The Myth of Willpower

Willpower is a myth.

So are determination, perseverence and any other empty motivational buzzwords that supposedly account for success.

The only reason anyone ever achieves any challenging goal – be it weight, eating, financial or anything they care about – is because they learn to override their inner resistance.

There are many reasons why we might resist the very thing we desperately want: fear of losing it, fear of success, fear we may not be worthy of having that thing. You don’t need to understand your deepest and most hidden motivations right now – just accept that part if you may not be 100% on board with your conscious intentions.

The mistake people make in those initial days or weeks of starting the diet/fitness routine/budget/online dating is to sweep that resistance under the carpet while they wallow in fantasies about a perfect future. This is the equivalent of leaving your car keys in the ignition while you go shopping and assume that it will be there when you get back because you believe that people are basically good. 

Nobody who believes that people are basically good would assume that everyone around them is perfect. They would never leave their car keys in the ignition.

Instead let’s try a different tack.¬†

You can still focus on a better future, but insure yourself against self-sabotage by accepting that you have inner resistance.

By acknowledging my own very natural resistance, I pivoted from being the passive, defenceless victim of this external food compulsion to being the general manager of my mind. I saw it more like an organisation with a department that was harming the whole company. Because I was the CEO, I was ultimately in control Рeven if it felt uncomfortable to stand up to The Department of Inner Resistance.

Once you own your resistance, an amazing thing happens.

You reclaim your power.

Politicians are fond of saying “With great power comes great responsibility”.

I would like to flip that truism on its head and change it to “When you take responsibility you reclaim your power”.

And then you do the equivalent to locking your car: you plan ahead for challenging times, you create substitutes for the instant gratification of food, you replace foods that hijack your moods and energy with acceptable mood balancing snacks. You turn this challenge into an adventure and find some decent role models.

Start your journey to reclaiming your life from food by taking this eating assessment.

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