Change Your Story – A Story of Chosen Discipline

If you change your narrative, you will change your life.

Last week I wrote about the discipline of being disciplined. The purpose was to help you focus on an area in your life. I made a choice to be disciplined this week. I limited my eating to only an 8-hour window. (It’s safe: check out the 16/8 diet.). Here is what I learned.

I chose to restrict my eating to follow the 16/8 Intermittent Fasting eating pattern. My purpose was to get myself to focus on what was important when I started to think about food before 11 am. I should note that moving to the 16/8 intermittent diet wasn’t as big of a leap as one might imagine. I had already been limiting my eating to between 9 and 7 for several weeks before this change in eating pattern.

My goal of the additional limitation was that every time I thought of food during the morning, and especially in the time between 9 and 11 am, I would turn my concentration to my chosen topic. My topic was: making money.

So when I was hungry, I thought about making money. I wondered why I didn’t seem to be good at generating revenue. And I thought about how I could address the issue. I thought about marketing, and why I needed to make money. I thought about all of the other people who were working hard to generate revenue.

And throughout the week I slowly changed and grew. And here are two dominant narratives that I told myself that are changing:

My previous story: I’m not very good at generating revenue. I’m not very good at sales.

My new narrative: I haven’t been focusing on making others succeed enough. I need to give my all to make others succeed, and the revenue generation will come to me naturally. Making others succeed probably means solving their problems.

My previous narrative: I know that everyone says that you need an excellent team to make your business grow. But don’t have any money to pay for a team, and I hate trying to motivate people to do things for free. So I think I would rather be a soloprenuer.

My realization, and new narrative: I am actually great with leading teams. I lead project teams all the time, and I really enjoy it. I love focusing on bringing out everyone’s best contribution. I would love to have project teams who were along with me on the journey. I can’t afford a team now, but I would like to have a team once we can make enough money to make it reasonable.

I have to admit: I didn’t know what would happen when I chose to be disciplined just for the sake of imposing constraints. But now that I have done it, I would recommend it to anyone. Choose something, big or small. Impose a limit on yourself and stick with it. Every time you run up against that limit: think about one topic that you have pre-chosen. It might not give you an epiphany or a breakthrough, but it certainly can help bring clarity to your thinking.