Want bigger, better biceps? Then just do barbell workouts. You don’t build muscle by talking about it. You go to the gym. That’s exactly what you do to build willpower! You build willpower by taking your brain to the (neuro) gym. Willpower happens in your brain. Just behind your eyebrows and to the left and right—that’s where willpower lives or dies.
There are 3 kinds of WILLPOWER:
- I WANT power lives behind the gap between the eye brows. It’s where the brain keeps track of your goals. It’s watching and monitoring.
- I WON’T power lives behind the right eye and controls your attention.
- I WILL power lives behind the left eye. It gives you the willingness to face anything.
Is it fair to say you can’t build biceps unless you know where they’re located? If you know where your biceps are, you can target them with specific exercises. That’s why it’s important to know where willpower is located in your brain. By knowing where willpower lives you can work on strengthening these parts of the brain, which not only builds willpower, but also helps deactivate the amygdala.
You might recall the amygdala is the troublemaker when it comes to defying OCD. It’s a broken alarm system that sends false alarms. The amygdala is responsible for quick emotions and quick decisions. It’s all about getting immediate gratification. Have you ever been tricked into a compulsion, “Just this one last time…” The amygdala is a trickster. It gets you to make decisions that seem good at the time, but actually lead you away from who you truly want to be. By targeting and strengthening willpower muscles in your brain the amygdala gets deactivated.
Willpower is something you can train for—just like any other muscle of the body. Get started on 5 quick and easy Willpower Workouts:
The first Willpower Workout is to use the pointer and middle finger of your dominant hand and tap (3 or 4 times) the inside of each eyebrow–one eyebrow at a time. State what you want: “This freedom. Even though it’s so hard to just let go, I love and forgive myself.” Then with your right hand repeatedly tap where the right eyebrow ends. State what you won’t do: “This compulsion. Even though it’s so hard to let go I love and forgive myself.” Finally with your left hand tap where the left eyebrow ends. State what you will accept: “This anxiety. Even though it’s so hard to let go I love and accept myself.” This is an authoritative workout because you are acknowledging you know where willpower lives in your body. The second benefit of tapping is that is self-healing. You are practicing self-compassion which shuts down the amygdala. For a much broader example and explanation of tapping watch this 4 minute video.
The second Willpower Workout is a focus exercise. For 5 minutes pick something to focus on. You need your mind to wander for this to work. You have to find yourself getting sleepy or fidgety or otherwise you won’t be working out. Notice what your mind is doing and then bring it back to the task at hand. Perhaps you’re coloring, concentrating on your breath, or reading a text book. As long as your mind is likely to wander, it’s the right task!
Eat a Willpower food. This exercise is to keep your blood sugar level so you don’t have highs and lows. Read last week’s blog for more information about how to do this. If you don’t fuel your brain in a steady way, you won’t have willpower because you’ll be constantly crashing and burning. In a nutshell…eat nuts, seeds, blueberries and Greek yogurt, not carbs and sugar.
Exercise daily. Again read last week’s blog for more information about this. But, basically, this is what’s known as the Willpower miracle cure. Out of anything you can do to increase willpower-EXERCISE-is a must. People who change this one thing find instant willpower in other areas of their life. For proof, watch this 3.5 minute video.
This Willpower workout is called Pause and Calculate. Take 10 seconds and calculate the probability of the proposed reward coming to fruition. Recognize when the amygdala is promising you something and see it as a trickster. The amygdala will promise you relief and happiness, but think back to how many times this promise was broken. Pausing will lead you to making the right decision. Letting go of empty promises gives you the willpower to forge ahead and face a fear.
You are just minutes away from building WILLPOWER. More willpower leads to more motivation! Tap where willpower lives in your brain. Practice focusing. Eat nuts! Exercise. Pause. Try any of these workouts on a consistent basis and let us know how you’re doing with “Bossing it Back.” Post a comment! We’re building a bossy pants community!