Success requires hard work and self-discipline. With self-discipline, anyone gain self-confidence and achieve success. Perhaps you lack self-discipline in certain areas and assume “that’s just the way I am.” Perhaps some people are born with natural qualities and abilities that make self-discipline easy for them, but most successful people are made not born, through hard work and self-development.

The fact is you can develop whatever qualities you consider desirable and necessary for your success. For some people, it will be easy, and for others it will take more time and effort. But each person has the inborn ability to shape his character in a positive way. All that is required are clear intentions and a determination to press forward through the difficulties, resistance and setbacks.

Develop the discipline you desire. The process of developing discipline is simple, if not easy. First, decide upon the discipline that will be most helpful to you right now. Don’t try to change several things about yourself at once, no matter how attractive and desirable they may be. Focus instead on the development of a single discipline until it is locked in and becomes a part of your personality. Then you can move on to the development of the next discipline.

Fortunately, every act of discipline strengthens and reinforces other disciplines. And acquiring a discipline increases your self-confidence in yourself, making additional disciplines easier to achieve. But you must be vigilant. Everything counts!

Program yourself. Once you have chosen a discipline to develop, begin to think about how you would behave if you had this discipline or habit already. See yourself in a situation in which you want to practice your new discipline. Then, create a positive affirmation for yourself which you can use to reinforce your new discipline. You will actually become what you choose to say to yourself. This will build your self-confidence, and you will begin to see yourself in a new light.

Don’t allow exceptions. Decide on the discipline you want to develop and launch strongly on it. Resolve to never allow an exception until it becomes permanent. If you “fall off the wagon,” immediately recite your affirmation and begin again. This is the only way you will succeed.

The more you practice your chosen disciplines, the more you will like and respect yourself. You will feel more confident and optimistic. You will become more effective in every area of your life. When you develop the disciplines required for success, you will get more done, have greater self-confidence and succeed at higher levels in everything you attempt.

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Brian Tracy is the CEO of Brian Tracy International, which specializes in business training, and the author of the best-selling Psychology of Achievement. For more information, go to www.briantracy.com