard with what it is and what it isn’t. So, we talked about it being the mind’s ability to control the body’s actions or to govern the body’s actions, what it is not is self-criticism. Most people think discipline, bad, I have to berate myself, I have to wag my finger at myself, I have to be judgy towards myself, and I have to discipline myself, punish myself. That is not self-discipline in the way I am using it and the way that will fuel your best results at the highest level.

It is not using negative self-judgment. It is not looking at the mirror and saying, “I need to lose 20 pounds, get your ass to the gym.” That is not self-discipline my friends, that is self-flagellation, that is self-ridicule. And I will tell you, that doesn’t last to get to the gym and get the results. We may have been trained that way but that training was all wrong. If you want faster results you’re not going to be doing that. Just think how silly it would be of me to say, “Don’t be stressed over your big party this weekend, that’s nonsense, it’s so trivial. It’s just a Halloween party.”

I would be judging myself and it wouldn’t work. I would still be stressed. Why? Because I care and I want to put on a great shebang. That’s important to me. It’s part of who I am. And I want it to be part of who I am. I’m choosing this on purpose. And so, I’m going to be using loving language all the way through, supportive language all the way through because not only will that help address any anxiety, and any negative emotions, it will also help conjure up positive emotions, focusing on the excitement of it all and not the anxiety of it all.

And knowing that I can do that and I have this ability to self-regulate, self-discipline, self-control is amazing. When I was taught this super power it lit up my life because in the past I would say, “I’m stressed, this is bad, run to alcohol, let’s get a drink, let’s be drunk the whole time we’re decorating.” Maybe not drunk but at least feeling good or feeling the buzz.

And so, I think a lot of us think that criticizing ourselves, berating ourselves for how much we drank the night before, or how just lazy we’ve been with maybe food choices or whatever it is that women get harsh to themselves about. Is that that’s the way that’s going to motivate us and keep us disciplined. And if you think if you’re harsh to yourself, do you think you’re going to respond kindly? Do you think you’re going to want to go above and beyond? Do you think you’re going to want to blow your socks off yourself, like wow, look at me?

No, chances are you shut down. If we berate ours kids, you see them shut down, same principle. So, when I use the word ‘discipline’, it’s not punishment, it’s discipling yourself, learning about yourself, learning what works, learning to govern your body to do what you want it to do with your mind.

The second thing I see people think wrongly about self-discipline, it’s black or white, and they don’t stay curious. So, I either have it or I don’t and there’s nothing I can do about it. And they miss the opportunity to be curious. So, for instance I can’t control my drinking, I don’t have self-discipline around my drinking, well, why is that? Maybe let’s start there.

And I did this recently when I wasn’t sticking with the gym. I would go and then stop, and then go and then stop. And I had to really investigate, why am I doing this. And then move on to, okay, I want to increase my self-discipline in this area from a loving taking care of my body way. How can I go about doing that? How can I learn more about what makes me go, what makes me stick it out, what makes me keep going? How can I learn more about that for me?

So curious people find ways, they find avenues, even when nobody else has done it before. Think of the light bulb, when nobody else created the light bulb. Then you see Elon Musk wanting to try to get to Mars when nobody has ever got to Mars yet. He stays curious. If you look at these successful highly disciplined people you find that they constantly do the things they set out to do because they have a structure in place and they’re always being curious with their brain, they’re receiving feedback, understanding it and adapting.

The people that don’t overcome addictions, that don’t overcome problems, don’t get curious. They just stay stuck. They throw their hands up in the air and they say, “I don’t know why I keep overdrinking. I don’t know why when I go out socially I always overdrink. I don’t know why.” Or they come up with things like, “My brain just keeps wanting to do this. It’s just the habit brain. It just wants ice-cream. It just wants another drink, I don’t know.” They’re not staying curious, they’re shutting down.

Highly self-disciplined people stay curious on, hey, how can I manage my mind in these situations or in those situations? What things do I need to do differently or what haven’t I tried yet that I’m willing to try? And here’s the thing, people who are highly curious are also willing to try ridiculous things. I shared one of the things that I had done to minimize my drinking when I was out with the ladies.

And I could tell many of them wouldn’t do it, it was not something in their repertoire that they would feel comfortable doing because of judgments of other people, because it wasn’t refined, because it was kind of like, that’s weird. You have to be willing to be the weirdo if you want change. Now, you can go about it other ways without doing these things that I mention and that I share but are you being curious? Are you finding your ways that will work? Or are you just judging, judging that won’t work, I won’t even be willing to try it?

