Alcohol: The Rise and Fall of Willpower
Willpower- and why it just does not work, when it comes to trying to stop drinking, stop smoking, stop overdoing all of those things that bring us down and bring us the misery in our life, the stresses and strains. Willpower just doesn’t work.
As a highly motivated, high achieving, highly aspirational individual, you will have a lot of willpower. You have used it your whole life to overcome obstacles, to get what you want, to be the way that you want to be, to achieve any self-improvement any personal growth, to push through, you have used willpower. That is laudable, good and all fine. Unfortunately, when it comes to the alcohol paradigm and the collaboration shift, willpower doesn’t work. In fact, it actually makes it harder. You can still use it in the right way to help you make the shift, to recalibrate your life. It can be used but not in the way that it is used for everything else.
Willpower is like a battery, you may be able to recharge it but it runs outs and you can’t recharge it quick enough before we find we have done the very thing that we didn’t want to do again.
So what willpower does is it sets up a conflict between a part that does want to drink and the part that doesn’t. So the dialogue can be like this: ‘Oh Just one, I’ve had a hard day. I have earnt it. Oh I’m feeling so stressed this will help me’ and then the ‘You said we weren’t going to do this? This morning when you woke up you said you weren’t going to drink again, today, and maybe forever. What’s forever anyway. Why am I doing this? Come on its ok, just one won’t hurt’. That internal conflict is part of the problem and so willpower is part of that problem.
So, stepping away from that and applying different techniques and processes is the way through the problem because, when both sides of your mind want the same thing, now you are powerful, now you are powerful!
Have you ever been in a situation where you are thinking about moving jobs or moving house, or maybe even moving relationships and part of you wants to and part of you doesn’t and you find that you are in limbo which is a very uncomfortable place to be. Only when it comes to this conundrum it’s actually more uncomfortable, because within it all, we find ourselves constantly beating ourselves up; ‘why can’t I do this, I’m such a failure, I must be weak. I look around and everybody else and they are doing it. Why can’t I drink the way they drink? Why can’t I do life the way they do life? What’s wrong with me?’ And we go back to ‘I have to use more willpower!’
So, imagine that you are a fly, you would have seen the flies flying at the window trying to get out. What do they do, they fly at the glass pane. They hit it and then they drop down, and very soon they are doing the same thing again, again and again. Now we can take that fly to willpower school, we could sit it down and could give it a dressing down, ‘come on fly, sort yourself out, don’t be so weak and pathetic, just fly out the window. Just fly out to that sky where all the others are flying around. What’s the matter with you, come on! Or we could be compassionate and kind to the fly, it’s ok fly, just try a little harder’.
We can send that fly to the willpower school, can send it to the fly gym so it can build up its little fly muscles, we can big it up and tell it to come on, fly at that window again!’
So, we can do all of those things but what’s going to happen when it flies back at that pane of glass? It’s going to hit his little fly head and it’s going to fall down to the window ledge and land on its little fly ass.
The thing is what this fly doesn’t know is that just above that pane of glass that’s it’s been hitting human year, after human year after human decade. Is actually an open window, wide open near the panes at the top. All that fly needed to do was just to know that and fly straight through out to the freedom of the big blue yonder. Everything it wanted was already there, it just didn’t know that the way it had been going about trying to solve its problem was actually keeping it in the problem.
You can now watch my video relating to this blog post on YouTube, simply click on the below image and it will take you there.
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Hi, I'm Michela
I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!
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