Does strength mean perseverance, or withdrawal?

This is part 1 of the 3 part series on Strength and Willpower. In it, we cover:

  1. Does strength mean perseverance, or withdrawal?
  2. The #1 Misconception about Willpower
  3. How it's possible to lose weight without any willpower
Does strength mean perseverance, or withdrawal?

This series is all about the concept of strength and willpower!

And on this note, I want to share a personal story with you about one of the toughest decisions I had to make: leaving my office job.

Now, it might not sound like an intense life or death kind of situation.

But most of these decisions we make in our lives aren't so easily black and white, even though they might seem to be on the surface. They're deep emotional experiences that need acknowledgement, decision, and time to help with change.

Anyway, I had a really awesome job working for a luxury concierge company. 

I had been there for about 2 years and was aspiring to become a manager, and my director at the time fully supported that.

But before a promotion could happen, my director was relocated to another country, and my office was met with a new director.

When I met this new director for the first time and told her my aspirations, her reaction was, "...Has this been documented that you're in line to be manager?"

Umm....awkward! We didn't know each other so it was hard for her to make decisions based on my words, but I knew that if she needed to have physical evidence over performance review records, and didn't want to acknowledge my drive, that this was a bad sign.

Things got worse. And worse.

It was like a domino effect of staff leaving - we wound up losing 50% of our office staff in about 6 months, and my workload increased like crazy.

I started developing heart palpitations, which are where your heart starts racing and won't stop. Sometimes I would leave for lunch and come back and even hours later, my heart would still be beating fast from all of the stress.

When you lay out all of the facts on the table, the answers seem obvious.

In my case, I was stressed out, my health was being compromised, I was certainly not going to get a promotion or a raise, so....wouldn't the obvious answer be to look for a new job?

But there were so many thoughts swarming through my head:

  • If I leave, I would have wasted 2 years of effort for no reward
  • If I leave, I will have to start at entry level for lower pay
  • But I just moved to the town where my job is...how am I going to have to deal with commuting to a new place?
  • My colleagues are like family to me...I feel bad leaving them behind.

So, if you've read this far, you might be wondering why I'm bringing this up and what it has to do with "strength".

Well, I think we grow up with this notion that we have to keep on putting in effort and that work needs to be hard in order for us to reach our goals.

And that being strong means being someone who can handle a lot of hard work. To be someone who can persevere, who can stick to uncomfortable situations longer.

But I realized that being strong actually means having the courage to make decisions that are right for you, and that place you in the environment, relationships, and situations where you thrive.

It means having the courage to actually not do the things that you think you should do because they're hard, but do the things that actually feel easy because you're meant to do them.

Sometimes I wonder if people who quit when the going gets tough are the ones with the upper hand. And, I don't mean that for people who don't put in effort into anything at all. I am talking about the people who are sensitive enough to recognize when it's time to move on.

Okay, so, what does this have to do with diet?

Well, there are two things:

One is that you may be forcing yourself to do things in your life that aren't really going to have the payoff you hope for, that are compromising your health. It's time to reevaluate those.

And the second is that the most talked about obstacle towards getting healthy is "willpower". So, click here to read part 2 on the biggest misconception about willpower!