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Self-Efficacy for Strength Gains: Stack Your Wins

Updated: May 27, 2020

People with high levels of self-efficacy embrace challenges rather than avoid them, focus on things they can control rather than distract themselves with things they can’t, and double down in the face of adversity rather than fold. People with self-efficacy believe in their ability to accomplish their desired task. High levels of self-efficacy lead to greater personal accomplishment. In other words, more gains.

One way to increase self-efficacy is through mastery experiences or what we call “Stacking Your Wins”. When we accomplish goals, we build momentum, which builds confidence, which generates success and helps us accomplish more grand and ambitious future goals. Success breeds success. Here are three quick tips for stacking your wins:

1) Set challenging and attainable goals:

The goal for setting goals is to find a balance between challenging and attainable. A goal that is easily accomplished will not build resiliency or sustained momentum. A goal that is too ambitious risks breaking momentum and becoming unnecessarily disheartened.

2) Keep track of your wins and celebrate them:

Don’t immediately jump from a win to the next challenge. Take time to recognize your success and the work it took to succeed. Think about the actions you took and how you overcame expected and unexpected obstacles.

3) Move past your losses and learn from them:

When we challenge ourselves, setbacks will happen, and when they do, we can use them as learning experiences. Focus on what actions you can take to change the result in the future. Look for any additional knowledge or skills that can help in the future. Consider if an increase in your effort level is necessary to accomplish your future goals.

Source: Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (Vol 4, pp. 71-81). New York: Academic Press.

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