Never Forecast Failure

The way you approach your goals is subtly influenced by your expectations. If your thought patterns constantly swim in a pool of negativity, expecting failure at every turn, you may unconsciously make it so through your actions or inactions.

People who opt to forecast their failures may have a low sense of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is “the belief in your ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task.” Self-efficacy determines effort, persistence, and strategy in the accomplishment of tasks.

Self-efficacy is the belief in your ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task.

When you have a weak sense of self-efficacy, you use your time and energy to spotlight your limitations, personal failings, and negative outcomes. You avoid challenging tasks, believing them to be beyond your capabilities. You’re less committed to your goals and the amount of effort you expend towards their achievement starts to decrease when you encounter a challenge.

The stronger your sense of self-efficacy, the higher your level of grit and commitment. You view challenging problems as tasks to be embraced and mastered because you know they are taking you somewhere higher and better. You recover quickly from setbacks and disappointments and learn to fail forwards.

Self-efficacy is not something that you can just wish into existence by saying “I think I can, I think I can” like the famous little train engine from the classic children’s book. Self-efficacy is like a muscle and like all muscles, it must be exercised in order to grow.

Muscles don’t grow overnight. Developing a high sense of self-efficacy requires time, energy, effort, and achievement. The strongest and most effective way to build self-efficacy is through perpetual performance accomplishment. The enduring experience of mastery influences your perspective with respect to your abilities. The more you “win”, the greater your feelings of self-efficacy.

The strongest and most effective way to build self-efficacy is through perpetual performance accomplishment.

Can you over-exercise a muscle? Sadly yes. Self-efficacy is not exempt from the trappings of “too much of a good thing”. In its excess, it can lead to excessive risk-taking behavior, hubris, and dysfunctional persistence. Generally, though, the positive effects of an increased sense of self-efficacy outweigh the negative.

As a new week begins, remember. All things negative take more work than their positive counterparts. Don’t forecast failure and become your own worst self-fulfilling prophecy.

“Self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure.” ~Albert Bandura

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