Daily quote and reflection: Power of Self-Efficacy and Suspension of Disbelief


Daily Quote: “It is very important to understand that change is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both.”  David Caruso

Reflection: One constant in life is change. How we learn to live with change depends on our experience and mental-set. An unpleasant or painful experience may program your mental-set  to either avoid or see new experiences as an opportunity and a challenge. It all depends on how we perceive the original event and process it into our long-term memory. Some of my clients are bored or “stuck” in their marriage or career, or their lives in general. By remaining in their habits and status quo ways, they are denying themselves opportunities to see the possibilities in their life and fall short of their full potential. Self-mastery is knowing when to learn new skills or take on new responsibilities, when to hold on to beliefs that serve you, and when to let go of beliefs, thinking and behaviors that do not fulfill your potential and serve you.

Self-efficacy is the context-specific assessment of belief in our personal capabilities to organize and execute what is required so as to achieve the intended goal. It is concerned not with the skills we have, but rather with our control over our own level of functioning. People with high self-efficacy choose more demanding tasks. They set higher goals, put in more effort, and persist longer than those who are low in self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy grows through personal and vicarious experience, discipline, and valid feedback. Although usually considered in a single context, there may also be a generalized effect reflecting a person’s abilities across a broad array of difficult or novel situations. For instance, if someone is loved by a supportive family on the home front, then that person will display a greater confidence on the job. This will be reflected by peer and management feedback, which will, in turn, show up on the home front, perpetuating the cycle.

How can you better address change in your life? Here are some tips:

  • Envision. Look at the big picture—what the end result will be. That way you won’t become so overwhelmed with the small details.
  • See change as an opportunity to try something new or to do things in a different way.
  • Do your homework. Find out all you can about what is changing so that it will make you feel more confident as it happens.
  • Believe that no matter what happens, you can deal with it, and that in some way you will learn from it.

What are you turning away from personally or professionally that needs to be addressed? In the end, if you don’t make the changes in your life, life will make them for you.


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