If you have a problem with willpower you might want to meet your future self, not just have a fantasy of it. Willpower is important in our lives as it is the ability to control attention, emotions and desires. These in turn influence health, financial security, relationships and every kind of success.
By definition a willpower challenge involves two conflicting goals. Part of you is thinking about long term interests (e.g. weight loss) while the other part wants immediate gratification (chocolate!).
When people say they don’t have any willpower they are often referring to difficulty saying ‘no’ e.g. the chocolate, the drink, the purchase. You can think of this as ‘I won’t’ power. But saying no is just part of willpower. At times it is important to say ‘yes’ e.g. to those things you put off until tomorrow, e.g. the decorating, the accounts, the exercise. This is ‘I will’ power.
‘I will’ and ‘I won’t’ power are two aspects of self control, but they alone don’t constitute willpower. What’s also required is ‘I want’ power. Willpower is about harnessing these three powers of ‘I will’, ‘I won’t’ and ‘I want’.
So how can your future self help? The trap that people blindly fall into is that they imagine their future selves always having more energy, more willpower and more time than their present selves. It is also perceived as being better organised and more motivated than the present you. We idealise our future self expecting it to accomplish what our present self can’t manage. Thinking so highly of our future self would be fine if we could count on it to behave so nobly. But more typically when we get to the future our ideal self is nowhere to be found, and the same old self is left calling the shots.
Part of the problem lies in our inability to access our future selves thoughts and feelings. However a powerful remedy to this is a technique we use in the TimelineEFT Practitioner Training. Here you are able to step into the future, and have a realistic and strengthening relationship with your future self. Interesting research has revealed that people who develop a stronger future self relationship are more likely invest in themselves and can help with any willpower challenge, protecting them from the unwanted impulses.
If this is of interest to you or your clients the next TimelineEFT Practitioner Training takes place on 22nd & 23rd November. Here you can experience and learn this deep and powerful approach to personal change. This training is unavailable elsewhere so I hope you can make it, whether it is for your own development or to use with others.