5 Things to Prove That Self Discipline is Over-Rated
Self-discipline involves doing activities that are desirable without any external motivation and resisting the temptation to do what is undesirable or unethical. Parents and teachers would be happier if children imposed self-discipline and refrained from activities considered anti-social. Yet there are arguments and counter-arguments over the value of self-discipline with one group saying it leads to success and happiness in life.
Now a growing number of psychologists believe that self-discipline may not be a virtue but it could be a symptom of some of the underlying problems faced by the individual.
Here are 5 reasons why Self Discipline is over-rated.
1. They Lack Spontaneity
People with self-discipline may be less creative, less enthusiastic, less likely to enjoy life and be happy, according to psychologist Jack Block. They may lack interpersonal warmth, be less emotional and not open to new experiences, he says. They see each activity as a means to an end and may feel unhappy if an activity doesn’t have an aim or purpose. Just as going for a leisure trip or hanging out with friends.
2. They may not be Well-Adjusted and Depression Prone
Self-disciplined people are likely to avoid drugs, alcohol and narcotics but they are less likely to be well-adjusted individuals and quite prone to depression. They may also succumb to eating disorders such as anorexia. They eat less because of the fear of getting overweight. They may be extreme perfectionists wanting to do every activity on time and in the way they are expected to.
3. They are More Vulnerable
Being overly self-disciplined implies an underlying vulnerability to external pressure and anxiety. They also suffer from fear of being out of control. They carry self-directives of what ought to be done and what not as per social norms. Such people may do activities just to achieve something – such as obtaining good scores or doing a task ahead of others.
However, they may not be gaining any satisfaction or pleasure out of doing the activity. They may think their self-worth or worth in society is determined by how quickly they finish their work.
4. Delayed Gratification
People with self-discipline are only delaying or postponing gratification. A teetotaler may go on a drinking spree after weeks of abstaining from it or have unprotected sex after a prolonged period of inactivity.
5. Conform rather than Confront
Self-disciplined people are more prone to conform to rules and regulations so much so that they don’t confront the bad experiences or injustice suffered from authorities. They are happy to maintain their status quo and hence no reformist attitude can be expected from them wherever they go.
Self-discipline is seen by most people as a virtue to be cultivated from home and school and to be followed throughout life. However, research now has proven that overemphasis on self-discipline could have negative consequences on one's behavior and attitude towards life. Their quality of life is impacted and they may not get any satisfaction even when they may be wealthy and successful. They are also likely to impose such attitude on their children.
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