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Habits or Willpower – Which is Stronger?

Habits or willpower, which one do you think is stronger? Have you ever thought about it? If you said habits, you’re correct.

Let’s take a look at why habits are the hardware wired into your brain programming you to repeat actions and behaviors that will either empower you or inhibit you from accomplishing your goals.

You have a hundred billion neurons in your brain and you have had them since you were in the womb being developed. From then until now, you have developed habits from everything you’ve been exposed to, from good influences, values and skills to bad influences, trauma, and upsets. Out of that wiring, we are programmed to respond to life, challenges and perceptions in a way that aligns with our hardware or beliefs. From that hardware, our habits are formed emotionally, relationally, and physically.

Whether it’s learning to exercise every day or how to drive correctly, the habits we have built in will affect us in positive or negative ways. Knowing this, we have the ability to utilize willpower, which is the level of desire or perseverance that we muster up to accomplish something.

Ultimately, our habits are what drive you. You are on a sort of autopilot, based on that wiring that you put in. Since willpower is not supported by wiring yet, you must persevere in that willpower until new habits are formed and hardwired in. In the end, habits give us confidence, even when we’re under pressure. When you are faced with a challenge, you will always lean back on your habits or what you’ve wired yourself to do, whether reacting or acting in every situation, and even in your day-to-day routines. Whereas willpower will often fail you in emotionally charged states.

Therefore, as mentioned in the beginning of this article, it is habits that are stronger than willpower. The good news is, you have the ability to unwire or rewire old habits into new habits if you are determined to stick with it long enough. When I work with leaders, either in group training or individual coaching through executive training, this is one of the first things that we analyze and discuss. Because unless we build the foundation with good, solid, healthy habits, pushing them toward the right goals, they are going to flounder as soon as we try to apply any type of strategy.

IPV offers a 3 Phase Executive Coaching Program with the first phase dedicated specifically to building strong habits. Then, when they get into the second and third phase, we can really hone in on the specific strategies that need to change for both them and their teams.

I have also authored two books dedicated to altering habits and mindsets: “Reframe and Rewire, Greatness Through Daily Routine”, and a new release, “The Machine Inside Me”, which was written for not only youth, but it’s been endorsed for even adults in trauma.

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IPV Consulting | Executive & Team Coaching | MI