And it’s the judging that’s keeping you stuck, it’s the curiosity that’s going to set you free. So, learn this lesson my friends, stay open, stay curious, drill down. What are you willing to try? What’s your next strategy? What’s your next plan? What’s your next move? What worked, what didn’t work, what are you going to do differently? Those are three awesome, powerful questions. When you want change in any area, when you want to be continuously learning about yourself to get healthier, to get weight loss, to get whatever goal is at the other side, to improve relationships.

Self-disciplined people keep learning because what worked maybe five years ago may not be the same strategy that’s going to work in the future. This happens a lot with women as they go through the change with weight loss. What used to work when I used to diet in my 20s and my 30s no longer works anymore. You’re right, you’re a different person, you have different hormones, you have a different stage of your life. You have to be willing to investigate and stay curious to what does work. And that’s increasing your self-discipline.

And then the third thing I see people do wrong when it comes to self-discipline is they focus all on the goal. Now, the goal is important but if you focus solely on the goal, you’re not paying attention to the strategies that make you successful, that increase your self-discipline along the way. You’re ignoring how you’re getting there. And here’s what I see some people do, is they just go, “Well, I want to drink less.” But they have no strategy on how they’re going to do it. Or, “I want to lose 20 pounds.” And they keep trying just one strategy and it’s not working or they’re not even doing it.

Or some people set a financial goal and they’re like, “I hope the stock market goes up. Something that’s out of their control. Or I see that in people who come to me for business advice, they’re like, “How do I market? How do I do this? How do I get clients?” And I said, “Well, what’s your strategy?” And they have none. And here’s what I find a lot of people doing. They just want the goal to fall out of the sky. They’re magically 20 pounds less. They magically drink less. They magically have clients. They magically have more money in their bank account.

And I laugh because we all know it doesn’t work that way. The goal is important, my friends, but the strategy on how to get there, way more important, wouldn’t you agree? Because the goal is meaningless unless you have a strategy. And that’s where I would go wrong with my drinking. I would just wake up and say, “I’m not going to drink today.” And have no other strategy. It was like, I’m just not going to drink today. Well, that didn’t work. That didn’t work for years on end.

And I laugh because isn’t the definition of insanity to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results? And that’s where I was. I was pretty insane. So, the tragedy really is that nobody teaches us how to do self-discipline in a loving nurturing way. We think we have to criticize ourselves, and we have to berate ourselves. And the self-loathing, what does that do over the long term? That demoralizes us. That makes us feel defeated. That puts on weight. That keeps us drinking. That keeps us feeling stuck. That keeps us further away from our goals.

And until I learned that I wasn’t able to get the goals that I wanted. So, when you’re looking at how to increase your self-discipline it’s much easier to do it the right way and that is through more self-compassion, more self-love and less self-negative judgment. I can’t tell you the number of women I’ve talked to that say, “I’m so fat.” Or, “I just drank so much last night.” “God, I just need to get off my lazy butt and get to the gym.” All of this is so insidious.

It’s like when somebody says that everybody’s just shaking their head like, yeah, I thought that too, yeah, I have those thoughts all the time too. Which goes to show you, it’s not working. So, let’s stop creating more of that narrative. Let’s change the narrative. Change the narrative so that you can be set free and start to learn love, self-love, self-compassion and ultimately exquisite selfcare because this is something you want to do for you, and allow it to feel good. If it doesn’t feel good in the journey, do you think you’ll remain at the destination? Do think you’ll get to the destination?

Now, you may get to the destination but then you regress. I’ve seen a lot of people lose a lot of weight, hating themselves on it, hating the food they’re eating or not loving the food they’re eating. And just loving that they’re dropping the pounds but they’re not loving themselves along the way. And then they’re 20 pounds or 30 pounds lighter and they are not happy in that body. Why? Because their mind has been beating themselves up the whole way there, that they don’t just magically flip a switch to happiness once the scale says their number. It doesn’t work that way.

You get what you practiced and if you practice hating yourself along the journey you will not be able to flip that switch when you’re finally at your destination. the same thing is for when people give up drinking, they’re not healing the stuff in their life. They’re still bored, or they’re still lonely, and they still don’t know how to manage these emotions. But hey, at least I’m not drinking. They’re not even excited about it because they haven’t changed who they have become in the process.

