I dare you! Without hesitation she jumped off the cliff fully clad into the menacing waters below. “Way cool!!” her friends screamed.
Just think about that situation. How often do we act like that in our lives (well not to jump off a cliff which is a bit extreme), but do we dare to try new things? To step out; to take that leap that we are so afraid of?
I dare you… is a challenge to do something at hand.
We reflect on C.S. Lewis quote. Our tasks come and go…Day-in-day out. Months pass; and before we know it…years. We look back and realize that everything is different. Yet for many of us, things still remain the same. Our dreams, goals, entrepreneurial, and career aspirations remain at a stand still. We tremble at the sight of the raging waters below, afraid to jump!
On the flip side there are those who step forward, take the leap, and discover triumphs they never knew existed! In order to be successful, you have to be motivated! And motivation comes from within! Enter self-efficacy which means the belief an individual has in him/herself to do things they never dreamed they could do. Essentially, self-efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment.
People with Low Self-Efficacy
- See challenges as threats
- Withdraw from difficult tasks
- Have lower aspirations
- Weaker commitment to goals
- Focus on limitations and failures
- Give up quickly in face of challenges
People with High Self-Efficacy
- See challenges as goals to be mastered
- Set challenging goals and maintain commitment
- Sustain efforts in the face of failure in order to achieve
- Learn and grow from failures and try again….never give up
Most if not all of us act in some capacity of leadership, be it in the workplace, or as a parent, teacher, or peer. In so doing we exert significant impact on those we have influence. Parents, impact a child’s self-efficacy when they provide an environment that stimulates the child’s curiosity and allows them to master their experiences.
A teacher’s confidence in his/her own abilities to teach can impact how successful his/her students will be.
Peers model each other’s experiences. She did it and therefore I can; or the converse, he did it and failed. Therefore if I try, I too will also fail.
Formally, there are 4 factors that influence Self-Efficacy:
- Performance Accomplishment considers mastering (your)self.
- Vicarious experience observes others experiences. If others succeed, then I can succeed. If others fail, I will fail too.
- Verbal persuasion as in “you can totally do this”; or you can’t do this, or that.
- Physiological which occurs through physical sensation such as how you feel. For example, we are scared of public speaking. We become anxious and portray the belief that we are going to fail. On the other hand, we feel anxious but the anxiety does not portray feelings of failure but that of excitement and achievement that we are going to do well.
Now take sometime to think about your dreams, goals and aspirations. Are you where you want to be in life? Dig deep into your inner being and find that motivation… deep down because it exists. Bring it to the forefront of your mind. Start thinking positive thoughts like “I can do this!” Then look for the things you need to take the first step. If you need help, connect with a mentor, or a friend who has your back, or get a coach. But whatever you do, don’t let the next time you look back, you are standing still.
Make that Daring move to start today. I dare you!