“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford
Not long ago, I decided I’d like to be in business for myself. As I’m finding out, this is no small endeavor! I’ve known people that have owned successful small businesses and others that weren’t successful. I’ve created a business template of my own based on the observations of those other small businesses. And almost every day I remind myself that companies have entire teams of people working toward the company goal; I have just me. Some of the pieces include; web design, marketing, continuing education, finance, creating training plans, conducting the training and coaching, etc.
Three of my strengths are perseverance, self regulation, and bravery, yet this commitment is no less frightening. Along the way, I’ve found people and resources to teach and guide the many intricacies involved in launching AlohaCoach. Take for example my website; I knew with relative certainty what I wanted it to contain and what image I wanted to project so with the end result in mind (which would be ever changing), I created a checklist. From there, I methodically networked to get the links working properly. Once committed, there was no going back; each step being built on the last. Seeing the parts beginning to work together gave me confidence that my foundation was solid.
My learning curve on building a website has skyrocketed, along with my confidence in success. One of my clients recently said to me “It gives me hope that I can figure it (website building) out too, because you have.” Through trial, correction, networking, creativity, courage, and perseverance, we’re both building self efficacy, and that’s a powerful indicator of life long success and well being!
Self efficacy is the belief that one has the ability to initiate and sustain a desired behavior. In other words, if we believe we can do something, we can. And of course, as we do the things we believe we can, our confidence grows and we try new things. The process is self perpetuating.
There are three interacting factors that determine human behavior according to Social Cognitive Theory and Albert Bandura. They are: Personal (what we believe and how we feel about what we can do), environmental (our support networks and role models), and behavioral (what we ourselves experience and accomplish.)
Embarking on change can cause us to feel stress, but stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Stress is simply defined as stimulation. Too much or too little stress is called “distress” and may provoke anxiety or boredom, respectively. Eustress is defined as “good stress” and is what we feel when we’re engaged in an activity that is both challenging and skills are high and equal to each other; also knows as “Flow” according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
It’s important to have people in your life that communicate confidence in your ability to achieve goals that are important to you. When that confidence is sincere and based on your strengths, it does a lot to bolster self efficacy, which supports your ability to keep moving forward.
It’s also important that the people in your life share your values. Just being around people that emulate the strengths you value, build you up and give you reason to keep growing. They represent what you want to be and as such, you incorporate the qualities you continuously surround yourself with.
When you see someone doing something you thought you couldn’t or you watch someone succeed at trying a new endeavor, you begin to believe through vicarious experience that you can do it too. This is especially true if you identify with the other person in some way (gender, age, profession, etc.) Seeing others succeed can be a strong motivator for taking on new challenges.
The most powerful source and outcome of self efficacy is mastery experiences. What we accomplish ourselves cultivates perseverant and successful effort more than anything else. The key is defining realistic goals and celebrating wins. As the old saying goes, “Nothing breeds success like success.”
In setting goals and designing plans that are just within your reach, you’ll experience more flow. This is the sweet spot of action, energy, and confidence.
Learner and sharer of all things healthy, active, esteem building, growth promoting, witty and Hawaiian