How to Escape the Willpower Trap

Filed under: Personal Growth

If you’re struggling to either DO things you want to accomplish, or NOT do things you want to avoid, and you’re relying on willpower, you’re missing out.

Let’s fix this problem by escaping the willpower trap.

Before we jump in, let’s define willpower as using our conscious attention to either do something we want to do, or avoid something we don’t want to do.  Quite often willpower is about trying.  And as we often say … “try” implies failure.

Your conscious effort is finite. Like trying to run up a hill without the proper training, your willpower will eventually run out and you won’t accomplish anything.

Imagination is Better than Willpower

We’re hypnotists, so of course we’re going to encourage the use of your unconscious mind. And to kick the power of your unconscious into gear, you’ll start by using your imagination. When you vividly imagine something, it’s much easier for your brain to reach that particular goal.

We’ve got a great 3-step strategy for you. It’s called the “Three I” strategy because each step starts with the letter I.

Watch the video here, or keep reading to follow along.

The Three I Strategy 

(That looks weird to write, but say it like "three eye")

The first step is Identify. You must know what you want. Put this in positive terms. Maybe you’d like to be super fit or to learn a new language. If you’re avoiding something (like donuts), decide what you want instead. Perhaps you want to easily ignore donuts and begin enjoying fresh vegetables.

Step two is to Imagine. This is where you vividly imagine yourself doing whatever it is that you decided in step one. You’ll want to do this in a dissociated manner. This means you’re not in your own body, but looking at the scene as an spectator; seeing yourself doing that exercise, or enjoying that healthy food, or waking up early … whatever it is … but see yourself in the image somewhere “over there”, whatever that means to you.

The final step is to Install. In hypnosis and hypnotherapy we often talk about installing change as if it were some kind of app you downloaded onto your phone. But in this case the “app” is the change that you’re looking for, and the “phone” is your brain. 

An easy way to do the installation is to imagine seeing that other you, over there, doing that new behaviour brilliantly. Then reach out and actively imagine pulling that other you inside of your actual physical body. 

Breathe and feel the power of taking on, in your imagination, everything you want to be.

After you do the installation make sure you do an ecology check. As you stand there and breathe, feeling the new behaviours as if they are real right now, make sure you check two things to ensure the change is ecological.

First, do an internal check. Is that change what you really wanted? If you imagined being more physically fit, maybe your new behaviour is easily walking past the junk food aisle in the grocery store. 

But perhaps you’ll realize that what you really want, even more, is a muscular physique. You’d then want to run the protocol again, this time imagining the new behaviour of enjoying lifting weights at the gym, or whatever works for you.

Second, do an external ecology check. How will others see you and behave around you if your behaviour changes in the way you imagined? We have to admit that we all care, to some degree, how others think of us. If you need to make any adjustments after your external check, just run the protocol again.

For Bonus Points: Do This in Self Hypnosis

This “Three I” process will automatically create a light hypnotic trance. And we often describe hypnosis as an amplifier of human experience. 

So why not amplify your results even more by putting yourself into a trance, on purpose, before you even do this activity? Self hypnosis is incredibly easy to learn, and we even have an entire training program called Easy Self Hypnosis, which is included in our Personal Growth Membership.

Now it’s your turn! What aspect of your life have you been using willpower to try to change? Go ahead and use the “Three I” strategy right now. Let us know how spectacularly well it works for you.