Back

Reframing “No” As “Yes”

  • Share This:

It’s been said that if you fall down seven times, you should get back up eight. The meaning in this is that bona fide growth stems from How you handle a misstep, rather than just overcoming it. Willpower is the key cognitive process for exerting the control necessary to keep going and refrain from the impulse to give in. But sometimes, it’s hard to remember that willpower is much more than resisting. It’s often about embracing.

The trouble with resisting is that we all have a finite amount of mental energy available for exercising self-control. Some of us have less, some have more. But we all eventually run out of willpower steam. That’s why the more difficult choices you’re faced with during the day, the harder it becomes for your brain to process intensely and the more you start to look for shortcuts.

According to Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, willpower’s actually comprised of three powers: “I Will Power,” “I Won’t Power,” and “I Want Power.” In Epipheo’s animated How To Say “No!” to Almost Anything video short, Dr. McGonigal explains these three constructs.

It’s important to note that relying solely on resistance, or “I won’t power”, depletes your physical and mental energy. This is what complicates the self-control process and makes it feel so hard to change. However, the ability to reframe resistance into an act of willful duty towards what you will do, or want to do, can be the key to saving precious mental energy and embracing productive choices.

While mustering up the willpower to take responsibility for your goals, inhibitions, and everyday missteps does take energy, it’s also a cognitive maturity that blends deeply into emotional intelligence. The ability to manage one’s emotions is a contributing factor to all kinds of successes. Many studies have discovered that strong emotional intelligence is the largest contributing factor to personal and professional success. Take a moment today to assess something you’ve been exercising willpower on to resist. Then, consider how you might reframe your mindset to embrace this new pattern of “I Will” and “I Want” thinking.

“Emotional self-control, delaying gratification and stifling impulsiveness underlies accomplishment of every sort.”

– Daniel Goleman, Ph.D.

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

Related Content

post thumbnail
In the Flow of Work
Forward Toward Growth

We are in uncharted territory. As each of us strives to navigate significant turbulence and uncertainty, there is one constant that remains true: no one is an island unto themselves. The person you are...

post thumbnail
In the Flow of Work
When Personal & Professional Worlds Collide

Our homes are no longer just a home. They’ve become our offices, movie theaters, gyms, restaurants, and coffee houses. In addition to being full-time employees during the workday, we’ve taken on responsibilities as daycare...

post thumbnail
In the Flow of Work
Make Your Own Moments

Don’t hold back. There’s not a day that goes by where inspiration doesn’t matter. Not a day where it’s not possible or doesn’t have meaning. There’s also not a moment that goes by when...

Man with beard resting head on hand, and a woman in the foreground, both looking up at a presentation.

Insights on People Analytics, Self-Mastery, High-Performance Teams and the Future of Work

Get insights delivered to your inbox.