Unless we are one of these, KNOW IT ALL – SEEN IT ALL – HEARD IT ALL ALREADY, rather than the humbled types, during the darkest times in life, we all need help to get through challenging moments; those silent pauses that make us think we are misunderstood.
We think that stacking up old things, to acquire new things, or shaping the perfect curves, will make us feel perfect and worthy of unconditional love. But no matter how much savings we have or how much we spent it’s rarely enough to feel valued for long enough.
And even if some people look up to us as they shower us with their attention, we still look down on our imperfections; our minds are haunted by chattering beliefs that repeat: “I am unlovable, wrong and not good enough”.
That’s when our willpower must come into play, to rescue us from the nightmare in which our insecurities have imprisoned us. And from the “looser” state that our weaknesses want us to remain in as we watch opportunities holding hands with life, running in front of our new pair of running shoes.
Who wouldn’t like to change something from within? The desire to develop oneself and the drive to progress are part of human nature. However, old habits can be hard to break and sometimes we fail more often than we succeed. We struggle to end the contracts and commitments that we can’t sustain anymore and that’s when we know, our willpower needs strengthening.
There are ways to boost our willpower. No-one is condemned to live in the past. To create permanent and positive changes in your life, think of willpower as a muscle that can be strengthened with practice. So how do you boost your willpower to yield powerful results?
Unhealthy food, toxic substances and skipping meals reduces our self awareness, impairs our judgment and hinders our willpower. Be mindful of feeding your brain and fueling your body with regular rich and nourishing meals prior to taking important actions and decisions.
Since exercising self control at all time is impossible, supplementing yourself with sleep, rest and breaks is essential. To feel refreshed before getting back to your goals and to have more willpower to accomplish your tasks, get an adequate amount of sleep and take frequent breaks. Doing this, will improve your brain function and self control and help to avoid running out of willpower and making poor decisions.
Practicing meditation for 10 minutes on a daily basis enables us to have better memory, attention and focus. For this reason, detaching from the chaos around us for a few minutes, reduces our stress and impulsive tendencies. Meditation and mindfulness also generate the energy needed to strengthen our willpower.
FACTS ABOUT WILLPOWER
- It can be practiced – Like a muscle, motivation becomes stronger with the persistent practice of self restraint and self reliance.
- It is a valued skill – Being smart is less an essential component of performance and efficacy than willpower is, therefore, to achieve a successful life, your willpower is key.
- It is believing – Your body listens to the words you tell yourself and then acts on them. That’s why repetitive self talk is a great way to empower yourself.
Each day listen to inspirational speeches or read uplifting stories from speakers and writers that you feel connected to. Motivation, spirit and discipline lies in being inspired.
Inspiration awakens your authentic self. Your unique talents and passions are gifts to share with others and at the same time, you replenish your willpower. This is a harmonious and beneficial cycle that you should aspire to maintain.
Spend time wandering, moving, breathing and sensing nature, allows life’s powerful energies to flow through you and fill you up with transformative forces that will heal your cracks and expand your growth. Stagnation suffocates inspiration and kills willpower.
Identify roadblocks: When we set ourselves on the pursuit of a new life path, it’s wise to anticipate in advance the resistance that may arise to block our original plan.
For instance, we are all susceptible to temptations. Some are harmless and others helpful but nonetheless, ask yourself: How am I going to respond to the unexpected? Even if the unexpected can’t be anticipated, your reaction to it can be predetermined. This simple mental preparation will strengthen your willpower to overcome any surprising roadblocks.
Another willpower block is self sabotage. To find the courage to stick to your plans be mindful of your automatic responses, make progress in small doses and remind yourself often:
- What end goal are you trying to accomplish?
- What is the purpose of the end goal?
- Why do you want to follow this purpose?
- What will happen to your emotional state if you quit?
- What reward will you miss out on?
Helpful Links and Resources
To learn more about the topics explored in this blog post please visit:
How Willpower Works
Have We Been Thinking About Willpower the Wrong Way for 30 Years
How to Strengthen One’s Will
Most people do not understand willpower
Why willpower is overrated
The Science of Willpower: 15 Tips from Dr. Kelly McGonigal
Rudolf Steiner’s Esoteric Development: The Control Of Will
You Gotta Be Hungry: The Pathway to Your Greatness, Dream and Destiny Book by Les Brown: ‘No matter how bad it is, or how bad it gets, I’m going to make it.’
Les Brown: You Gotta be Hungry (Full Transcript):
You get scared sometimes, your mind will go blank on you. Some people will allow to unnerve you and you wonder what’s wrong with me, I’m not crazy. That’s why you’ve got to learn to make a conscious deliberate determined effort to stand up inside yourself. Working on yourself, watching that inner dialogue it will determine the quality of your life. I don’t believe this. I know this.
Decide that you’re going to push yourself. Most people won’t do that. Most people give up on themselves easily. You know the human spirit is powerful. There is nothing that’s powerful, it’s hard to kill the human spirit. They asked Benjamin Disraeli, a man who became the head of a country at the time when Jews were not allowed out after ten o’clock.
They said how did you do it? How did you achieve against such great odds? He said nothing can resist the will of a people that will stake even their existence on the extent of their purpose for good. That when you have a made-up mind, when you decide that you want to do something — I was reading something the other day, he said the power to hold on in spite of everything, the power to endure, this is the winner’s quality. The hunger, the ability to face defeat again and again without giving up, this is a winner’s quality. You have that quality within you.
When you’re hungry you don’t care about the facts, you don’t care about the odds. Doug Williams played for the Washington Redskins, and quarterback, John Elway of the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, everybody was talking about Elway, Elway. After the Super Bowl when Doug Williams made a historic passing game, I asked him, and said how were you able in spite of all of the negative publicity saying that you couldn’t win. How did you do it? He said ‘I ignored my critics. I just didn’t pay any attention to them. I ignored myself because they kept on saying it so much. There were times I doubted whether or not I can do what I needed to do’. There’s a Doug Williams in everybody here.
Trusting yourself: Sometimes we instinctively know what we should be doing but we doubt this silent voice that speaks to us; many New Agers or so called white light souls often refer to intuition as an angelic kind of divine guidance, and the dark side calls it madness.
Whatever it is called and wherever it comes from; an internal or external source, in times of tiring mental self analysis, your inner voice deserves to be listened to and consulted prior to making a final decision.
Here is the script of you talking to yourself:
You think: “Why is it often so hard for me to get what I want? How can I stay away from people who make me feel insecure? Why did others get lucky while I have to rely on my willpower?”
The silence speaks: “You think negatively, you embrace self loathing and act in disbelief. You can’t translate my language of the heart with your logical mind. Try opening your heart’s eyes.”
You think: “It is always so easy for me to know what I want, what can I do to get it? What can I do that would boost my self esteem while benefiting others at the same time? Let them rely on their short term luck because in the long term, I believe in strengthening my willpower.”
The silence speaks: “Now that you have swapped dis-empowering thoughts for optimism, you can trust the signs and messages that I am sending to you, those dressed as coincidences. Use your trust as the willpower to take action instead of doubting the fact that I keep repeating to you; you, you know better than anyone else what you have to do, so stop fearing or waiting for a miracle, just do it, do something today.”