The Myth About Willpower

June 7, 2017

 

Willpower has been made out to be something that it is not. Many of us view willpower as something that we either have or don't have. Born with or born without. Honestly, I hate the word willpower... but because it is such a common word that is used in the realm of health and fitness I will address it with that title.

 

Here is my definition of the word willpower:

 

"Your ability to think in a way that serves you, during a circumstance that does not."

 

When we get home after a busy day at work or a long day with the kids we are faced with many circumstances. Maybe your spouse brought home a pizza that you know won't serve your health, or maybe you planned to workout but your kid needs your help with something and that idea gets pushed aside.

 

You see, in those circumstances it is not and never was the circumstance itself that caused you to change your plan of attack. Rather, it was how you chose to think in that moment that caused to pick up the 2 slices of pizza or help your son/daughter with their homework. 

 

For example you could have thought:

 

"I can have a slice of pizza while having a conversation with my husband/wife about his/her day.. I am in total control of how much and what I eat and therefore I am in total control of my health and fitness. A slice of pizza won't set me back."

 

But what do we usually choose to think?

 

"Why would he/she bring this pizza home? They know that I am making a concerted effort to improve my health and fitness.. This isn't fair."

 

Chances are, thinking the latter would cause you to feel stressed and maybe a bit angry... and what do we do around pizza after a long day at work and now we're feeling stressed out and angry? We eat pizza. 

 

All because of a lack of willpower right? 

 

Wrong

 

As you can see above, you have a choice of whatever you want to think, regardless of the circumstances (even if you can't control them. You really couldn't control your spouse bringing home that pizza right?).

 

How we think is a choice. And that choice is always available for us no matter the circumstance.

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