Change: When Willpower is Not Enough

When I am asked what it is that I do, I say, “I am a change agent.”  I help individuals and couples find solutions to whatever they feel is holding them back from living life to the fullest.  That means helping them find ways to take charge of their life, so that they have the courage to attain what they envision their successful life to be.

Over the years I have learned that some of what I thought would help people did not. For instance, I naively thought that willpower would be a motivator and that if one stuck with it long enough, change would happen.  I learned that willpower was not sufficient. It worked at first, but people were not able to keep it up and reach their goals.

One of the reasons it did not work was because the intent was to stop a behavior they felt was bad.  I have seen people have much more success when they have put their energy into doing what they were passionate about.  Their mindset was such that they believed in what they were doing, instead of trying to stop a behavior they considered to be negative.

With a negative mindset, the focus is on constantly remembering not to do something. Trying not to do something makes it bigger and actually increases the likelihood that it will happen more often.  When you do something with a positive mindset, you are reinforcing something you want to do. The interesting thing is that you discover you do have the power of will to achieve your goal.

What I have learned is that what leads to life-long change is having a belief system that is based on a particular mindset. Personal growth is possible throughout life when one believes they are worthy of love and success, and are willing to apply effort and time to achieving personal happiness, meaningful relationships and creating the life they desire.  I have found that people who accept that change is not a quick fix, but learn to enjoy the journey, will attain that which initially seemed an impossibility.

As Walt Disney said: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

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