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August 2017

Newsletter #42: The Dark Side of Discipline

Someone asked me the other day about the role of discipline in living the 15 commitments. Their story about me was that I was a very disciplined person and that this is important to my ability to practice conscious leadership. I loved the question and have been wondering about it.

Let’s apply the 4 ways of leading to the question…

When a leader is in To Me —victim consciousness—discipline is something hard, effortful, that I’m always trying to do. Sometimes I am being disciplined and it feels good, and sometimes I’m not being disciplined and it feels bad; there might be guilt, shame, self criticism. Typical definitions of discipline come from  this consciousness, and can include things like “delayed gratification”— the moment is hard but the future payoff will be good— or an emphasis on obeying rules or following a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience. 

Like all To Me experiences, sometimes this consciousness produces results we like and sometimes the results create drama or suffering. The core of this consciousness is that something is missing in me or my life and I need to discipline myself to fix what is wrong or lacking. This is the mindset that says “I’m going to discipline myself to eat healthfully so that I can lose weight,” or “We’ll discipline ourselves to not gossip about other team members.”

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