Do you have a strong will or good willpower? What does willpower mean and what is will? Plus, tips to improve it.
‘Will’ is simply our ability to make conscious decisions or choices. We as humans can choose what we do and how we live. The vast majority can, anyway. This choice is known as ‘Will’.
Willpower, either having strong or poor willpower, is often used as a label for how people deal with temptations. These temptations vary greatly. For example, resisting the temptation to eat junk food, drink alcohol, breaking the law, or even resisting the need to please or accommodate somebody in some way.
Willpower is resisting a desire to act upon or say something that could potentially be harmful to ourselves and others.
It can be seen as a conflict of the mind. For example, the conscious rational mind and subconscious desires. Another psychological way of explaining this would be a conflict between the id, the ego, and the superego.
Some people will naturally be able to resist temptation better than others. This can be for a number of reasons. Such as natural brain chemistry, current mood, current life situations including stress, anxiety, and depression, the way we were raised and the people around us, just to name a few possible influencing factors.
Poor Willpower vs Lack of Desire
If somebody gives into their desire, is it because they have a lack of willpower? Or do they not actually want to resist the temptation in the first place? How badly do they actually want to resist? Some people will use a lack of willpower as an excuse. However, maybe they simply don’t wish to resist the desire in the first place. They may not want it badly enough.
Can you improve your willpower?
Change is difficult, especially when we are adults and we become set in our ways. However, change is possible. If giving in to certain desires is harmful to us, understanding exactly how it is harming us is important, and then commitment and dedication is required until resisting the temptation becomes a habit.
Tips to improve your willpower
- Sleep deprivation is known to affect our decision-making processes. So, if you are getting less than 6 hours a night, work on increasing it.
- Studies show that stress can be a large influence on our willpower. So, work on reducing your stress levels.
- Keep yourself busy with things that interest you. This is simply a distraction from certain negative desires.