Why does using willpower rarely work in the long run?
Don’t try harder, try smarter
Whether you are trying to lose weight or stop smoking, most people find that using willpower just doesn’t work. It is a simple fact of human behaviour that if a person struggles to achieve something which they consciously desire (and are capable of), their subconscious mind is, for some reason, against the idea and is sabotaging their conscious efforts.
To understand why it would do this, we need to know three things about the subconscious mind.
- Its fundamental purpose is to ensure our survival. It really is like a computer – we are born with certain programs pre-installed, and we inadvertently add further programs as our life develops. These new programs are mostly acquired in our childhood, but we can also acquire them as adults in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, many of these acquired programs are actually not in our best interests at all.
- The subconscious mind is immensely more powerful than our conscious mind, and consequently we almost always lose when we pick a fight with it.
- By definition, we do not consciously know what programs it is running, or why.
You might wonder why your subconscious mind would consider it a good idea to be overweight, for example. There are many possible reasons, but one of the easiest to understand is where there is a history of sexual abuse. The subconscious mind may have decided that this extremely unpleasant experience is probably less likely to re-occur if your body is seen as ‘less attractive’. I repeat that there are many other possible reasons, but this is one that makes obvious sense.
One of my favourite maxims is ‘don’t try harder, try smarter’. So the ‘smarter’ approach in this scenario is to change the subconscious program which is thwarting your desired outcome. So rather than fighting the powerful subconscious mind and trying to lose weight that way, you bring it onside so that you are working with it, not against it.
Realistically, it is much easier to seek out a hypno-analyst than to try and do this yourself. Although I can hypnotise myself, I would still seek help to achieve something like this. The hypno-analyst would first need to help you to uncover the event in your past which caused the program to start running, then when you have released it, install a new belief which is in line with what you seek to achieve. It is a fairly simple process, and highly effective.