The meaning of the word “willpower” is totally misrepresented, misunderstood and misused in the way we live today.

Willpower is not meant to be used in the long term. Its function is to give our minds and bodies a quick burst in the event of an emergency, where we are at physical risk. For example, escaping from a burning building, getting out of a car that has been involved in an accident, defending ourselves from an attacker etc., etc.

What we tend to do, even though we may not be aware of it, is apply it when we are forcing ourselves to do something we don’t want to do! Losing weight, giving up smoking/drinking, even getting out of bed in the morning, to name but a few!

We may consciously believe we want to do whatever it is, but the very fact we need willpower in order to do it, means there is a belief inside, we are probably not even aware of, that doesn’t want to. This is called an unconscious belief. We need to uncover that belief and resolve it. We need to ask ourselves “What is it in me that is not happy doing this so I am having to force myself using willpower?”

If we don’t do this and keep going through the use of willpower, it is a huge drain on our energy system, as we are in conflict with ourselves. If something else then starts to drain that system, such as being ill, stressed, not enough sleep, run down, etc., it is too much for our system and willpower collapses.

This explains why people who are on a diet, giving up smoking/drinking, often “give in” to their craving for chocolate, cigarettes, alcohol, if they have an emotional upset.

We then experience low self esteem and beat ourselves up for being “weak” and “having no willpower,” which is simply not true. It is just a belief we have around willpower (Or won’t power, as I prefer to call it!).

Willpower in its truest sense is just that. Being willing to use the power that is in us. Not to force it, but to be really happy doing what we have set our intention on doing. And doing it with total enthusiasm, energy and motivation! And because we want to!

So any time you find yourself resorting to “willpower” to do something, in other words, you are forcing yourself to do it, seek out the unconscious belief. What is it inside you that you need to address and resolve? When you can answer that, you can then resolve it, and go ahead with it, because you are willing to, not because you are forcing yourself to.

Adopt Coaching 2009 -

Author's Bio: 

Janet has diplomas in coaching, EFT and psychology. She is a registered NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner and a member of the European Coaching Institute. She creates and delivers workshops as well as 121 and group coaching and has over 500 hours personal and business coaching experience.

Janet’s mission statement is:

“My purpose as a Beliefs Therapist is to support and guide people, using different techniques and therapies in discovering their unique purpose and natural born talents. I help them face and confront their fears, their lack of self worth and self confidence, by uncovering their limiting beliefs, so they can find the courage to take action and overcome whatever it is that is holding them back from living to their true potential. Then they are able to fulfil their unique destiny, achieving everything they put their minds to, using their natural gifts and talents and having a big life.”