When we consider tackling a difficult goal, the word “willpower” often comes to mind. Breaking down the word leaves us with two distinct parts that comprise a whole: your will, and your power. Do you have the will (i.e. ability, desire, and intention) to exercise power (i.e. strength, capacity, and faculty) in embracing the journey to achieve an ambitious goal?
I like to think of willpower as that extra tool in your toolbox, that source of ammo that you need, which can kick your tenacity and commitment into high gear. As some goals are easier to achieve than others, you may find yourself not needing to exert as much energy, focus, time, and dedication to achieve those sorts of tasks. You find that you don’t need to exert anything additional from within to accomplish those ends. Other ventures, however, might seem incredibly difficult for you to launch, and you find that you need an extra push from within to institute those plans and pursue those objectives. This is when you find you might need a healthy dose of willpower!
So...how do you identify, develop, and utilize your own sense of willpower?
Identification Zero in on where your inner strength lies. Connect with your gut feeling. Listen to your internal monologue. Getting into a mental, emotional, and physical space that allows you to tap into your senses can better help you pinpoint where your own sensation of willpower resides.
Development Set yourself up in a way that allows for, and encourages, the energy that you’ve summoned to grow and flourish. Willpower can be exercised in situations in which you want to experience an enhanced commitment to your intentions. For some individuals, developing a sense of ownership when it comes to willpower might entail setting boundaries, practicing and tolerating resistance to actions that might pose obstacles to the overarching goal, and setting the stage for your own definition of success. Surrounding yourself with positive people who are supportive of your goals, getting involved in activities that contribute to achieving those goals, and creating an environment that allows for your goals to flourish, are all important objectives to keep in mind.
Utilization Align your thoughts and emotions and translate them into action. Take steps forward. Put your newfound willpower into practice. You might notice some missteps initially, or may even stumble along the way, but don’t lose hope! Nobody is perfect, and remember: learning how to exercise willpower is a challenge! Remember to be kind to yourself, and to cut yourself some slack from time-to-time as you figure out how to apply your own sense of willpower. Remember to reward yourself for both small and large successes, and take pride in the fact that you’re on a journey to better your life on the terms that you dictate!
Willpower can evoke a deep sense of ownership and meaning when it comes to living your life and attaining your goals. Achieving this sense of self-determination by steadily and consistently applying yourself surely poses its challenges, but can allow for progress to emerge! There is something to be said for the joy we experience when we know we’ve truly worked hard at something, and then are able to see positive results unfolding. When you will for something in life, you are engaging your own personal power to make it happen!
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