Hello world For my very first CloudbreakPT post, I want to mention a term that is very important to me, a term that I rarely hear in conversation. Have you heard of “self-efficacy”? What does this term mean to you? Why is self-efficacy so important, and what can we do to get the most out of it?
In a nutshell, self-efficacy is our belief that we can achieve the outcomes we seek. The term is common in psychology, economics, sociology, education, exercise science, and many other fields. I like to think of it as self-confidence in action.
Like confidence, self-efficacy is being studied widely as it is believed to be critically influential to outcomes affecting social mobility, educational success, quality of life, health and fitness. Put bluntly, when we believe in our abilities to succeed, we do. Have you experienced this in your own life, or as you help and support others?
As a Personal Trainer I have a particular affection for self-efficacy. I would love to tout diet and exercise as the most important and fundamental investments we make in our health, but first and foremost comes the belief in ourselves, our abilities and the various processes of self-improvement. Our success hinges on self-efficacy.
Sometimes it comes to us, sometimes we create it, and we should always nourish it. How do you feel when you are faced with a challenge and are confident that you will do well? How does this self-efficacy affect you physiologically, how does it affect your mood? Pay attention to these things, it turns out that it is a two-way street! Self-efficacy changes our attitude and our posture, but our attitude and posture can also increase our self-efficacy.
First, stand tall, take a deep breath, spread your arms wide and smile. Think of your positive traits and imagine the rewarding outcomes of your best efforts over time. Know that the task you have set out to accomplish is possible, and that with dedication, you will succeed. Hold on to that pose and feeling.
Now that you know how to recognize it, even create it, it’s time to enjoy it. Self-efficacy is a beautifully self-perpetuating cycle. The more you have, the better your outcomes, the more positive regard you will have for future challenges. The process of learning a new skill becomes enjoyable from the initial struggle, to the eventual mastery. It makes me smile just to think about someone learning a new skill, because I know we are on the right path.
As obstacles appear and lapses happen, we can count on our self-efficacy to get us back on track faster, and we will be better in no time. So whatever you are seeking, keep going, believe in your ability to make the changes that you want to see in yourself. Please, tell me about your experiences with self-efficacy!