Will Power is Scarce

Will power is scarce. It really is.
Please, read this article careful as it might be the most important fact you  learn at this time of year when most of us set New Year Resolutions.

According to a fascinating experiment published in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, one act of self-control depletes your ability to have self-control in another unrelated area. For example, when someone was told not to eat chocolates sitting right in front of them, their
persistence in puzzle solving went down considerably. Allow this to soak in; just staying away from chocolate hurts your performance in all other tasks!

A similar experiment simply asked people to suppress an emotional reaction to a movie. These people had problems solving a solvable anagram while the group who watched the movie without restrictions solved it without problems.

Both studies show that when we are asked to consciously use our “will power” we struggle in all other areas. Actually, we are really only able to use our will power (conscious self regulation) on one thing at a time. So if you are multi-tasking don’t be surprised if not all tasks are finished with the same excellence. If you focus your attention on some other act of self control… You can kiss whatever you were doing goodbye.

This is the overwhelming reason why willpower only works in the short term. You only have the conscious resources to exhibit willpower on ONE (or at the most two) fronts at one time.
This is why it is so hard to stay disciplined with healthy eating habits and exercise for instance.

Source 1: RE Baumeister, E Bratslavsky, M Muraven, and DM Tice. “Ego Depletion: Is the Active Self a Limited
Resource” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 74, 1998.
Source 2: Moraven, M., Tice, D. M., & Baumeister, R. F. (1998). “Self-control as a limited resource

Source 3: Zimmerman, M. (1989). “The nervous system in the context of information theory.” In R. F. Schmidt & G. Thews (eds.), Human Physiology, pp. 166-173. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.

Your conscious mind is only able to process approximately 50 bits of information a second, while your unconscious mind processes approximately 1,2 million bits per second.

That means your unconscious mind processes information THOUSANDS OF TIMES FASTER than your conscious mind.
Much of the time, your conscious mind is actually the bottleneck towards effecting true change, as its main role is getting you through the day in the here and now AND setting long term goals. Researchers call this “Executive Control.”

So the trick is to train your subconscious mind to think better, more positive and supportive thoughts. Wouldn’t it be nice if you naturally were propelled forward, towards living your dreams without having to use willpower?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you automatically had the behaviors you have always wanted to have; the behaviors that you need to actually get you where you want to go?

Well, strange as it seems, all you need to do is learn to use even a small part of your subconscious by starting to allow only supportive thoughts into your consciousness. As in all else the choice is yours. I share several techniques with you in my book “To be or not to be – the choice is YOURS!”

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From Goal Setting to Goal Achieving

I always say that you can only go as far as your confidence let’s you. Apart from the obvious what do I mean with that?

In the film the Secret it is said that the Law of Attractions works as follows: ask – believe – receive. Which part of these 3 steps do you think is our biggest challenge? The believe part of course.

We normally have no problem asking and when we get what we want, we also have no problem receiving but we do have a big issue with believing. And it is here where we also have our challenges when we set goals.

So let’s look at some scientific facts to help understand the reason why so few of us reach the goals we have set for ourselves. Scientists found that only 2-4 % of what we do actually comes from our conscious mind. This is where our willpower and persistence originates from. But 96-98 % of what we think and do comes from our non-conscious. Most people do not achieve their goals because their 2-4% willpower and persistence against an overwhelming 96-98% is just not strong enough. We are driven by our non-conscious mind or as it is called in neuroscience our implicit memory system.

Let me explain. Our implicit memories are locked in our subconscious. They consist of memories necessary to perform events and tasks, or to produce a specific type of response or emotion. Driving a car becomes an implicit memory once it has become automated but these implicit memories cannot be looked up or remembered so we cannot use them for conscious actions or reasoning.
That is why the “believe” part of the Law of Attraction is so omni-important. As soon as we truly believe that we can achieve/be/have whatever it is we desire, the emotion, this feeling of ‘knowing’ that it will happen, will actually help us make it happen. It activates the 96 – 98 % non-consciousness to act in our favor. And when that happens we become truly unstoppable!

So instead of beating yourself up when you do not reach your goals find the WHY you want to reach it. Find the true reasons, the ones that get you exited and your blood boiling and focus on that. If you believe you can achieve – you will! If your why is strong enough, the how becomes easy.

Happy achieving!
Barbara
www.trainingvisions.com
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