Am I stronger than you?
I hear it all the time, “it’s easy for you”, “you don’t understand how hard it is”, “you were just born with more will-power” and “I’m not as strong as you are”.
I am calling bull-#&$% on all of that! What is will power anyway? According to the definition, it means you have control over what you do or do not do. I see will power, motivation and self discipline very much the same way, however, it seems most people will say will power really seems to have to do more with what we refrain from doing, self discipline and motivation has more to do with what we make ourselves do.
My quote “the hardest piece of equipment to use in the gym is the front door” applies to me too!
When it comes to my workouts, they don’t always come easy! I start work pretty early and I travel from the gym to homes to train in the afternoon. That means, when I have the time for my workout, I have to do it in my home gym, late in the day and like most people, when I get home I have a million things that “need” to be done. I need to eat, walk the dog, answer client emails and texts, invoicing, research and even writing these articles could get in the way of exercise. So what makes me do it, when I really don’t want to? I do! I talk to myself like I would a client, what are my goals, how do I expect to reach them, and if I don’t follow through today, what does that mean for tomorrow? It is not because I am stronger than anyone else, I have just learned how to talk to myself and become self disciplined. I am motivated also by not wanting to be “a fraud”. I am sure to practice what I preach as much as I possibly can!
You are stronger than you think
Have you ever had control over your actions?
Have you ever gone to work when you didn’t want to, or followed through on a commitment you wish you hadn’t agreed to? I bet the answer is yes! That means you are equipped with the power of will….. you just may not have your priorities in line with your goals.
For instance, you have decided you would like to lose 5 pounds but you also love cake…… where is your priority? Enjoying the cake or losing the weight? If you choose to eat the cake, is that a lack of will power or it misalignment of priorities? It is ok if you decide you would rather eat the cake than be on track for the weight loss. It doesn’t mean that you do not have will power though, it’s just an easier way out, to say you don’t.
I love fresh kettle chips! When I am working toward certain goals I have to say to myself (and to others) “I don’t eat potato chips”. It is not easy, especially when they are sitting right in front of me and they smell sooooo good! However, If I say I don’t eat them, then I almost don’t want them. I have done that through the years with alcohol and sweets. When training for competitions and eliminating the things that could sabotage my efforts, I was often peer pressured to eat or drink certain things, the only thing that worked to get people to let it go, was to say, “I don’t drink” or “I don’t eat sugar,” or “I don’t eat bread” etc…..
It is not always easy
It is not easier for me, or harder for you. We all have the ability to follow through with the things that are important to us. Just be real about it and say, It’s just not that important to me yet. I chose to stay home instead of go to the gym….because It’s just not important to me yet..….I ate the cake instead of saying no, because it just wasn’t that important to me yet.….I would rather feel good now, and worry about the repercussions later because “it’s just not important to me yet”.
Sometimes I believe that we don’t follow through with things because of the fear of failure, or the fear of hard work.
How do we achieve will power or become self disciplined then?
Everybody is unique in what motivates them. My hope for you is that you can start by being totally honest with yourself and set your priorities straight. The definition of motive above says it is something, like a need or desire that causes us to act. Figure out your needs and desires first and set some goals based on them. (A need is more motivating than a desire because if it is truly a need, we have no choice but to act.) Write down a few desires and some small goals that will get you closer to what you want. Ask someone to support you, and maybe even hold you accountable.
Victoria S.A.I.D. can also work for self discipline. Stop and think about what you really desire for yourself. Analyze what each step is to get you there, Identify what obstacles may get in the way, and have a plan when they present themselves. Distract your mind away from negative thinking. (I do this through visualizing my success!). Everyone has the ability to do what needs to be done to reach their goals, we just need to make them a priority!
*If you want help putting your desires into action steps, send me a message and I would be happy to help you!