Blaming yourself decreases willpower. Forgiveness raises it.
“Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control. It is also one of the single biggest predictors of depression, which drains both “I will” power and “I want” power. In contrast, self-compassion— being supportive and kind to yourself, especially in the face of stress and failure— is associated with more motivation and better self-control.”
“…people who had told themselves “Not now, but later” were less troubled with visions of chocolate cake than the other two groups… Those in the postponement condition actually ate significantly less than those in the self-denial condition…”
and perseverance. It helped participants of the study to avoid TV and unhealthy eating.
But question “How I do something” hadn’t already such an good effect.
When willpower is on the verge, they shift the mindset of a tired tri-athlete: just keep going, you can do it.
DeWall C. N., Baumeister, R. F., Mead, N. L., & Vohs, K. D. (2011). How leaders self-regulate their task performance: Evidence that power promotes diligence, depletion, and disdain. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 47-65.
The researchers concluded this after monitoring more than 1,000 children from birth to 32 years of age.
Moffitt TE, Arseneault L, Belsky D, et al. A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safety. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2011;108(7):2693-2698. doi:10.1073/pnas.1010076108.
Muraven M., “Building Self-Control Strength: Practicing Self-Control Leads to Improved Self-Control Performance.”, J Exp Soc Psychol. 2010 Mar 1;46(2):465-468.
Using the opposite hand, for example with a fork, improves the strong will in participants of a study
Roy F. Baumeister, Matthew Gailliot, C. Nathan DeWall and Megan Oaten;”Self-Regulation and Personality: How Interventions Increase Regulatory Success, and How Depletion Moderates the Effects of Traits on Behavior” Journal of Personality, Volume 74, Issue 6, December 2006, Pages 1773–1802
“A study that was done by Adam Grant and his associates put a little sign under the soap dispensers that said, “Washing your hands reduces your patient’s chance of infection.” That produced a 45 percent increase simply by reminding the
doctors of a commitment that they had made long ago when they began their careers.”
Muraven M1, Baumeister RF, Tice DM.; “Longitudinal improvement of self-regulation through practice: building self-control strength through repeated exercise.”; J Soc Psychol. 1999 Aug;139(4):446-57.