Think you only have a limited amount of willpower? You could be setting yourself up for failure. In a new Stanford study, students who believed willpower was an endless resource did better on the last word puzzle in a series than students students who believed that willpower can run out.
How come? Your mindset gauges how you think about exhaustion, explains study co-author Greg Walton, Ph.D., of Stanford University. If you believe your willpower is limited, when you start to feel tired during a tough project, you take it as a sign to take a break. But if you believe it’s unlimited, you feel the same adversity but it’s not a sign to stop.
Here’s a tip to help you power through: Think back to a time when you didn’t fold under pressure, Walton says. That reminds you to that even when you’re pushed to the limit, you won’t crack—giving you just the shot of motivation you need.