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Show Notes:

Welcome to Hello Rebecca Ray, our collective home for courage, growth and human to human connection. I’m your host, Dr. Rebecca Ray, human, clinical psychologist, author, and educator. I know only too well how fear, comparison and self-doubt can stifle your potential. This podcast is all about brave and meaningful living and how you can make your authentic contribution to the world today and everyday.

Hi, lovely one. Welcome to Episode 72 of Hello, Rebecca Ray. This is the second in a three-part series for this month on overcoming self-sabotage. In this episode, I’m taking you into my Overcoming Self-Sabotage course, for a little snapshot of what the course is like. This is the video on the willpower bucket from module two of Overcoming Self-Sabotage. If you’re in a position where you really want to get out of your own way, and actually start doing the things that you say you want to do, but instead you’ve been procrastinating or you’ve been perfectionistic, or you’ve been waiting for the right time that never comes, then jump over to my site, rebeccaray.com.au/courses and dive into the course. The course that has helped so many students step into their potential because they’re no longer sabotaging themselves. Let’s get into this episode on the willpower bucket.

Hi, lovely one. Welcome back to Overcoming Self-Sabotage – From Paralysis to Progress. We’re in module two, where we’re aligning the elements and getting you to understand all the motives that you have to continue self-sabotaging. In this video, we’re talking about your willpower bucket. The sum of our cognitive resources is our willpower. And if you’re thinking Beck, calm down with the academic speak, let me explain what cognitive resources are. Cognitive resources include your attention, your concentration, your mental, emotional and physical energy and your perception of how psychologically strong you feel. Think of willpower as a bucket that can be filled or drained each day. And please know that usually, our reserves of willpower are strongest at the beginning of the day. So when you start out the day, you often feel stronger psychologically as in, that’s as good as it’s going to get in terms of your energy to be able to tackle things that are difficult or require quite a lot of willpower. It also means that if you’re perhaps changing self-sabotaging habits into self-supporting habits, and those changes need to happen at night, that you need to be aware that you’ve got to spend time building the resources in your willpower bucket during the day to make sure that you’ve got enough leftover in the evening to do the changes that you want to do. So it might be that you want to change what it is that you do when you lay on the couch and watch Netflix in the evening, perhaps you reach for a cookie and you’d rather eat something different. Rather than a cooking, perhaps you’d want to pick a piece of fruit or something, please know that if that happens at night, it’s harder to have the willpower to do so. So you need to take care of yourself during the day, so that you have willpower left.

So think of your bucket, it looks like this, for willpower, you’ve got perception of psychological strength, physical, emotional, and mental energy and concentration, and attention. All of these things make up your willpower. And if you’ve got a full bucket, then your elephant is more likely to be willing to do the thing that’s difficult. It’s much more willing when your willpower is strong. In terms of understanding your willpower bucket, the first thing is to note as I said that your bucket is most full at the beginning of the day, your resources reduce as the demands of the day use them up. So the more you ask your elephant to do challenging tasks, the quicker your willpower gets depleted, and the quicker your elephant loses motivation to continue doing hard things and instead wants to kind of walk away from them. So once your resources are depleted, they won’t increase again unless restoration occurs. So that is you know, let’s say you’ve done a whole series of tasks that were hard for you in the morning, you can’t just keep expecting yourself to work through the afternoon and into the evening if you don’t stop and replenish your bucket, things won’t improve like, it might feel hopeful. You might think if I just spent all day on this, then I’d get it done. You know, in rare chances, you might sorry, in rare circumstances, you might be able to work through that entire time doing something that was difficult. But it’s likely along the way, what happens is you get a dopamine hit that keeps you going because you are actually facing the thing. Most of the time though, if we ask our elephant to do any more than say, three or four hard things during the day, then we can expect that we’re starting from a willpower bucket that’s empty to begin with. So just be mindful of how many things you’re actually asking your elephant to do. And this is one of the reasons why doing the hardest thing on your to do list first in the day, gives a massive dopamine hit because it’s done and over and done with and can make the rest of the day easier. And it also means that you’re not getting to the afternoon and then asking your elephant to do something difficult with a willpower bucket that’s partially or completely empty.

Whenever I’m creating content. So as I film this video, it’s about 930. In the morning, I do all my tasks that require a lot of brainpower, especially my writing in the morning hours. It’s rare for me to be doing something like this after about 12pm Because I just don’t have the strength left in my willpower bucket to face it. So I changed my expectations rather than expecting myself to work through the entire day. I work hard in the first few hours of the morning, and then I do the easier tasks later on in the day. That way it works with my elephant and not against it. Your willpower can be built up over time those so that you start each day with a little more in your bucket. We cultivate cognitive resources by paying attention to our needs, seeking to fulfil those needs in a healthy way, and working with ourselves, not against ourselves.

