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Willpower?

Article by Sabrina Williams

 

It’s a myth that people can’t change. You absolutely can, but you need to be able to step outside of your comfort zone and, for most of us, that can be scary. How can we change our habits and move our comfort zone to include the things that will help us reach our goals?

Most people assume this kind of change is all about willpower. Willpower is defined as "control deliberately exerted to do something or to restrain ones own impulses."

Will power is not your best ally. Leaning hard on it can sometimes bring out the worst in you, leading you to become very negative and self critical. Willpower starts out strong, but tends to fade as time goes on. Exercising willpower constitutes using your working memory, which is what you're thinking about right now. You can become easily overwhelmed in the “now” moments. It is exhausting to constantly have to think about not doing something all the time. Once the willpower gives out, you feel frustrated, guilty, and disappointed.

So, what do you need to be successful?

Willingness- the quality or state of being prepared to do something; readiness

Willingness is not a renewable source, but rather a desire; it is only present if the mind wishes. It is about making a choice, it is about growing and learning. Relying on willingness makes behavioral changes an instinct. Willingness does not depend on you liking the change, it is about being open to the change. Willingness is a choice, not a feeling. Be willing to do something greater, something important, something valuable.

Relying on willingness over willpower means you’re focusing on positive changes that you can make, rather than focusing on what you don't or can’t have. Life changes need to be seen as an experiment in willingness, so that even if you fail one day, you still succeed in learning something that will help you with the next day.

Will you use your willpower to resist unhealthy temptations, or will you be willing to change your lifestyle in a way that encourages healthy choice? You choose.

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