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Willpower Vs Why power

Jen Thomas

Muscle Trainer, Pre & Post-Natal Exercise Expert, and Nutrition Coach

4 min read

So, U decided to lose some weight. Good for you! U thought you were going about it the right way – U ditched sugar, cut your junk food, and said no to the late night snacking while watching Netflix. Things were going great, the pounds were starting to shed, you were feeling good, until suddenly things went downhill, and fast. You somehow found yourself at the bottom of a chip bag and there was no going back.

Story sounds familiar right? Whenever we start a new diet or exercise plan, we brim with excitement. Our motivation to be successful rides an all-time high, and our willpower seems unstoppable. We buy all the equipment and supplements, we even buy new running shoes for the sake of it.

We’re unstoppable. Until we dramatically crash and burn. The new running shoes get pushed under the bed, the supplements get hidden in the back of the medicine cupboard. “What happened to your new fitness goal?” Your friends may ask… “Oh you know how it is, I just really don’t have much willpower…” you reply. However, this may come as a welcomed surprise to you, willpower has very little to do with success!

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Willpower – The source of our goals

The term ‘willpower’ means “the ability to control yourself to do something difficult”, however it’s become a derogatory term that suggest that it’s the source of all of your success – or failures.

The general idea is that willpower is like a bank account; when it is full at the beginning of the day, U R all excited about UR goals and targets. When this resource gets exhausted, U R back to UR old self, giving in to unhealthy practices. Your willpower depletes, exhausts itself, runs outs, fails you. Basically, when you need it to actually do something difficult, it’s not there.

There have been a great many studies on willpower and some interesting findings have been found. Whether the willpower lessens or not is determined by individuals’ beliefs of whether it’s a limited resource. Those individuals who believe willpower is not a limited resource do not show reduced willpower after an experience that supposedly ‘depletes’ willpower.

For instance, this could be the ‘will’ to lose weight or eat healthier foods. Depending on individuals’ beliefs regarding willpower – there is a consequent change in behavior while eating and the tendency to put off things with regard to self-controlled goals in circumstances that demand ‘depleting’. When one experiences ‘depletion’ of willpower or a reduced sense of self-control after a task that causes ‘depletion’ – it is because of their beliefs rather than an actual depletion of resources.

Studies have discovered that it is UR perception of how willpower works that actually affects its power. If U believe that willpower is depleted over a point of time, then it surely will. But if U believe that it can motivate U through UR goals, then yes U can use it as a catalyst to carry U through them.

Interesting, isn’t it? Our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves, our abilities, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses actually impact our success more than the idea of willpower.
When U get to the heart of this, U begin to understand that U R the one who has been writing UR narrative. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we tell ourselves a lot of things. Over a period of time, those thoughts become actions and those actions become who we are.

Have you ever stopped to check – is the story you’re telling yourself, about yourself, even true?
Are U a cheerleader or are U your own critic? Well, if U have been feeding URself negative thoughts and self-shame, it’s time to change that narrative! Remember, the most powerful story that we can tell ourselves is about ourselves.
When U talk negatively to URself, your body experiences the same physiological feelings as when somebody says something negative to you. It’s not going to be easy to talk URself out of UR old habits, it will take a while and a lot of practice to develop self-care and positive talk.

Did U know that you have more than 6,000 thoughts in a day?

It’s time to tap into the ‘Why’ power!

Have U ever questioned URself as to why U want to lose weight or why U want to do the 9 km run? Well, the secret to UR success lies in UR Why power! So, start asking URself ‘Why’ today. When U do this, UR resolve becomes more concrete and suddenly U R on UR way to achieving UR goals without looking back.

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Find UR ‘Why’ with the 5-Why Exercise
  • Write UR Goal on the top
  • Write down why U want to achieve that goal
  • Follow the same for the next 4 questions; each of which is an answer to UR previous Why
  • At the end U will discover UR ‘Why’ power

Use the Why power to fulfill UR goals even when the going seems tough.