The power to muster the mettle to carry on is derived from our thoughts. The power we have over our thoughts strongly relates to the power we exert over our lives. Those who think that they have no power to make things happen are not going to make things happen. This creates a downward spiral of thinking and behaving that leads to attributing control over our environment to environmental or external controls. Feeling helpless leads to self doubt and low self-efficacy. We can classify people who have a poor sense of influencing their environment as low self efficacy or having a internal locus of control over an external locus of control. Distinctions should also be made between locus of control (a concept linked with expectancies about the future) and Self-efficacy as one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations. Both contribute to how we feel, think and act, and low self-efficacy has been linked to helplessness, anxiety and depression.
How strongly we believe we can impact our environment influences how we perform and/or reach our goals. Improved outcomes and more consistent positive performances strongly influence our ability for future positive results.
That creates a very intriguing question: How can we improve our self efficacy and diminish self doubt?
I would recommend self development in the following areas:
Reprogram your mind to be more logical. Please consider an in depth discussion and recommendations from my book Success Through Logical Thinking.
This idea of reprogramming our thinking and being lead by logic is a very powerful and transformative approach to success. Achieving more leads to greater opportunities to succeed and that increase self efficacy.
Understanding can overcome any situation, however mysterious or insurmountable it may appear to be.Norman Vincent Peale
Adopting a logical perspective can help us move away from an emotional one allowing an improved opportunity to reach our goals.DFL
Start small with attainable goals, once you get a few completed let the momentum carry you to greater ones. Please see my Blog – Goals for Achievement for more in depth thoughts and recommendations.
We have to set goals to improve our probability of success. For without a target how do we know when we hit the mark? DFL
Make sure your goals are strategic to your mission and intent and that your family and social support are trustworthy, that they are true alleys working with you to reach them.
Change your thoughts and you change your world. Norman Vincent Peale
When my mind tells me I can’t, I don’t always accept it. Our minds communicate with us in the language it understands and we often misunderstand. Have you ever been injured and using your injured area causes pain which we interpret as bad and it motivates a behavior not to move it. Over time immobilized areas cause a greater problem and more issues. Our mind is telling us no, but experience and logic requires us to and this is no different in areas where we want to attempt to reach a goal and our mind tells us we can’t.
Have you ever trained for an event such as a race, then you know your body will warn you not to but it takes our objective evaluation to make that determination. There has to be a conscious effort to control the stream of thinking in our mind or it is a fire hydrant of input. We have to practice and train our minds like we would our bodies to filter out the needed information and discard the false thoughts. False thoughts are a mixture of our feelings trying to relate to past experiences. Your mind’s protective nature may cause a thought based on fear and your inner voice has to know how to respond. That is why it is a great to have positive affirmations.
Here are some daily affirmations:
I will attempt to positively control my world by selecting positive thoughts and actions. DFL
Believe and act as though it is possible to solve your problems.DFL
Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.Emile Coue
What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.Plutarch
We need to repeat them or have motivational quotes we can utilize because this way of thinking needs to be reinforced.
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. Henry David Thoreau
The fear of failure and rejection play a big part in our ability to muster the courage to try. We have to have strategies to address our fears. We have to push ourselves outside our comfort zone. I no longer fear failure or respond to criticism because I am immune from my exposure to it it and my deliberate mindset to over come it.
Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory. Norman Vincent Peale
Achievement has a compounding effect! Remember – any move,no matter its size in a positive direction, is positive. Start with small obtainable goals or objectives then build on them until the challenges grow.
I am speaking about physical training. I know many entrepreneurs including myself who use the advantage of physical training to build their concentration and also to see that pain of training is temporary quickly replaced with the exilleration of trying and achieving. Notice I didn’t say succeeding, I can train hard and not win but I still have achieved all the benefits that come from training.
Those higher in self-efficacy have greater motivation and persistence.DFL
We look at everything so linear when sometimes problems need to be solved by an oblique approach. We accept defeat too early, at times problems aren’t an end they are an opportunity. Thinking in those terms makes us higher in self efficacy.
Being more creative gives us more potential avenues to pursue a solution. While saying that helps we need practical application to succeed in improving our creativity. There are many ways we can become more creative personally I like to train, walk, read, draw, write and be adventurous. Find your own ways, there are many, you just have to be willing to try new things and be objective about the effectiveness.
Work on Spirituality
I am not advocating a religion, anyone who knows me knows I am a Christian and my lens is strongest from that point of view but it is not closed off to other spiritually significant perspectives. Spirituality gives us hope and that can increase our confidence and self efficacy.
Do not fear and do not dismay. Isaiah
Manage Negative Emotional Thinking
Negative emotions bread negative thoughts and behaviors which are counter current to success. It goes back to development of our Mind as the key to diminishing the influence of and controlling our emotions thus improving emotional IQ. Please see my Blog – Emotional Thinking Traps for more in depth thoughts and recommendations.
The Mind influences the enterprise of the brain which influences every thought and feeling we have.DFL
Regular motivation helps us focus our thoughts on positive areas that influence our thinking in a positive direction. Please see my Blog – Motivation Matters for more in depth thoughts and recommendations.
Expose yourself to the things that will grow yourself. Development is deliberate, plan your growth and when the journey gets wearisome have effective motivational nudges to keep you going.
Bottom line – we need to learn how to motivate ourselves when our irrational mind attempts to convince us there is no hope in trying.DFL
Improve Your Social Interactions
First and foremost you have to desire to make this change and be willing to face your insecurities and overcome them. Improving your social skills is a process and cannot be accomplished immediately. Enhancing your positive personality traits and addressing deficient ones requires objectivity. Observation and input from those you trust can be helpful. Consider Improving communication and listening skills as they can improving your social skills. You can learn how to improve your social skills by developing excellent listening skills, learning to resolve problems and conflicts, understanding body language, accepting responsibility for your own negative behavior, self-awareness and enhancing your Emotional IQ.
Climbing the ladder of achievement will ultimately lead to a scaffold crowed with others i.e. team members, associates, partners, etc… There will come a time your effective social skill set will be required to break the barrier and allow further ascent.
When you are in the midst of a dilemma I want you to attempt to evaluate the input from your mind. You can also revist past experiences and re-apply your thinking to see if you can resolve what you attributed to the problem and how you can improve your reactions in the future.
Really be objective in what you are attributing the problem to – is it self-determined, or are you attributing your problems as a result of the orchestration and organization by powerful others or are you attributing it to a chance-based occurrence. Once you know you can revisit your attributions through a more educated and logical lens.
Should you gain in these area and develop a higher self efficacy here are a few other areas that may benefit as they are closely related to increase self efficacy – internal locus, cognitive processing, resistance to social influence, self-confidence and delayed of gratification. All of these are attributed to happier and more successful people, attributes worthy of gaining.
My work in leadership and self development has provided me the insight of the power of increasing self efficacy as a means of advancing. I hope what I have provided is a help to you and grants you greater future opportunities.
Self doubt unmanaged stops us from living a full and significant life.DFL