Monday, 02 February 2015 08:54

It’s not about willpower

Who doesn’t wish they had more willpower, more resolve, more self-discipline. If there was more of it around, obesity wouldn’t be such a problem, work and life would be in better balance, we’d all have retirement nest eggs in place and corporate change initiatives would achieve their objectives.

We tend to think of willpower as a mysterious personal trait or characteristic. Some of us, who obviously chose our parents wisely, have it: the rest of us, don’t. The problem is that when you treat an inability as an inherent characteristic, you disempower yourself from fixing it. There’s not much you can do about your DNA.

But when you think of it as a lack of skill, and identify the specific behaviours you need to learn, you put the power to change in your own hands. You can forget about the mysteries of willpower and instead go to the tried and tested methods for developing and sustaining a skill.

Be clear on your goal and identify the specific behaviour that will give you most leverage toward it. Find a way to learn the behaviour or develop a level of skill, apply and practise it, and get constructive feedback. It will be easier if you’re not alone, so your plan must include how you will gather support from fans and coaches. Milestones, incentives and rewards keep you going. Your environment can help or hinder you.

All of these factors influence behaviour to change. When you put them together in a tight strategy, you make it almost impossible for behaviour not to change.

It’s definitely a better bet than depending on willpower.

Additional Info

  • Topic: Executive Coaching

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.