One of my favorite quotes is, “Your body is a strong machine, but you have to fuel it with a powerful mind.”
I love this quote because I believe the most significant factor for achieving your goals is self-belief or, in other words, your self-efficacy. Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your lifestyle.
Efficacy: The ability to produce a desired or intended result.
Self-efficacy is defined as your belief in yourself to engage in or accomplish something, such as reaching your weight-loss or fitness goals. There are four steps for improving your self-efficacy: mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and somatic/emotional states. I believe it is important to have a true understanding of each of these steps so you can begin to improve your self-efficacy and learn to have confidence in yourself and your successes.
First, Mastery Experience is the idea that if you have done something before, you are more likely to feel confident you can do it again. As humans, we crave success and hide from failure. This is why you need to make sure you start with small and achievable goals. As you achieve these goals, you will be able to gain more confidence and continue to build upon your success to make new goals. You will build your perseverance and gain confidence in your ability to overcome obstacles.
Second, Vicarious Experience means that as you observe other people and the behaviors they engage in, you are more likely to follow suit. In essence, if they can do it, you can do it too. This can be especially important for individuals who are unsure of themselves. You simply need to surround themselves with the types of people they want to emulate and copy their goals. If you do not have these types of people in your life, you can do this by way of social media. Follow uplifting and positive Instagram accounts and Facebook pages—especially those of people on their own fitness journeys. When you see other people succeed, it can help you believe you can as well.
Third, Verbal Persuasion can be described as social support or encouragement. If others think you can succeed, then you will. I recently wrote an entire post about the importance of support in our lives. Humans crave acceptance, and therefore we are very susceptible to what others think of us. When we surround ourselves with people wanting to uplift and encourage us, we are more likely to succeed with our goals—particularly when it is someone who is important to us or who we look up to. This is why having a spouse who is supportive of their partner’s health change makes it more likely to be for that partner to be more successful in their goals. However, remember you can also find support through avenues such as social media platforms, joining a fitness club, or signing up for exercise classes.
The last step is Somatic/Emotional States, which is essentially the way you view yourself achieving your goals with either an attitude of success or perceived failure. A true grasp of this step is important if you wish to realize and improve your self-efficacy, as your emotions and outlooks affect much of your life. If you believe in yourself and keep a positive attitude, it can help you improve and ultimately reach your goals. On the other hand, if you are full of anxiety, stress, and self-doubt, you are essentially setting yourself up for failure. Instead of sabotaging yourself, replace those thoughts with uplifting attitudes. It is important to realize with this step that people do have the capability to change their own thoughts and feelings, even if they begin in a negative tone. You simply need to begin replacing the negative thoughts of doubt with uplifting attitudes. Wake up every morning telling yourself you are going to have a great day that will put you one day closer to your goal. Constantly be making plans on how you are going to achieve your goals, and truly believe in yourself to commit to your plan. If you have a bad day, take it as a learning experience and then move on. Make the necessary plans to get back on track and keep pushing forward.
As Henry Ford famously put it, whether you believe you can or you can’t, you are right. Believing in yourself truly is the secret to success.
This article was written by Coach Kristina.