And that is part of the process, ladies. You have to change who you are and who you’re becoming in that process. And that’s why my program isn’t called moderate your drinking, because you get so much more, you get to become a woman who can take it or leave it. You become somebody different, not somebody who just can moderate they’re drinking. That’s a lower goal. I’m going for a higher goal. You change in the process to a woman who can care less if she drinks or not. How amazing is that?

You get there and you’re like, “Moderate my drinking. I don’t even need it most of the time? I don’t want it most of the time because it brings out a side of me I am done with. She is in the past. She is over. I have moved on from her. I have moved on from those ways. I’m embracing this new me.” And that’s what I invite you into is this self-discipline, where you use your mind to be who you want to be now. You govern your actions now. You look at the actions you want to be taking now.

So, if you want to reduce your drinking whether you’re at home or whether you’re at social events, what actions do you need to be taking now? Because that’s self-discipline. Self-discipline is all about governing the body’s actions, using the right mindset. And we talked about what mindset is most effective. When people think that they should drink less all they think about is saying no to the drink, or not buying it, or bringing it into the house. And it’s so many more actions than that.

If that worked, so many more people would be cured of their overdrinking, but it’s not enough. That’s not all the actions. So, what are the actions? When you’re home alone and if that’s your trigger to drink, what are the actions you need to be doing? What if your trigger is when you’re out being social and you just aren’t mindful of your drinking, what actions do you need to be taking there? Do you just say no to the first round of drinks and that’s all you think the actions are? No, no, no, so much more than that.

Especially if you’re hanging out for hours, you need four hours’ worth of self-discipline. How are you going to do? What are those actions like? What are your power moves? Outline your power moves. I love outlining my power moves. Those are the ones that change me in the process. They’re just not changing the drink and if somebody offers it to me or not. No, I am changing in the process. That’s the work to be done. That’s what increases self-discipline. You’re not about changing others, you’re about changing you. This is your journey. It’s about the actions you take.

And yes, even when you don’t feel like taking them, you take them, that’s self-discipline. You build that muscle. You get the results. And we are getting insane and intense results this month. And we’re going to be making it so fun. I’ll be walking the ladies through a step-by-step process, keeping it fun, making sure we get results, making sure we’re taking action. And it’s so fun to be on the journey with other people on the same journey as you.

And I love to surround myself with people who care about their health and who care about their mindset. We’re about improving it so we can grow and evolve, so we become better, us individually. And one of the benefits of doing it with others is that when they get results and when they get excited I feel their excitement and it encourages me to keep going. And so, I love that as a strategic byproduct of doing this work together. Because our brains love to see success, whether it’s in us or in other people, that keeps us going.

Somebody else’s self-discipline can increase my self-discipline. How amazing is that, if allow it to, and I’ve learned how to allow it, to increase my self-discipline, not be jealous, not be envious. But no, use it to fuel me because I want to argue that getting to your goals should be a fun and amazing process. It should transform you. And if it’s a slog, I don’t think many people stick with it. So, I invite you to join us if you want to join in on the fun and increase your self-discipline.

You’re going to learn how to be a student of yourself so you can get your results and increase the skill of self-discipline. I invite you into EpicYOU to do this profound and lifechanging work. Decide to make it your time to get your result, to get to your goal. This is about you, your self-discipline, your discipline to do the work, discipline to grow, discipline to be kind, discipline to be loving, discipline to start, discipline to finish, discipline to be healthy, discipline to be strong, discipline to learn, discipline to not get stuck.

Discipline to take action, discipline to lead yourself, discipline to sleep, rest and recover, discipline to practice moderation, discipline to be free, discipline to live your best life, discipline to be your epic self. Oh my gosh, I cannot wait to join you this month inside of EpicYOU my friends. It will transform you. Alright, happy Halloween to all of you and I will see you next week.

If you want to change your relationship with alcohol and with yourself, then come check out EpicYOU, it’s where you get individualized help mastering the tools so you can become a woman who can take it or leave it and be in control around alcohol in any situation. EpicYOU is the place for women who want to be healthy, confident and empowered to accomplish their goals and live their best life. Come join us over at epicyou.com/epicyou. That’s epicyou.com/epicyou. I can’t wait to see you there.

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