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About Willpower


Loving the Cambridge Diet

The Definition of Willpower

Willpower can be defined as "The ability to control your behaviour and actions through strength of mind".
If you are trying to make changes or break free from a difficult habit then you may see at as ' a question of willpower' as to whether you will succeed.

The society in which we live puts great emphasis on success and failure and also highlights the belief in the power of the individual to achieve personal change.

That through strength of mind or character we should be able to take control of a situation and of our behaviour.

The Emotions and Willpower

The problem with willpower is that if we don't succed in making changes as quickly or as easily as we like then we can feel ashamed or guilty or inadequate.

Willpower and emotions are inextricably linked

Succeed and you feel good - Fail and you feel bad.

Therefore placing reliance on the strength of your own willpower can cause problems for us

In reality change is not easy

There is a famous saying in therapy circles - "There is no such thing as failure - only feedback".

We need to assess our mistakes in a very practical way and to learn from them in a helpful way.

Being Pragmatic

There is a therapy model which argues that most people go through the following stages on the way to change:

1. Not even thinking about changing at all
2. Then wondering if change might be possible, wondering if you might be able to manage it
3. Making the decision to change
4. Acting upon the decision to change
5. Maintaining that decision to change

This model of change irecognises that at any stage it is quite normal for a person to lapse.

However you don’t need to blame yourself or feel guilty when you lapse.

Instead you can take a totally different viewpoint -

“So I have had a lapse. I am attempting to make a change and lapses happen. I will try not to lapse again and will take steps not to lapse"

Then, instead of feeling guilty and beating ourselves up, get back on your feet and try again

Use practical strategies to help you to make the changes that you want.

1. Make short-term goals
2. Identify situations where you might be tempted to lapse
3. Plan how to deal with the temptation to lapse.
4. Rewarding yourself when you achieve your goals.

How do we increase our Will Power?

1. Write down the reasons you want to succeed
2. Write down a list of the reasons it would be beneficial for you to achieve the changes you have set out for yourself.

Keep the list handy to look at regularly throughout the day

Practical Changes You can Make
1. Realise that lapsing is normal on the path to making major changes
2. Treat it pragmaticall - recognise the progress you have made thus far
3. Try to understand why you lapsed and learn how to cope with that situation in the future.

Don't be too hard on yourself - give yourself leeway - make practical changes to achieve your goals.

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excellent post - thankyou STBG :D


Loving the Cambridge Diet
This is a given psychological model well-known in psychology circles

It is soooo true, though, isn't it? When you think about it

We do beat ourselves up on a regular basis about all sorts of things but particularly for having 'no willpower'

We just need to get our mind into gear to co-operate with us

Am doing a Certificate in Life-Coaching which brought forward this particular model


Mrs B

Silver Member
S: 24st1.7lb C: 23st1.1lb BMI: 53.8 Loss: 1st0.6lb(4.32%)
We do beat ourselves up on a regular basis about all sorts of things but particularly for having 'no willpower'
TBH it doesn't help when other people do the same to you. I had an argument about this with a nurse in my gps surgery. She told me I "just needed to have some willpower".

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