Self-Care vs Self Discipline

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After taking the month of August off, we're back, refreshed and ready to get back into the podcast. This month, we'll be comparing and contrasting self-care with other well known concepts. Today, we're starting with Self-Care vs Self Discipline. Listen as Taylor shares thoughts on discipline, devotion, and loving what you do.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Inner Warmup where your inner work begins. I'm Taylor Elyse Morrison, creator of Inner Workout. And you, as always are our expert guest. Thanks for being here. And long time, no talk. I didn't realize how much I needed that integration break until we decided to take it. And isn't that how it normally goes with breaks? I was afraid I have this fear that in stepping back, I would lose momentum. But what actually happened is that I got even more excited about this work. And I'm even thinking about what it looks like to more intentionally integrate breaks into the way we work at Inner Workout. We also made a couple of pretty big decisions that we'll be sharing before you know it. But first, let's go ahead and ease back into our regularly scheduled programming. I thought it would be fun to explore the idea of self care, as it relates to other concepts in the personal development and the wellbeing space. Because when I speak and when I facilitate on self care, I get questions that whether the question asker means to do it or not, they're putting self care, in contrast to or at odds with these other concepts. It's almost like it's a wrestling match or something. And it's like self care versus fill in the blank, you could fill in the blank with so many concepts. This month, we're going to do it with three concepts specifically, and explore if those concepts have to be at odds, even when they feel like they're at tension in our personal lives.

Before we present this first versus candidate, let's come back to the definition of self care that we use here at Inner Workout. I know that for some of you, you've heard it a million times. And I also know that for myself, it always bears repeating. Self care is listening within and responding in the most loving way possible. So as we're talking about self care, as we're comparing it, and contrasting it with these other concepts, we're looking at self care as a conversation that you get to have with yourself, rather than a singular item on your to do list that you have to do a specific way in order for it to be right. With that in mind with that context in that reconnection, let's look at self care as it relates to self discipline. Socrates once said that the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms. And the first time I heard that quote, it just it hit me in the heart, because there's something really important to me. And I don't know where this comes from, in my experience in my personality. But I really value being clear on what we mean when we're talking about a concept, especially in this day and age, where people like to put their own spin on things or can co opt language that shows up in therapy, or that shows up in other spaces, and want to make it mean a new definition. So I acknowledge that we might all have different relationships to the term self discipline, and I'll share of the definition that we'll be working with, at least for the rest of today's episode. I pulled this from the good old Oxford dictionary. And they say that self discipline is the ability to control one's feelings, and overcome one's weaknesses. The ability to pursue what one thinks is right, despite temptations to abandon it. I'm going to read that one more time for you. And I want you to notice how it does or doesn't resonate with you. Maybe pay attention to what pops up emotionally or physically as you hear this definition again. Self discipline is the ability to control one's feelings and overcome one's weaknesses. The ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. What came up for you and that definition?

For me, I found that it really incited my rebellious nature. It felt too rigid too controlling even though I do things that might be considered quote unquote, disciplined. Like, until recently, we published Inner Warmup every single week, the same time every single week, and the Self Care Sunday newsletter for Inner Workout for, man we're coming up on, I think we'll be coming up on three years that it's been sent out every single Sunday, you could say that it's self disciplined, but I resonate more with another term. And I'm not the first person to make this connection. I've heard a few different people do it. I think Danielle Laporte has talked about it. I think Marlee Grace has talked about it, I'm probably forgetting about some other people, but the contrast of self discipline, and self devotion. And in the spirit of defining things, let me share the definition of devotion : love, loyalty or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause. I am devoted to my work. I resonate with that more than the idea of being disciplined in the way that I do my work. I'm devoted, I love it, I feel loyal to it, there's an enthusiasm that I've cultivated around it. And so that means that for the newsletter, there have been plenty of times where I haven't felt like doing it. But I find a way to do it that week. Or that day, in a way that feels loving to me. It brings to mind the specific time where I just was like having writer's block, and I was generally feeling anxious that week. And I knew I commit to having this newsletter out. And Matt said, you know what, we're gonna go pick up one of your favorite meals. And while we're driving there in the car, just start drafting stuff, don't make it super serious. Just start drafting stuff in your notes and see what comes out of it. And lo and behold, I was still able to fulfill my commitment and devotion to this newsletter, even as I was being supported by my husband, and we were picking up some of my favorite food. This idea of love and devotion, they are in conflict with self care. When I listen within, and respond with love, and do that from a place of devotion, that means I'm going to be thoughtful in how I commit. I might ask myself, and you might ask yourself questions like, am I setting a sustainable pace? When I get into that mindset of self discipline, like I said, it's very rigid, it's, you need to show up this way, every single day to be good. And again, I'm speaking from my own experience, the what my inner critic or my harsher voices say to me, but when I respond from a place of devotion, I think about okay, if I am committed to this thing, if I love this thing, if I'm loyal to it, and I want to be able to do it for the long term, how do I set up this commitment so that it is sustainable? So that might mean that instead of saying I'm going to do something every day, I say, I'm going to commit to doing this every other day. Or instead of doing something morning and evening in my morning routine and my evening routine, maybe I just commit for the one, the one that feels most supportive. Instead of saying I'm going to do something weekly, maybe you do monthly or bimonthly. My hope is that this reflection and conversation has gotten you thinking about your own relationship to self discipline. Or maybe you're like me, and you prefer this idea of devotion. And it's been a while. But now it's my turn to pass the mic over to you. We're giving you two minutes right here right now to reflect. And these are the questions I'd encourage you to start with. Does self care feel in conflict with self discipline or devotion in my life? How might the two work together? Happy reflecting!

It's always a joy to get to reflect with you. If anything came up, you can always shoot us a note at Thank you so much for your time and thanks as always for your expertise. Take care!