Will power is like a muscle, the more you train it the stronger it gets!
Have you guys heard that platitude before?
I totally agree with it!
Will power results in action and action builds trust.
When we trust ourselves more, we get stuff done. So if will power is a muscle than trust is the oil that keeps it going!
Trust that there is space for our opinion. Trust that our opinion is valued. Trust that even if no one is listening now, they will listen at some point. And trust that if no one likes it we will always stand back up again.
But there is another side of will power that people don’t talk about and that’s what to do when you have none of it!
Because right now I got nada!
Gone Baby, Gone
I competed in a powerlifting competition at the end of February. The 9 weeks running up to the competition was one of the busiest times in my BLP memory book so far. It was cray!
(Ain’t it Jay?)
I placed significant value on the competition so I wasn’t prepared to let my training slip. I had to find the time!
I was following the awesome Alpha Strength Challenge so all I needed to do was show up and follow the damn programme.
As a result will power came so easily because I had little else to worry about. Training was challenging but so worth it. Every week I could feel myself get stronger both mentally and physically.
Fast forward to the present moment in time…
I feel like a hippopotamus and I probably have a face on me that resembles that awkward moment when you just smelt one of your farts and can't decide if you like it or hate it.
My will power is gone.
And no one ever talks about that.
During periods of low will power I have felt guilt, self-pity, and frustration. I literally can’t understand why I am broken… what is wrong with me?
I feel weak both in my head and body.
I fall out of sync with my routines and I ruminate.
I lament my will power.
I am in mourning for the version of me that got everything on my to do list done and still have time left over for online window-shopping.
Or at least I use to.
What do you do when you have no will power?
I am a strong believer in using moments of high will power to prepare for times of low will power.
I have competed in a couple of competitions before so I knew that I would get very tired (lazy even) and that it would take at least a week before I got back into the swing of things.
Right now it has been 9 days and the closest I have got to training was bouncing on an aerobic ball whilst watching James work out.
Training and simply moving is so important to me. I use to get so annoyed at myself for feeling unmotivated!
So when I was feeling on top of the world and and had buckets of will power I made the following commitment to myself, to protect myself when I had a shortage of will power.
I will move every day – walk, swim or play. I will acknowledge that my body and mind have done A LOT since Christmas and it is time for a break, it is OK that I take a break. I will forgive my lack of will power and I will no beat myself up. I will forgive myself for taking some time off, for being lazy and for feeling tired.
For the first time ever I am OK with having no will power because I know that it is a phase and I will ease my way back into training (and balancing this with life) shortly. I trust myself - even with something that is as important to me as my health and fitness. I will turn to James when I need help and this is why having someone to hold you accountable can be so valuable.
It is not possible to operate at 100%, 100% of the time - it is unrealistic to expect our body and mind to do this.
For me, will power feels like an itch that I constantly need to scratch. At the moment, I have to regularly check that my legs are still there so suffice it to say there is no itch, yet!
It is OK to have a shortage of will power. It takes time to reboot and reenergise so be kind to your body and mind. Use times of high will power to prepare for times of low will power and give yourself the break you deserve. Ask for help you need it (wink, wink) and be kind to yourself.
(In spite of all this there is a silver lining... for the first time in a really long time I have started reading a non-fiction book and I am so happy just reading.)