What is willpower? When we think of willpower we may think about someone trying to lose weight or quit smoking. Or maybe you think of someone working their way up the corporate ladder. Willpower can be one of two things. It can be the resistance to desires and impulses, or a commitment to an idea.
When a person has a lot of willpower, they are often extremely disciplined and committed to their standards. For example, someone who wants to grow stronger may exhibit willpower by going to the gym four times a week.
Willpower also helps individuals stay productive and focused on their goals. These individuals are usually full of tenacity and good habit-keepers. The energy it takes to stay on track is an illustration of willpower.
A more serious example you may see of willpower is through those overcoming substance use disorders. Refraining from substances can be a huge testament to someone’s willpower.
How can we use willpower for our benefit, and can we improve our willpower?
Why Do We Need the Willpower to Succeed?
It Motivates Us
Willpower enables people to feel motivated. When you have a goal or idea in mind, willpower helps you achieve it. The commitment to your objective is what starts you. Many people believe you must first feel motivated before you feel the discipline to accomplish a task. It is actually the other way around.
Sometimes we do not feel motivated to do something until after we start! Willpower is what encourages a person to take that first step. You may not feel like meditating, but you know it is good for your mind. Willpower forces you to sit down and meditate even if you don’t want to participate.
When you practice willpower, you are likely to see an exemplary improvement in yourself. Because you engage in commitment regularly, you are more likely to experience higher self-esteem. Willpower often comes with success. Those that carry out plans religiously stay on track with their goals. Not only are they typically more successful, but they are equipped to handle life’s challenges. Willpower keeps them encouraged to overcome the odds no matter what.
Also, willpower informs you that you need to take care of yourself. People with tenacity know the significance of physical and mental health. Without taking care of your body or mind, there is a decrease in your success rate. Taking care of yourself is possible with self-discipline. With that in mind, you will typically see an improvement in one’s body and mind.
What Happens When We Have a Lack of Willpower?
There are many reasons we have no willpower. The most common effect of no willpower is a lack of self-control. Individuals that do not have control over their selves are often impulsive. There are different consequences to indulging in impulses. For those trying to refrain from a specific object or desire, lack of willpower can be detrimental.
If someone is trying to quit smoking, they will understand the importance of willpower around cigarettes or other nicotine articles. It requires a great deal of willpower to restrain yourself from indulging in the things that can hurt you.
Some people experience a lack of willpower while shopping. When a person is impulsive, you may find that they spend more money than they have. Willpower encourages an individual to make a budget, watch their spending, and make good retail decisions. Without control or discipline, a person may put themselves in credit card debt or other financially troubling situations.
All in all, a lack of willpower inhibits your ability to experience personal growth. A person that does not have resolve or self-restraint will not experience maturity or personal development. Access to these articles and advice columns can help you learn more about self-control and willpower.
Ways to Improve Our Willpower
The first step to improving your willpower is deciding what you truly desire. By setting goals, you have something to work towards. Attainable goals can help you change your habits, behaviours, and life. Smaller goals can increase your motivation to keep going in order to achieve larger goals. Your life’s purpose allows you to focus on a singular objective. With all of your focus on your purpose, you can practice your willpower daily.
As stated earlier, those that have willpower understand the importance of personal care and health. Staying healthy means different things. Some of the following examples help individuals remain happy and healthy:
– Getting good sleep every night
– Eating meals necessary for the body and soul
– Exercising on a regular basis
– Practicing self-care
– Taking care of energy levels
– Lower your stress levels through mindful techniques
Staying healthy may require daily body scans. A body scan is an act of acknowledging your needs. Take note of what your body is asking of you. For instance, your body may need extra sleep. In that case, you would go to bed rather than go out to party with friends. Other times your mind may require you to socialise with loved ones or eat a nourishing meal. By listening to your body and mind, you can improve your willpower.
Practising willpower is the fastest way to improve willpower. When you apply willpower to your life regularly, you are changing your default settings. Rather than falling on bad habits, you turn to beneficial pursuits. Forming a habit can be hard, but it allows you to practice discipline.
Those that practice willpower will display great self-control. Exercising willpower also prepares you for the future. There will be stressful times when you want to fall back into old habits. The more you practice willpower, the more likely you are to stay on track even when life gets hard.
Seek Professional Support
There are many situations in which willpower is not the only answer. Some may have struggles that require more help than commitment alone. Examples may include ADHD, alcoholism, addictions, abuse, etc. When these situations arise, there is not a simple fix with willpower. Some people may need professional support.
Therapy and mental health care are crucial to improving willpower in an individual’s life. Therapy can give you the assistance that you need to enhance your willpower and achieve your goals. Therapists offer insight, encouragement, and a helping hand.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.