One of the key factors in gaining or having self-efficacy is the expectation that the goal can be accomplished. If there is no hope or little belief that the goal is attainable, forget even starting the challenge.

We discussed seeing a task as a challenge or a threat.  From that we can deduce that a threat would easily turn into I Can’t Do It with all kinds of reasons behind that decision. By identifying the task as a threat and questioning the validity of the threat, can produce some reduction in the view as a threat.  Then, as we also discussed, taking “baby steps”to shift the view of a threat to a challenge, success is in sight.

Now I am proposing even a broader approach to gaining self-efficacy through taking a more holistic approach by confronting the belief in the ability to do a task or meet a goal.  If there is self doubt that the person cannot achieve the goal at all, all kinds of minor threats will appear.  If, on the other hand, the person believes that he/she has the ability to achieve it, a whole new outlook will underline each step towards making the goal a reality.

Looking at a concrete example:  “The lawyer has worked for a firm for the past six or seven  years and is unhappy.  He/She knows that establishing a solo firm is possible because the funds are available and all those years of experience has produced competency in one or two areas of the law. Day dreaming has produced a sense of greater freedom in shaping his/her work life and that sounds like a great solution. ”

Now comes the overall pervasive feeling that he/she can’t do it. The belief is that the ABILITY is simply not there and thus the wish will fail.  This will, of course, stop any further planning, and creates a death to the idea. Sometimes, this realization takes a little while to appear and that can even more damaging because all hope will be abandoned even if the set back is minor.

The truth is that we, as human beings, are capable of all kinds of achievements we don’t even know about!

I remembered when I started painting.  I had no idea that I could actually paint something that might go on someone’s wall.  I took a class at the local junior college entitled: Art for Non-Artists.  I was amazed that I could do the assignments and come out with something that people seem to like (not just being nice). 15 years later, I have gotten better but still always have doubts that somehow things won’t work out because I don’t have the ability to paint.

We all must fight that notion growing up that we weren’t “big enough” to do activities we wanted to do.  This is obviously where some of this self doubt starts.  The truth is that we really don’t know what abilities we have. Not until we acknowledge that our capacities are greater than we acknowledge can we truly move forward.   So, I will never be a ballerina or an opera singer or a lot of other careers because I simply no longer have the  physical capacities. But we are only really  some what limited by very few restrictions.  Dare to know this. Dare to exceed your expectations!