by Kris Pitcher
"I could never do that, I have no willpower!" Now, there's a statement I hear a lot. Whatever the "that" is, the thing you thought you could never do...I think you could. It's just we think about willpower all wrong. I call it "won't power".
We think of it as some power we should posses. It's something we should automatically have. If we were good/smart/better/etc. we would have this fancy power. The people who have it, just have it. It's like they channel it! It's...as if it just comes through them!
What the heck kind of bull-larkey thinking is that?! Willpower is simply self discipline, it's self control. It's just controlling how you conduct yourself. It's exerting your "will" over your inhibitions of your body or your self. We all have it, it's nothing fancy.
It would seem we exert willpower all the time in our lives - in all kinds of situations. I didn't flip off the guy who raced past me in the right hand lane that was ending on the freeway only to cut me off. Willpower! (I did think about it.)
Yet, when it comes to our eating habits we have trouble with willpower. It turns to won't power. It's all tangled up in entitlement, in wanting what we want, in not wanting to do what feels different. Make the leap. Turn your won't power into willpower by thinking of it as getting you to your goals.
Two skills can help you do this. First, anticipate and plan. We talk about this a lot. Anticipating situations where you might have challenges and making a plan BEFORE you are in the situation will help you be successful. Next, exercise your willpower. Use it to get better at it. As you do, you'll be rewarded by feeling great.
We all have willpower and we all choose how and when we exercise it. Start turning your won't power into willpower in the areas where you want. Use it or lose it, you have the power!