On willpower… February 17, 2019 by Jamie WestermanWillpower is not a personality trait, it’s a habit. I have spent years telling myself, and everyone else, I have no willpower. Which by the way, is a super handy way to avoid doing things I don’t really want to do. I should eat healthy – “I don’t have any willpower.” I should exercise more consistently – “I don’t have enough willpower for that.” I should start my day with positive audio and gratitude instead of social media – “I could, but my willpower sucks.” See how super easy that was? I didn’t have to do anything that made me even a little uncomfortable! By making willpower a trait that I either had or didn’t have, I was basically excusing myself from ever changing or growing in any way that would require effort. It had served me well living in a life of complacency and fine-ness at its best. I mean after all, everything was super FINE in my life. When life started to shift and I realized I was worth so much more than “good enough,” I recognized I had a chance to personally grow by leaps and bounds. And I was afraid. I wasn’t sure if I was up for the challenge. After all I had no willpower, and how would I commit to new and better habits if I didn’t have the self-discipline to do it? Somehow though, slowly, things did change. I began to talk to myself in a more respectful way. I started reading books that were uplifting. I started doing hard things because I had the confidence to try. You maybe wouldn’t think this involved willpower, which the dictionary describes as “personal determination,” but at the time, determination to be better was all that was driving me. I didn’t want to learn new ways, I wasn’t convinced I could, but I did it anyways. It turns out willpower has nothing to do with your personality. Willpower comes down to the simple idea of doing it anyways. You don’t want to go to the gym? Do it anyways. You don’t want to stop at the grocery store so you can make a healthy dinner? Do it anyways. You don’t want to read the book that’s been sitting on your nightstand for six months? Do it anyways. Guess what happens when you start doing whatever it is you don’t want to do even when you don’t want to do it? It gets easier to do the next thing anyways, and the next and the next. Until doing it anyways (WILLPOWER!) becomes a habit. And your lame-ass excuse of having no willpower becomes a thing of the past. And you grow and grow and grow. Stop telling yourself it’s mind over matter. Stop saying you have no willpower. Stop waiting to make that change you’ve been saying you’re going to make. Just stop. And do it anyways – until your willpower is just a simple habit and you are unstoppable.