This post will cover what willpower is and how to increase willpower systematically. If you apply these three NLP tips consistently, you’ll find your motivation and willpower increasing a little more each day.
First, What is Willpower?
Let’s break it down.
Your “will” is your capacity to make conscious choices.
Will”power”, then, refers to your level of motivation to make the conscious choices that serve you best. It’s that simple. Willpower is the motivation to make healthy, conscious choices for yourself.
The opposite of willpower is to run on autopilot, following your automatically generated whims. This is often a source of self-sabotage. For many of us, our autopilot feature is set to failure. We need to know how to increase willpower to make course corrections manually.
You will know how to increase your willpower if you follow these three tips which are based on some principles of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
1. Identify something small that you’d like to choose every day.
It needs to be simple, such as write for five minutes in your journal, or meditate for 10 minutes, or exercise for 20 minutes. Don’t get greedy. Make it easy to do.
If you bite off more than you can chew, you might activate resistance to making the right choice. Once you get going, you can always choose to increase the effort. For now, you just want to make it easy to get started.
2. Reward yourself on the inside when you do it.
It’s important to feel good when you make good choices. Develop a simple system to congratulate yourself and feel positive when you succeed. For example, when you succeed, you might recite a simple affirmation:
My willpower is increasing and it feels great!
This is an important part of the process. If you don’t allow yourself to feel good after exercising your willpower, then you are less likely to exercise it in the future.
3. When you fail, be honest with yourself, without self-criticism.
Failure is part of the process. Don’t be afraid to fail. And never criticize yourself for failing. Just be honest. For example, you might say to yourself.
I failed today. It’s part of the process. I’ll begin anew tomorrow.
Self-criticism for failing will motivate you away from willpower. It attaches negative feelings to the effort.
Remember, it’s all about using your conscious intention – that’s what willpower is!
Bonus tip: Begin by choosing a limited time period within which you will work on your willpower. This simplifies the effort. For example, choose to work on a specific new behavior for a period of just five days. Short time frames reduce the potential overwhelm that can come with really large goals. When your five days are up, celebrate and renew the effort!
Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center. Follow Mike on Twitter or Facebook.