Stop Counting on Willpower

Stop counting on willpower.

Have you been envious of people who seem to have so much willpower it never seems to wane?

Well if it makes you feel any better, nobody, no – no – nobody has infinite willpower to behave exactly as they wished from now until eternity. And, no offence, but I’m not optimistic that you will either.

While there are things we can do to strengthen our willpower, today I want to suggest you implement skills and strategies instead.

For example, if you want to eat better, instead of relying on willpower alone – implement a daily strategy of adding two servings of veggies per meal.

If you want to resist treats, implement a strategy of having 2 glasses of water and waiting 10 minutes before you indulge.

If you want to eat less sugar, develop a some new culinary skills around  sugar-free baking in the kitchen.

Implement skills and strategies,  it’s one more way you can live, Your Life, Unlimited!

On this week’s radio show Genella MacIntrye, shared her specialty and passion, social psychology.  She is the author of the upcoming book, 5 Steps to Managing Stress and share lots of great information with us about being assertive. One question she encouraged us to ask that I know would be very effective is “What needs to happen for me to assert myself.”

Asking great questions is the best way to get great answers!

But wait there is more! Marcia Reynolds author of The Discomfort Zone – How Leaders Turn Difficult Conversations into Breakthroughs. In our interview she explain why our brains are not always our best friends! As well as the podcast below, you can enjoy Marcia’s guest blog post here…

How to Have a Difficult but Good Conversation

By Marcia Reynolds, PsyD

Do you keep worrying about that difficult conversation you need to have? Here are some guidelines to help you prepare and engage someone to increase your odds of having a good outcome:


  1. Consider why the person would want to make a change. When people feel you only want to talk to them to fulfill your needs, they won’t engage with you. They have to feel that the change you want them to make is tied to something they value, too.  What’s in it for them to have this conversation with you? Sincerely tie what you want to what they want to ensure a good outcome.
  2. Check your feelings. If you enter the conversations feeling angry or disappointed, the person will shut down or react defensively. You need to feel calm, caring and hopeful. Visualize how you will stay calm and hopeful that you can work this out together.
  3. Let go of knowing. Instead of thinking you know how the person will react, try believing anything can happen. You might be surprised. Be curious about what the person thinks and what solutions might emerge.


  1. Once you open the conversation, acknowledge both their words and feelings. For example, say, “You seem very upset that your efforts were ignored. Is that right?” Many people walk through life believing no one cares or understands them. Demonstrating that you hear and understand their feelings may be all they need before you can ask what they might do next.
  2. Release the need to be right. Be curious and ask questions to understand their perspective. Acknowledge and accept when their point of view differs from yours.
  3. Don’t rehearse what you are going to say while they are talking. Don’t get distracted by your thoughts. Remember, you can’t connect with others if you don’t stay present to what they are saying.
  4. Resist reacting to defensive behavior. Stay calm and model the behavior you want from them. Notice when your stomach, chest, shoulders, or jaw tighten up. Breathe, relax your muscles, and choose to feel compassionate, curious, patient, or hopeful instead.
  5. If you can’t get over feeling angry or disappointed with their reaction, tell the person why you are feeling that way. Then follow up with hope for the future should they choose to work toward achieving the goal.
  6. Recognize unwillingness. If the conversation is going nowhere, call it out. For example, say, “You don’t seem willing to look for a solution. Is that true?” If they agree, then you need to determine what action you need to take next based on their expressed unwillingness to move forward.

Difficult conversations can be the most meaningful times you spend with others. Instead of trying to fix people, help them feel seen, valued, and understood. Then maybe together, you can find a way forward.

Read more about having meaningful, profound conversations in the book, The Discomfort Zone.  For more information on training in emotional intelligence and advanced coaching skills, check out .


Enjoy the whole radio show here…


Stephanie Staples, CSP* is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success, an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, and the recipient of the 2014 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur Award for Contributions to Community. Stephanie empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home. You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at

* Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), conferred by the National Speakers Association is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform proficiency. Less than 10 percent of speakers have earned this credential and are recognized as some of the best in their fields. Stephanie was one of only five professional speakers in Canada (and the only woman) to attain this designation in 2013.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy  |  Site Map ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. © Stephanie Staples 2022