Self-efficacy. “I know that I can”.

Trusting yourself again

When you set goals and list tasks to do but never really follow through, your trust in your own ability to get things done erodes over time.

Sometimes to the point when you stop dreaming and setting bigger life goals altogether.

After many failed diets, wasted gym memberships, a number of unfinished online courses, and a pile of unread books, you just decide you don’t have what it takes to succeed.

You may have a sudden burst of motivation and willpower once in a while, but it never really lasts long, and every time you fail, you convince yourself of your inability to stick to a routine or positive habits.

Reestablishing trust in yourself

If you want to change for good, you first need to reestablish trust in your own word and your ability to follow through on your actions.
In short, you need to raise your self-efficacy.

So, what is this self-efficacy anyway?

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.
— Henry Ford

Self-efficacy is about a person’s subjective perception of their ability to perform the actions needed to achieve their goals, rather than about their objective (true) ability.

Of course, having inadequately high self-efficacy may be troublesome, but most self-sabotage happens when you don’t believe in your abilities.

The thing is, you may be correct in your judgment. After all, if you’ve failed at something many times, for whatever reasons (fear, laziness, doubts, uncertainty, lack of skills, circumstances, etc.), it would be naive to trust your executive skills.

Self-efficacy and procrastination

Low self-efficacy can lead to procrastination, AND procrastination leads to lower self-efficacy.

Low self-efficacy can lead to more procrastination, thus leading to even lower self-efficacy.

Before you know it, it can spiral into a vicious circle of self-fulfilling prophecy.

procrastination - lower self-esteem - increased likelihood of procrastination


higher self-efficacy – reduced procrastination -increases self-efficacy – less procrastination

How can we fix that and increase your self-efficacy?

Simply. And I mean really SIMPLY.

Start easy and small for initial success (low hanging fruit)

You cannot just tell yourself you can do something and believe it, because a part of us usually knows very well that we are lying.
Instead, you will have to prove it to yourself that you can follow through.
You need to collect enough evidence to support the new belief.


By doing what you want to do, say you’ll do; by slowly eradicating the cognitive dissonance .

The Super Simple Recipe to Increase your Self-Efficacy:

** start small – stay focused – grow stronger**

  • you chunk whatever project you have and make a list of super small tasks
  • you make the new habits you want to adopt very easy and small
  • every time you manage to accomplish the things on your list, you cast a vote for your new identity: someone who does what they say they’ll do
  • it’s about creating as many initial easy wins as possible
  • it’s about focusing on what went well, what you managed to get done
  • every time you succeed, take a moment to relieve how it made you feel
  • get yourself a little star!
  • remember that every little counts


Telling yourself that you can and believing that you can are entirely different things. That’s one of the reasons why a lot of the pop psychology and self-help tips don’t really work in the long run.
Simply put, when you lie to yourself, a part of you knows that you’re lying.

It’s one thing to tell yourself (or others) that you are successful and quite another to succeed.

You need proof to believe in something. Proofs may come in many different flavors, but I think the easiest one is simply trying to accomplish easy goals.

You need to reestablish trust in yourself and create a habit of proving yourself that you can do what you intended to do.
The best way to do it?

** start small – stay focused – grow stronger**


If you want to change your patterns, bridge the gap between what you want and what you do (consistently) as well finally beat procrastination, please come back for more tips & hacks! Or, better still, subscribe to my newsletter, to never miss a potentially life-changing piece of advice again 🙂

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