Are we doing what we want and what is best for us? Or are we doing what we should do?
How do you measure self-worth? I believe discovering ourselves is the key to success and freedom. Sometimes in life we make choices that seem out of our control, and we do this because of others' desires. Notice I said desires, not needs. When we allow others' beliefs to dictate our decisions and direction, we give away control. There are times we do what we think we should do instead of what drives us. Jillian Michaels said it best at recent show my wife and I went to (and yes, I was probably one of ten supportive husbands in the audience.) She stated that when we allow "the should" to navigate us through life,
it is as if we are consuming a "responsibility sandwich"full of guilt, shame, regret, disappointment, fear and lost hope. She is right! When we give our control to external forces or give in to the myth that other people or things can make us feel good or bad, we allow our lives to be determined by what others expect of us. In doing this, we are giving in to a continual cycle of negative sabotaging behavior and forgoing the responsibility to control our own destiny. Even worse, this behavior imprints on the brain like a bad habit. Changing this behavior can be just as difficult as holding on to a New Year's resolution.
No worries though, there is a hope in reclaiming control and finding that internal drive. It starts with awareness of how we perceive life and how we navigate the terrain of getting our psychological needs met. Do we get our needs met in positive or negative ways? I would bet that we all have experienced that angel or devil motivating us in a certain direction. Knowing if our compass is pointing in a healthy direction is key. To know more about your psychological needs, I would recommend checking out our Process Communication Model seminar. This blog is not big enough to travel down that road, but I am going to leave you with some good tips to put into practice.
Once you are aware of what you want out of life, the next step is to put yourself on a pathway to build self-efficacy. Psychologist Albert Bandura defines self-efficacy as "one's belief in one's ability to succeed in a specific situation." There are four factors to focus on to build self-efficacy:
- Mastery - What are you great at? What drives you? What do you want? Doing what you are good at and what you enjoy drives your internal motivation and gives back the responsibility of control over your outcomes. Success grows self-efficacy, failure lowers it. So start by setting yourself up success.
- Modeling - Who inspires you? Who is a friendly competitor? Who do you measure yourself against during times of success? We have this internal wiring to empathetically connect ourselves to others'successes and failures. Self-efficacy increases when we see someone succeed, decreases when we see someone fail and is off the chart when we see someone experience failure and use it toward their success. Find people that you consider as a successful equal and their success will motivate yours.
- Recognition - Who is your advocate? Who gives you praise? Positive reinforcement goes a long way. If you have someone affirming your actions you are more likely to allow yourself to step out and take a risk. Surround yourself with people that believe in you or open up to those around you and share how you prefer to be recognized.
- Physical - Do you ever get butterflies? Has having a difficult conversation ever made you feel ill? These are physiological factors to limited levels of self-efficacy during particular experiences and are key factors to identifying challenge zones. This area of growth takes practice, like working a muscle that is weak. To grow that part of yourself you have to take a risk. Risk is scary! So start small, apply the above factors and the risk can be manageable.
It is time to take back your life. Don't be afraid to ask for help! If you would like to know more about understanding what motivates us in positive or negative directions, Team Quest can help.
Jason Colvin, Director of Team Quest