How to boost your career will power

Do you procrastinate when it comes to your career? Do you mean to apply for a promotion or a pay rise but somehow never get round to it? Do you know what you need to do to take your career forward, but despite your best intentions you’re just not doing it?

We trot out excuses like “a lack of time”, or “other things got in the way”, but, let’s be blunt – really it’s about lacking the will power to stick to our goals and make them a reality.

So how can we boost our will power – and our career?

In my experience there are eleven, tried and tested, ways to boost your will power:

1. Goals: Set goals, write them down, make sure they’re SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, time-based). Set a time by which you plan to achieve each goal

2. Motivation: Write down the benefits of each goal. Visualise the goal as being achieved – make it a clear, strong, vivid visualisation

3. When-then games: Do you play when-then games? For example “when my partner gets a pay-rise then I’ll take action”; “when I’m 100% sure of success then I’ll start”. Drop them now and start taking action

4. Commitment: Make a commitment. Promise yourself – and maybe even someone else – that you’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it

5. Act as If: Think of someone you admire who’s achieved the same goal or something similar, or who could easily achieve it. Ask yourself what they’d be doing in your situation. Then do it.

6. Self Belief: If a lack of self-belief or any other limiting belief is holding you back, ask yourself what you’d be doing if you had a more positive belief. Then do it

7. Bold action: If a one-step-at-a-time approach isn’t working or is too slow – take bold action. Do something courageous or imaginative

8. Time management: Set some time aside every day to move it forward, irrespective of any short-term priorities that may be competing for your time. Make a clear decision to drop tasks that don’t need to be done and won’t contribute significant benefits

9. Accept the feeling, choose the action: If uncomfortable feelings get in the way, accept the feeling (be willing to experience it and tell yourself it’s just a feeling that needn’t stop you and won’t do you any harm). Then do whatever you’d be doing if you didn’t have the feeling. Doing this repeatedly will unwind the unconscious beliefs that are driving the feeling. If you’re fearful or anxious, and you know your reticence isn’t justified by any real danger, accept the feeling and do whatever it is that’s making you anxious

10. Focus on contribution: If you’re stuck on a goal, try rephrasing the goal in terms of what it will do for others. This takes the focus away from your own so-called limitations and gives a new impetus to the goal

11. Take control: Identify anything that’s mediocre in your life and take steps to eliminate it. Get fit, spend more time with the kids, eat healthily, create a sensible work-life balance, keep the desk tidy, quit smoking. Use the ten tips above to make it happen

These tools aren’t meant to be universal. Some ‘when-then’ games may be sensibly cautious. Taking some bold actions might be unduly risky. However, whether you want to boost your current career or change focus altogether – utilising these tools appropriately will give you the willpower to achieve any goal you set yourself.


About Graham W Price:
Graham W Price, Chartered Psychologist, CBT Specialist and Stress Management Consultant. He offers a seminar in London costing just £20.00 that teaches Positive Acceptance. See . The seminar is available on DVD at

Graham’s book What Is, Is! The Power of Positive Acceptance, based on his training, is available from Amazon and good bookshops. A free pre-view can be downloaded at .

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