We admire those with great mental strength and willpower, but how do we build those qualities in ourselves? This is one of the many things no one ever taught us in school.
We know how much better our lives could be if we just had a little more willpower:·
- We could stick to our diets and exercise routines.
- It would be much easier to save money.
- We could get ourselves to do all the things we know we should be doing but don't.
A little more willpower and mental strength might be all that’s needed to take your life to the next level!
Try these strategies to increase your mental strength and willpower:
1. Do things you fear. There are plenty of things that you fear. It might be snakes, clowns, heights, dogs, or swimming. Choose a fear and face it directly. When you remove a fear, you become more powerful. You know that you have the mental strength to accomplish anything.
2. Take on a physical challenge. Nothing can toughen you up like physical discomfort:
- Train for and run a 1K/5K/10K/marathon - whatever is a stretch for you!
- Climb a hill/mountain.
- Go for a long hike with a heavy pack during cold, rainy weather.
3. Take a course in public speaking. This is such a common fear, it deserves its own category. The beautiful thing about overcoming this fear is how much it can add to your life. Toastmasters is a fantastic supportive organization to learn this with.
4. Just sit. Try meditating or just sitting on the floor and staring at the wall for an extended period of time. Boredom and restlessness are challenging to endure. See how long you can last and try to surpass your previous record each day/week.
5. Try taking a cold shower. This is a convenient physical challenge. There are many health benefits to be gained by exposing your body to cold. You have a perfect opportunity each morning. Turn the temperature down and shoot for at least five minutes each day.
6. Do a 30-day challenge. Consistency can also be mentally challenging. Pick something useful that you normally wouldn’t be able to get yourself to do and do it for 30 days straight. It might be following a diet, going to the gym, playing the piano every day for an hour, or anything else you can think of. I’ve picked 30 days as many studies have shown this to be the minimum to embed a new habit into our routines.
7. Talk to strangers. Most of us dislike talking to complete strangers. There are people everywhere. Just pick one and start a conversation. You’ll be surprised how easy this becomes, eventually.
Quick tip: "Hello" is the easiest opener and least likely to get you ignored.
8. Fast. Try going a day or so without food. There are tons of health benefits. Eating three meals a day is sometimes unnecessary and unhealthy for adults. Please, talk to your doctor first. (I’ve not tried this one myself – thoughts on the idea?)
9. Visualize. Everyone has heard about visualization, but few people actually do it right . You can improve your mental toughness by practicing in your mind. Visualize yourself overcoming challenging situations. If you want to learn how to do this properly, please consider taking my Visualising For Success mini-course (free at the time of writing).
10. Talk to yourself. Give yourself a pep talk before and during challenging situations. Tell yourself that you can handle it. If you want to learn how to write bespoke affirmations for yourself to help you with this please consider my Affirmations That Work course
11. Get up early. Getting up earlier than absolutely necessary is a challenge. A cozy bed is hard to leave, especially when it’s cold and dark outside. Try getting up an hour earlier for a month. There’s that 30-day habit forming duration again – just don’t pick February ?
Most of us know enough to be much more successful and satisfied than we are. Our level of willpower is the limiting factor for most of us.
Practice these strategies regularly and I'm sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results!