We all have tried the photos with the high jumps and the wide smiles on our faces. But, when you check the photos, you realize that probably jumped too low. With this and that you ask your friend, who shoots them for one (at least ) more photo of a higher jump. So you jump. And there it is, you just reached the peak of your jumping curve and you witness the Go moment. The point in which time passes a little slower and you begin to question the success of the jump. Because now that you've gotten higher than any other timed, you feel the uncertainty of landing pulsing underneath you . And we all know what happens to those who fall clumsily . They end up on the ground with wounds all over them.
( PS Compare that with a example of the opposite camp; cats. From whether they jump, they end up landing on ground all good and great. Cause they know the how-to. That's why they live 7 times, too. )
Big leaps in life there are like jumps for photographs. The higher you jump, the biggest your acceleration will be as you reach the ground. And if you aren't prepared for landing, you've got a big problem my friend. But let's take it from the beginning
So, you are found in this new situation/challenge. And you want to taste it, you want to try your limits. Feeling very capable and well prepared, you decide to jump from above, from really high above in unknown waters. Immediately after the Go moment, you start having really bad feelings for that jump. Why did you do that? Why risking? What if you didn't calculate that tiny parameter that will ruin your landing? Should you have done more smaller pilot jumps to test your strength and abilities and your abilities? Did you need more practice? Tears. You're finished.
But no. Duh.
But if you were really good prepared and this confidence of yours to take the challenge was not a spurious vanity but the result of hard work, you will succeed. There will be no sprain on the landing or swerve and your satisfaction will be immense. And like this you start mapping your route in partially uncharted waters. When you believe in your abilities, and I do not mean having general high confidence but believing in your abilities when doing something very specific, you usually succeed.
So, how to improve your self-efficacy, your effectiveness in carrying out your goals and strengthen the faith in your abilities?
- Mastery: practicing is the first and most important basic step. Learn what it is that you want to achieve, how will you get there and what skills do you need. Brainstorm hard and study harder. Investigate the topic thoroughly and test your performance with tests before you commit to the dare-big challenge. To sum up: gain experience and as many, related on the topic, supplies you can.
- Find your role-models: find people who already achieved and study their behavior, what decision did they take and what influenced those decisions. Study their failures and successes. Such people turned their " failures" in important lessons to succeed later in life. Study such behavior and learn how to act like this.
- Social persuasion and support : Listen to speeches and find encouragement from reliable sources and from people that inspire you. Maybe if you would watch the speech of a Nobel laureate and his path to success, you may be left a little disappointed: "he is who he is and he would definitely succeed in that field". Conversely, if you find people closer to you - with more or less same age and social background- and hear their success stories you can more easily be inspired and think "if he did it, I can do it too".
- Psychological cues: As important is the whole preparation process, that important is your psychology throughout that challenge. You need positive mood and optimism to be able to apply what you learned in the crucial moment and leave behind the worries of a possible -because there is always that possibility- failure.
Now that you learned what you need before taking the big step and jumping, see what you should avoid:
- Overconfidence : confidence is a valuable asset, but the overdose of that is a disaster. The overestimation of capabilities, knowledge and skills results in being overly optimism about your future decisions. While that's partly valuable, 'cause you manage to persuade others about your skills so that they will support your efforts and invest in you, is the main reason why you will fail in the future if you don't replace overconfidence with effort, learning and practicing .
- Counterfactual thinking: Put aside thoughts such as "what might happen if...". You have already taken the leap and there is no space and time for setbacks. Negative and regret or disappointment due to missed opportunities in the past can only lead in pursuing mediocre opportunities in the future. So stop think about whether you will hit or not success.
And always remember that :
Many of life's failures are people, who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. - Thomas Edison