Updated: Nov 11, 2020
What is self-efficacy?
Self-efficacy is the ability to believe in oneself enough so that we can accomplish the things we desire. “[It] reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment” (Carey and Forsyth, www.apa.org, 2020).
I have now been in health and fitness officially for a little over 9 years. When I first started, I lacked the confidence to get in front of others and guide them during a workout. Nevertheless, I knew that in order to do what I had set out to do, I would have to get over that somehow and just show up. The more I showed up, the more I was able to overcome the fears.
The problem for many of us is that we don’t even want to show up in the first place. We don’t feel that we will accomplish what we set out to do, so we don’t even start. This goes with anything in life. In business, this is also an issue.
When I moved back to Jacksonville, Florida, I went through a series of things that led me to believe I should quit what had taken me so long to build. I was told I needed to get out more in the public, but I didn’t have the confidence to think I could make an impact on those around me, even though I had already been successful at doing so for years. The reality was, I forgot about the accomplishments and allowed fear to guide me. This sent me down a rabbit whole psychologically and financially.
There were times I didn’t know if the rent was going to get paid and I was listening to flawed advice I’d maxed out my credit cards on. I wasn’t treating people like I needed to treat them because the fear of failure was blinding me of what got me started with all this in the first place. So what changed?
I knew that if I didn’t do something different, and quickly, I’d never be able to recover from the losses. While I could have easily given up or stopped pursuing the new desire to achieve a successful business, I began realizing that in doing that, I would be showing my daughter it was ok to quit when something is difficult. That was a hard pill to swallow.
So how do you establish self-efficacy? For me, I had to find something bigger than myself. I had to realize that I could either continue to sabotage my life and not show up for those around me, or I could begin to just go after things and see where it all led. The more I began to just show up, the better things were getting.
While I will not sit here and say I have it all together, I can say this: if we don’t believe in ourselves, no one else will. I had to learn how to build that confidence back up. I had to realize that I could start over in a new environment. I also had to believe in myself and my capabilities. I had been given the opportunity to change so many lives. However, I was allowing this temporary setback make me forget all that. While it did take away my motivation and completely impacted my behavior for a bit, I knew that in order to get out of the slump I was in, I had to move forward.
In order to establish self-efficacy, we have to find that inner place. We have to dig deep. We have to stop allowing our fears to take over our desires. We also must believe in our capabilities. If we are not doing these things, we will never be able to accomplish what we set out to do.
I have helped a lot of people over the years through providing motivation and encouragement. I have seen their transformations. I have seen my capabilities. If I am confident what I have works, there is no reason for me to second-guess it. This goes for you as well. You can change old habits. You can reach your goals. You can change your environment to be more supportive (if not in your household, then with new friends and relationships outside your household). Be around the people who want more in their lives. Don’t stay around those who are pulling you back. While this is usually easier said than done, it is a must. For me, I do my best to be around high achievers. I know that if I am around people who are moving forward, I will continue to move forward as well. I also rely on God. This was no always the case and it may not be the case for you, but what I learned is that leaning on my own understanding was not getting me anywhere but further in the hole. While I still battle this at times and want to go back to doing things my way, I have to remember there is a higher power capable of doing more than I could ever imagine. If we allow ourselves to believe that, we may find that our fears disappear and our confidence rises naturally.
My personal relationship with the Lord grew massively after my longing for financial freedom and fear of the unknown finally got the best of me. I had pushed everyone away that trusted me by this time. My pride made me sever friendships. It was by the grace of God that I was able to emotionally recover. While I still have a long way to go to get out of the financial rut I put myself in last year, I know that if I continue serving others and providing value, people will want to pay for the services I offer. They will want to allow me to be on this journey with them. They will want to learn how to become more self-confident in their own lives. The difference between now and then, is I now BELIEVE I am operating in my purpose.
It took me a lifetime to get here. I pray it doesn’t take that long for you. I have sabotaged myself more times than I can count. Nevertheless, I am also a testimony that as long as you believe in yourself and don’t quit, you will achieve the desires in your heart. You won’t have to operate out of fear of the unknown anymore. You will establish self-efficacy. You will achieve more than you even realized you were capable of. All you have to do is let go and operate knowing you CAN accomplish anything you put your mind to. If you have a goal, don’t question it, go for it. You are enough. You have all you need in order to achieve that goal. If you need someone to stand with you, God will send you the right person.
According to the Carey and Forsyth (www.apa.org, 2020), “Unlike traditional psychological constructs, self-efficacy beliefs are hypothesized to vary depending on the domain of functioning and circumstances surrounding the occurrence of behavior.” Think about something you have yearned for. Why have you not begun the journey to get it? What is holding you back. Self-efficacy could also be called self-sabotage. If we don’t believe in our hearts we are worthy, we never will be. If we don’t love ourselves, we will never allow ourselves to achieve success. We will make up excuses why we aren’t able to do certain things (lack of money, lack of time, lack of motivation). We will never believe we can accomplish our desires.
I pray you don’t choose to say in this place if you find you are here. Dig deep. Find your why. Then, go after it. There is no reason why you can’t be successful in an exercise program or learn how to track your foods. There is no reason you can’t achieve financial freedom. There is no reason why you can’t step out on faith and write a book. There is no reason you can’t achieve literally everything you want in life. All it takes is the inner confidence to believe in yourself and realize you are more capable than you think.
Carey, M.P. and Forsyth, A.D. (2020). American Psychological Association: Teaching Tip Sheet: Self-Efficacy. Retrieved March 21, 2020 from https://www.apa.org/pi/aids/resources/education/self-efficacy.