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Anterior Mid-Cingulate Cortex, Self-Efficacy and Hope


Willpower gets bad press.  Maybe that is because it is easier to sell books, pills, workout devices and articles if they boast of an easier way to get in shape and lose weight. We tend to admire people with a lot of willpower, but also think of it as something we either have or don’t.  Science has proven that to not be the case.

Scientists have found a part of the brain (the anterior mid-cingulate cortex) that is particularly large and active in high level athletes that put themselves through very difficult workouts day in and day out.  People that have described themselves as having no willpower have been scanned and shown to have a small anterior med-cingulate cortex.  In experiments where the people with small anterior mid-cingulate cortexes had to do things that required some willpower—something that was challenging, but attainable—their anterior mid-cingulate cortexes grew and activity level increased within days.  So, stretch yourself a little into some uncomfortableness.  Willpower is something that withers if you don’t use it and grows if you do.

Self-efficacy is where you gain confidence because you have seen yourself accomplish small things which can help you build on those to accomplish more which builds more confidence.

The last of the three is hope.  We need to be able to see a path to our vision (our Why) to have hope.

Some willpower is required to accomplish small, but challenging goals to build our willpower and self-efficacy.  As we get a small amount of success from accomplishments, we will be able to see a path to our vision, the snowball of hope, and the growth of our willpower and confidence.

2 Σχόλια


Mother Trucker
Mother Trucker
10 Ιουν

Very interesting Dave. My anterior mid-cingulate cortex is about to get a work out as I try to keep the weight off I lost due to a couple of herniated disc. And according to my surgeon it would be optimal if I shed a few more pounds. Increased brain mass equals smaller body mass.

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I am trying to push my self a bit on some willpower to see if it gets stronger as I use it. I am interested in checking in with you to compare notes in a few weeks.

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