Is Sheer Willpower Enough to Keep You Away from Toxic Relationships?

Is Sheer Willpower Enough to Keep You Away from Toxic Relationships? is sheer willpower enough to keep you away from toxic relationships?
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“I swear I will never go back to them after all they’ve done to me” or “I swear I will not pick up their calls again” are just some of the statements you might firmly tell yourself as you seek to keep away from your past toxic relationship patterns. You really psyche yourself up that you will not do something again because you consciously know its harmful effects on you, and you also know that they won’t change their behavior.

You feel so sure about yourself, but we all know what happens when they actually call or when loneliness creeps in; you simply can’t resist the idea of calling them or just jumping into another relationship. So, despite all your vigor and determination, you find yourself crumbling down when it comes to the moment you face your fears, and that’s when you realize conscious determination or swearing is not simply enough to keep you away from your familiar habits.

So, why is sheer willpower not enough to break free from toxic relationship patterns?

Determination and willpower are conscious efforts, and while they are crucial components of breaking free from toxic relationship patterns, the challenge often lies in the unconscious aspects of our psyche. The unconscious mind plays a significant role in our behaviors, emotions, and decision-making, often influencing us in ways we may not fully understand or be aware of. Here’s an explanation of why unconscious factors can pull us back into harmful patterns despite our conscious efforts:

1. Familiarity and Comfort Zone

To the unconscious mind, familiarity often translates into a sense of safety and security, even if a toxic relationship is harmful. The longer we remain in such relationships, the more accustomed we become to their dynamics, even if they are detrimental. As a result, our unconscious mind associates the familiar patterns with a comfort zone, making it difficult to break free from the toxic relationship. The idea of leaving the known, no matter how harmful, can trigger feelings of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. This unconscious pull towards what is familiar can create a powerful psychological barrier, making it challenging to take the necessary steps to maintain your sheer willpower.

2. Negative Beliefs and Self-Worth

Deep-rooted unconscious beliefs about ourselves have a profound impact on our willpower and ability to make positive changes. Beliefs like low self-esteem or feeling undeserving of love can act as powerful internal barriers, undermining our confidence and motivation.

Often formed during childhood or as a result of past negative experiences, these beliefs shape how we perceive ourselves and our worth. When faced with challenges or the desire to break free from toxic patterns, these deeply ingrained beliefs can lead us to doubt our abilities and worthiness, sabotaging our efforts before we even begin.

3. Coping Mechanisms

Unconscious coping mechanisms serve as protective shields that we develop to cope with stress or emotional pain. When faced with difficult emotions or unhealed wounds, these coping mechanisms may unconsciously draw us back to toxic relationships, even though they are harmful.

The toxic relationship becomes a familiar space where we can temporarily numb our pain or avoid confronting deeper emotional issues. The toxicity, though damaging, may seem less daunting than facing our unhealed wounds head-on. This cycle perpetuates the reliance on the toxic relationship as a coping mechanism, making it challenging to break free and seek healthier ways of dealing with our emotions.

4. Emotional Attachment

Unconscious cognitive biases can significantly impact our perception of toxic relationships and hinder the effectiveness of sheer willpower in breaking free from them. One such bias is idealization, where we unconsciously focus on the positive aspects of the toxic person while overlooking their harmful behavior. We might remember the few good times and cling to the hope that they will change, ignoring the consistent toxic patterns they exhibit. This idealization creates a false sense of attachment, making it challenging to detach ourselves from the toxic relationship.

Additionally, rationalization is another cognitive bias that can cloud our judgment. We may unconsciously justify the toxic person’s actions, attributing their behavior to external factors or past trauma, which prevents us from seeing the relationship’s reality. These unconscious biases can weaken our sheer willpower, as we remain emotionally attached and invested in the illusion of a healthier relationship.


In conclusion, recognizing the impact of unconscious factors on our relationships is essential in understanding why sheer willpower alone might not be sufficient to break free from toxic patterns. Unconscious cognitive biases, deep-rooted beliefs, and coping mechanisms can cloud our judgment and hinder our efforts to escape toxic relationships. However, we can empower ourselves by harnessing sheer willpower as a catalyst for seeking therapy and personal growth. By actively working on ourselves, we can become more self-aware, uncover hidden wounds, and address aspects of healing beyond our consciousness.

Embracing therapy and self-improvement with sheer determination enables us to dismantle the emotional barriers holding us back, allowing for genuine transformation and the creation of healthier relationships. As we take charge of our healing journey, we cultivate the strength to overcome the pull of toxic patterns unconsciously drawn into our lives, ultimately paving the way for a brighter and more fulfilling future.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these subconscious patterns for good (in less than 2 months) using Mind Shifting, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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