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Self-Efficacy - How To Become Who You Want To Be

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

There are lots of recipes for changing behavior out there, their very multiplicity attesting to the size of the challenge. In practice, people find it far more comfortable to keep on doing what they’ve been doing even when it doesn’t work, even when it doesn’t get them closer to an avowed goal, or even if it is making them miserable.

First, you have to believe you are capable of producing effects by your own actions, what’s known in the psych biz as self-efficacy. You have to believe that you make things happen -- not fate, not the gods, not your upbringing, your circumstances or your genes. That’s the starting point.

Where to from there? I recently had a wonderful conversation with Alan Cohen, motivational consultant and author most recently of Why Your Life Sucks (Jodere Group). I essentially asked him one question: what insights do you have into helping people get from here to where they want to be. Here are some of his thoughts:

  • Your history is not your destiny. A lot of us get stuck in our perception of ourselves based on our history, the impressions others have given us about who we are.
  • People need a reputation to live up to. We tend to become whoever people see us as. Most of life is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Live from the inside out. What we know inside always exceeds what we know from the outside. Beliefs are what you learn from the outside; knowledge is what you know from the inside. Every person has a unique style of expression in which they would excel if they only had the confidence or courage to step into it.
  • Trust intuition. We all have access to a higher knowingness.
  • Tap the power of vision. Choose a model and be motivated by the model. You have to come from the result as if it's already accomplished rather than toward a result that is still out there. When legendary coach Bear Bryant showed his teams films of their games, he never showed them their errors; he showed them only their great plays. He built their vision of who they were at their best, and didn't try to scare them into changing by displaying who they were at their worst.
  • Latch on to the vision that most excites you and give it as much attention as possible. Minimize your attention to things that distract you from who you want to be and where you want to go.
  • Attention is the strongest currency at your disposal. Most people live unfulfilled lives because they waste their attention on things that worry or displease them. Everything you pay attention to you get more of. You wind up feeding what you don’t like. In our culture the standard model of change is to find everything that's wrong and fix it. Certainly knowing what's wrong is helpful -- but only long enough to shift your attention to what you'd rather do or have instead.
  • Understanding what's working about yourself gives you the leverage to transform what's not working.
  • Self-worth is a huge player in change. We attract experiences according to the level of self-worth we are holding.
  • Recognize that you don’t have to do it all alone. When you think you have to fix all your own problems, you are proceeding from a limited definition of yourself. You can’t give yourself help because you define yourself as someone who needs help. Connect with some form of higher power.
  • Yes, you need goals, but don’t get hung up on them to the extent that you lose the process. Enjoy the ride, living a little more in the moment.
  • Authenticity is crucial. Integrity is when your outer life matches your inner life. Don’t say yes when you mean no.
  • A healthy next step requires two elements: excitement, because you have to be motivated, and fear, which comes directly from having been invited to step out of your comfort zone.
  • Maintain your own sovereign space in the midst of negativity all around you, by staying focused on what lifts you.
  • Trust change as a natural and healthy process. Surf on it. People resist change because they feel safe in the familiar. Focus on where you might go if you stepped into the unknown versus the losses of staying stuck where you are.
The goal of BODi is to provide you with solutions to reach your health and fitness goals. Click here to learn more about BODi Coach Rich Dafter.

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