Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's running through your head???

Confidence -- while I was getting my undergrad in Exercise Physiology, the term we learned was "self-efficacy".  One of the definitions of self-efficacy is "belief in one's own ability to perform a task".  When a person KNOWS they can create mindful eating behaviors (although they haven't mastered it yet), they are said to have a high level of self-efficacy.  Those with higher levels of self-efficacy are predicted to be more successful in their behavior change.

Self-efficacy is what you feel within yourself.  Confidence, on the other hand, might be interpreted as expression of being certain in more of an outward way.  For example, I might appear to be confident in my ability to succeed in managing my weight, however, my self-efficacy can be low because I may be able to "talk the talk" but feel unsure of how to "walk the walk".

Low self-efficacy really works against use as we try to change behavior.  When you are not sure that you will ultimately triumph, every little bump in the road and learning curve has the potential to derail your whole process.

That is why it is important to me for clients to share their successes.  If you can verbalize a behavior you feel positive about, those little, positive bricks add up.  Your sense of self-efficacy grows.  Your chances of ultimate triumph increase!

So how do you start to gauge your current level of self-efficacy?  Here is an idea from Brian at

As you notice the statements that make you feel worse, give them the critical thought once-over.  Do they make sense?  Are they accurate?  Or is that just the same ole negative tape running through your head (Lizzie, perhaps?)

Can you change those thoughts?  Of course you can!!  Like so many things, change starts when you become aware of these thoughts and redirect your thoughts to patterns that make you feel like giving it another shot.

Take Brian's advice -- pull out your journal and start to jot down some of your thoughts after you do something.  Most of the time, a change in waistline starts in your head.

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