How strong self-efficacy can impact your physical health
We constantly hear about how damaging low-self esteem can be to our wellbeing but I’d like to shine a light on how beneficial a strong sense of self can be in building physical health and motivation.
Self-efficacy; the belief we have in ourselves, of our ability to succeed and perceived control of our own lives. People that have a strong sense of self-efficacy tend to have higher self-esteem. They find it easier to stick to exercise plans, healthy eating habits, have overall better health and shorter recoveries. A strong sense of your own abilities can have a significant effect on how successful you’ll be in pursuing a healthy lifestyle, while keeping you highly motivated to achieve goals.
Essentially, when you invest in building your self-efficacy so too grows greater self-esteem and your physical health…Here’s how
Celebrate your own successes
We’ve all been there, wasted time stuck in a social media hole of comparison to unattainable bodies and faces, overwhelmed by how much others seem to be succeeding and thriving.
I won’t sit here and preach about unfollowing “influencers” who make you feel bad about yourself (that should be a given), the important thing is being able to separate yourself from that noise and celebrate on your own achievements however small they may seem. A big part of building self-esteem is to re-enforce your ability to succeed, not compared to other people’s achievements but to the goals and desires you’ve set for yourself. No matter how small, any positive step should be acknowledged as a success worth affirming to yourself.
Set yourself achievable goals
There’s a delicate balance here, by setting goals that are too easy we tend to feel under-stimulated and undeserving of the success, whereas goals that are unattainable, damage our sense of self-efficacy if we fail to achieve them.
When setting goals, focus on very specific and measurable actions that are confined to a realistic timeframe. It’s important, to be honest about your commitment, are you equipped with the time and resources you need? Are you really ready to put the effort in? And have you given yourself enough of a challenge? When we achieve goals that are challenging yet doable, that success can really drive further motivation.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
I touched on this earlier, sometimes comparing yourself to other people can be really damaging to your self-esteem. It’s very easy to ignore how significant the fundamental differences between you and your role models can create unattainable standards, it’s something to be aware of when choosing who you spend time with.
On the flip side, studies show that people who are engaged in peer groups of like-minded people have a higher sense of self-esteem, maintain healthier lives and develop coping strategies.
Surround yourself with people who you look up to but who also feel you can succeed alongside and share your goals with. Seeing others succeed who are similar to you, can really drive your own motivation to do the same.
Shift your attitude
I’m sure a lot of us are guilty of letting stress and emotion overtake in difficult situations, but your emotional response to life’s challenges and how you chose to deal with them has a direct effect on your self-efficacy.
A negative mindset, stress and high emotional investment can lower your competency and capabilities of dealing with challenges. If you’ve ever had that overwhelming feeling of just not being able to cope with a problem, then you’ll know what I’m on about. In those moments you may feel stuck, unable resolve your feelings...While it’s important to accept stress and disappointment as a normal part of life, the trick is in being able to turn it around, to respond with an open mind and as positively as possible. Remind yourself that it’s just another challenge and a chance to overcome it.