hey! man you ain’t got any willpower, you quit too easily.
overcoming lack of will power is something that I have struggled with a lot, and have you heard something similar to the above words? well, let me tell you some interesting theory behind it in this article.
Generally speaking, Do you think, you can strengthen your will-power by working 16 hours a day for your goals with a coffee beside you,? The answer is a big No.
Shockingly, will-power is like a muscle. Simply put, willpower is our ability to delay gratification. It is our self-control that helps us resist distracting impulses and persevere. As the American Psychology Association has so nicely put it: Willpower is the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.
- Muscle gets stronger with exercise
- Muscles can be overwhelmed, leaving them weak until they have the change to recover.
Will power is exactly similar to this. The more you use it the more it depletes.
A real Life Experiment on Will Power —
In a real-life study, people who were asked to suppress their feelings while they watched an upsetting movie gave up sooner on a subsequent test of physical stamina than those people who were allowed to freely respond to the emotional impact of the film.
So, what is so different about those individuals who suppressed their feeling and later failed in the physical stamina test? Do they lack will-power? No, but technically yes.
The answer is simple—They used up their will-power to subdue their emotional feeling, but later on, when it comes to showing their physical stamina, their will-power was already exhausted.
Science of Will Power – 3 Studies on Willpower
When it comes to the science of willpower, there are three big names you should be familiar with. Each of them studied the topic from their own perspective, but the findings of all combined are what has laid the foundation of our understanding of willpower today.
Discussing the scientific aspect of willpower is impossible without mentioning Walter Mischel. Walter Mischel is most famous for his Stanford Marshmallow Test, which remains one of the most valuable studies on delayed gratification. The test is simple but genius.
Children were asked to choose between getting a sweet reward right away or having a double-portion after waiting for around 15 minutes. Kids who managed to delay gratification were believed to have stronger willpower (an obvious conclusion). The study, however, did not stop there. The young participants of the Marshmallow Test were actually subject to long-term evaluation. Over the course of years, it turned out that those who were able to delay gratification as kids had better life outcomes as adults. Life success was measured in terms of education, performance at work, health, and other metrics.
Roy Baumeister is another important figure on the willpower-science scene. In collaboration with other scientists, Dr. Baumeister discovered that our will, just like a muscle, can be fatigued if we spend too much time on activities that require self-control. According to Baumeister, the strength of our willpower depends on the level of energy available in our brain at a given moment. To support his point of view, Baumeister ran an experiment that involved hard-to-resist foods. Participants had to withstand the temptation of eating chocolate and complete a series of mental tasks afterward. Those who managed to resist food temptation appeared to be more fatigued and performed worse in mental tasks.
Back in 2010, a study conducted by Stanford University researcher Veronika Job and her colleagues suggested that our own beliefs about willpower might play a key role. A series of experiments proved that when we believe that our willpower is limited, it becomes limited. Meanwhile, those who believe that willpower is not fixed and cannot be depleted, demonstrate greater self-control and are not likely to lose will under depleted circumstances.
6 Steps to Overcoming Lack Of Will Power
1. Don’t keep yourself in constant Burnout state
In other words, learn when to stop, just like a muscle your will-power needs to rest and recharge. SFor example— after working out, just like your muscles need to be taken care of with proper rest and sleep, will-power tryout the same way. Don’t let the delusion of constant hard work blow off your inner strength. Use it or lose it, but don’t overdo it.
2. Use imagination to relax your mind—
Your mind is a super-advanced tool, and the way you think puts a great impact on your mental strength. If you feel in your mind that you are already upset and have a huge task for office lurking around you, then your will-power will also be used in a negative way. Be smart, use your imagination to improve your will-power. imagine lying on a peaceful beach, listening to the waves gently lapping the shore, and tasting the salty sea air, your body will respond by relaxing.
3.Talk to yourself and focus on Self-Auditing —
This method can also be used in challenging situations when you need to heavily depends on your self-control abilities. Often great athletes use this technique before they jump onto their most important games or matches. The method is simple—in a challenging task, talk to yourself, motivate yourself, listen to your favourite song. Moreover, those who want to get rid of masturbation I highly suggest getting engaged in more cognitively demanding tasks.
4. Build A productive system To Boost Performance —
A system is nothing but a set of highly productive habits. As we human beings naturally are unproductive until we put ourselves in a system. We tend to respond more to what we see, rather than what is good for us in the long term. To build a good system—Use stuffs like daily To-do list, meditation, write down specific time to take. Prioritize your health many more based on your lifestyle.
5.Take Things One Step at a time—
Now that you have come to the last, step you already are showing prominent will-power ;), nowhere is a simple yet most important point. Now you all have heard about “Keep working hard”. In one word these are all scam, they don’t work. Suppose—You need to write 25 articles for your school project in the span of just 1 month. Although it is possible if you keep thinking about the 25 articles, your will-power will slowly decline and you will never be able to reach towards to end.
6. Don’t put yourself in temptation’s way, or if you do, have a plan—
Want to strengthen your will-power against your temptations? well, the simple trick is to identify Where your urges are coming from and hiding it before the urge hits your brain. In other words—if you don’t want to spend another hour watching a Netflix series after dinner, then do one thing—Put your laptop in the bag, away from your sight before your go for the dinner. By doing this you decreased your resistance by making the process easier.
Don’t focus on the end goals, take it slowly, enjoy the process. One thing at a time.
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