So, I’m talking about actually doing the things that support you. So, eating well, sleeping well and sleeping enough, making movement – prioritising movement as part of your schedule and making sure that you take time out to rest, relax and have joy in your life are brilliant ways in an ongoing way to build the resources in your willpower bucket. If you’re not eating well, you’re not doing the things that help you you’re not exercising, you’re not sleeping well. And you’re expecting yourself to essentially run on empty for a long period of time, you can expect that unfortunately, your willpower stores will also be low. So, these things will result in a holy willpower bucket not wholly as in spiritual but holy as in plenty of ways that willpower can seep out. Stress depletes your willpower. Multitasking depletes your willpower that weak fuel like weak nutrition, sleep and movement depletes your willpower. Being tired depletes your willpower. Too many choices depletes your willpower. Elephants don’t like to have to make too many choices. We’ll talk about that in its own video video shortly. And having to make difficult decisions will also deplete your willpower. Not impossible. But, and none of these things are impossible to cope with. It’s just about understanding that they put extra strain on your bucket to begin with. So if you’ve got an empty bucket, you can expect that your elephant will be on autopilot. That means that your elephant is likely to be on the loose and running away from your values rather than running towards them. To fill your bucket cognitive resources can be maintained and improved during the day, by good nutrition, taking regular breaks, setting small goals and just working on those small goals, single tasking that is just doing one thing at a time rather than expecting yourself to do 15,000 things, doing the hardest thing first to get a dopamine spike. Keeping a promise to yourself like let’s say the night before, you promise yourself that you’ll go for a swim first thing in the morning, I do this, I promise myself that I go out and go for a swim and if I actually go I get a huge dopamine spike. Acknowledging your wins gets a great dopamine spike so that can be by crossing off something on your to-do list or by actually stopping for a moment going yeah, actually did that really counts. getting quality sleep and quality rest. By rest I don’t mean that you’re actually sleeping I mean that you’re out slowly allowing yourself downtime or whitespace in your day, and having the mental downtime to enhance creativity, problem solving and general wellbeing, believe it or not to have our creativity and problem solving at its sharpest, we need to have time where we let our brain do nothing. It’s really, really important and it’s especially important for willpower. Take care of your bucket. If you start with an empty bucket. Remember, no cognitive resources equals no willpower, you’ll be less likely to do anything differently.

So, if your bucket is empty, self-sabotaging actions seem like the only way that you can cope and they do give you some relief. But if you’re serious about overcoming self-sabotage, then please get serious about filling your bucket. The more you build your resources, the more willpower you have. And the more willpower you have, the stronger you’ll be to choose an alternative instead of old self-sabotage routines, so the stronger you’ll be to choose alternative self-supporting habits rather than lapsing back into old self-sabotage habits. We also need to talk about willingness and discipline, their willingness to change is about being so uncomfortable with your present reality that the discomfort of change is preferable to staying stuck. Discipline though, is the act of making tiny choice after tiny choice to continue to come back into alignment with your values. So, willingness is a mindset. Discipline is the actions you take based on that mindset. I want you to honour yourself lovely one. Remember, you’re worth it. You deserve the life you’re out to create.

Overcoming Self-Sabotage is about having the patience to dislodge and rewrite old stories we carry about ourselves into new stories of empowerment. And this takes time and consistent tiny actions towards the life we want for ourselves, you can do it. And I’m here to hold the belief for you while you’re developing it for yourself. So, your real life action for this video was to jump into your workbook, and be radically honest about what you’re doing to fill up your willpower bucket. Be radically honest about what’s draining your willpower bucket include both those things that are external to you. So, things that you can’t necessarily control and things you’re doing or not doing as the case may be that drains your willpower bucket. And we step forward with gentle acceptance. Lovely one, I hope you enjoyed this episode 72 on the willpower bucket from my Overcoming Self-Sabotage course, if you want more, then I don’t blame you. Because this course has been transformative for so many students who want to overcome their own self-sabotage, jump over to my website, rebeccaray.com.au/courses. And you can get the course for yourself a four-part flight plan for you should go where you are stuck into your own version of freedom. I’ll catch you very shortly for the next episode of Hello Rebecca Ray.

Lovely ones. Thank you so much for listening to Hello, Rebecca Ray. If you got something meaningful from this episode, then the most meaningful thing you can do is jump on over to wherever you listen to your podcast episodes, and leave a review. Because it’s those reviews that help this podcast stay here. Make sure to subscribe, and if you’re generous enough to share this episode, thank you so much. I love seeing your shares on social media. So please tag me, catch you next time.