Willpower Is A Flawed Concept


If you want to make any permanent change in your life, willpower won’t get you there.

Willpower is the internal struggle that exists between your current behaviour and desired change. It describes the cognitive dissonance between your bad self and good self.

If you’re serious about the changes you want to make, willpower won’t be enough. Quite the opposite. Willpower is what’s holding you back.

Think About Willpower

If you really think about it, willpower is a short cut.

It’s your admission that you “should” change something, for example your addiction to social media, but your mind doesn’t actually want to stop.

When broken down, willpower is used when you haven’t committed to change so instead you create conditions that facilitate your desired change.

Sound familiar?

So, what if instead of using the word willpower, we used the word commitment.

We can only make desired change, when we are committed to this goal.

What Is Commitment?

Commitment, when it comes to enacting change and achieving goals involves:

  • Making it public
  • Investing upfront
  • Setting a time line (with incremental goal posts)
  • Placing yourself in the right environment to support your commitment

If you’re truly committed to something, you don’t need to enact willpower because there is not a fibre of your body that wants to go against your internal promise.

Commitment means you have thought out your goals and your decision to commit was informed and purposeful.

All doubt and disbelief, especially in relation to your weakness preventing you from reaching your goals, are gone.

When put like this, it’s easy to see how “willpower” is a tentative step forward towards your desired goal, whereas commitment is something different altogether.



Author: Leila Mezoughi

Leila is PCA’s Head Editor and Researcher. She holds a 1st class Law with Business degree and became a published author at 25. Former crime investigator turned business journalist. On a mission to show businesses that presenteeism is a thing of the past. Everything seems impossible until it’s done. Typically found working from a white beach in South-East Asia embracing rapidly changing technology.

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Willpower Is A Flawed Concept - PCA LAW