Willpower is the ability to control our impulses, actions, or emotions. Willpower is seen as a key factor in many other qualities, including determination, drive, resolve, and self-discipline. While many consider willpower an internal element of brute force and self-denial—the ability to tell ourselves “No!” loudly and long enough to endure temptation—the truth is it’s a skill that can be strengthened through self-compassion and the honoring of our desires and true longings. Neuroscience, mindfulness traditions, and psychological practices have all unlocked many reliable strategies to develop our willpower.
If only you could control yourself. If you had more willpower, you could finally lose those last 10 pounds. If you had more self-control, you could finally stop procrastinating, save for retirement, stick to an exercise routine, and avoid various vices such as alcohol and cigarettes.