Summary Resilience Module 5: Believe in Your Ability

Resilience 5: Believe in Your Ability

This is a summary of the module Resilience 5: Believe in Your Ability for your reference.

We've learned that our beliefs or mindset can enhance our ability to be resilient—having the ability to adapt and recover from life’s challenges.

In this module, we will focus on another concept related to your thoughts and beliefs —self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the belief you have in your ability to take on challenges and accomplish goals. 

To help you understand self-efficacy, we will use an example from a previous module.

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Think back to Sally (from Module 3). As you read about how she's doing now, pay attention to the factors impacting her self-efficacy.

Sally was successful at taking breaks throughout her morning so she could take her midday walk. However, she felt stuck at the 10 minute time mark and wanted to be walking 20 minutes a day.

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Her doctor and physical therapist also encouraged her to extend her walks. They reminded her of her success at improving her endurance – going from no walks a day to walking 10 minutes each afternoon.

Sally felt confident in her ability to walk 20 minutes each day, even though she felt nervous that she might push herself too hard and worsen her fatigue. She decided to gradually add 2 minutes to her walks each week. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sally was determined to increase her capacity to walk longer without worsening her symptoms. She persisted even with some challenges. 

Sally’s good friend, Diane, also dealt with fatigue from Long COVID. She was able to go from no activity to walking at least 30 minutes a day and yoga once a week.

Sally thought to herself, “If Diane can do it, so can I!

She felt excited and added small increments of time to her walks. She made sure to take breaks throughout the day. She also decided to try walking at her local park for a change of scenery. This helped her to stay motivated by making her walks more interesting.

Three months later, Sally returned to her doctor and informed him of the great news. She is now able to walk 20 minutes each day without worsening fatigue. She has even been able to walk 30 minutes at least once a week!

This example demonstrates why having self-efficacy is an important part of being resilient. Imagine facing a difficult situation, without believing you have the knowledge and skills to take on the challenge.

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What do you think are some of the reasons Sally believed in her ability to accomplish her goals?

__Sally had experience in successfully increasing her activity.

__Sally was confident in her ability to make the necessary changes.

__Sally is determined and persistent.

__Sally learned from her friend’s success.

__Her doctor and physical therapist were encouraging and supportive.

__Sally felt excited to get started on her new goals.

Answer:

All are factors supporting Sally's ability to accomplish her goals.

Read on for details about the factors supporting Sally’s self-efficacy and how to apply them in your life

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Build on Your Success

Sally’s success in going from no activity to 10 minutes of activity a day made her feel confident in working her way up to longer walks. 

When she came back three months later to find out she accomplished this goal, her self-efficacy increased even more with this repeated success. Each time you have success, your self-efficacy increases.

Nothing breeds success like success. - A. Dumas

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Try a New Experience

Trying a new experience is one way to feel successful. Sally decided to try walking at her local park instead of around her yard.

Remember, you might not always succeed the first time you try something new. That’s okay! 

The more you work on something new, the more you can learn. 

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What have you thought about trying, but haven’t attempted yet? ______________

While it might feel comfortable doing things that are familiar, getting out of your “comfort zone” can help you build new skills and knowledge. When you are successful at attempting something new, you build your self-efficacy.

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Focus on Your Strengths

Determination and persistence are two of Sally’s strengths. She uses them as she works on increasing her physical activity.

You can use your personal strengths to improve your skills and abilities, especially during challenging situations. 

Sometimes it can be difficult to identify our strengths. Imagine how a friend would describe you. What would they say are your strengths? Or what do they appreciate most about you?

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Review this list of character strengths.

Which three do value the most? ___________________

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Pick one strength. For the next week, focus on using that strength as often as you can. Try to use it in as many situations as possible. Write about it in your Resilience workbook.

Now that you are more aware of some of your strengths, you can use them as you continue to build your self-efficacy. 

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Build Support

Having support enhances resilience.

Going back to Sally's journey, the doctor and physical therapist's words strengthened Sally's belief in her ability to increase her daily activity. 

Who can you add to your support network? _______________ Review the article, Building Resilience, for some examples.

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Learn From Other People's Success

Sally’s friend, Diane, also contributed to Sally’s self-efficacy. 

When you observe people who have achieved similar goals, your thoughts can shift from uncertainty to “I am able to do that too!” Sally saw her friend make lifestyle changes to increase her activity. This helped Sally believe she could too.

Take a moment and think about someone who has accomplished a goal - one you hope to also achieve. What can you learn from their journey? __________________

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Balance Your Feelings

Recall that Sally felt excited and confident. She was eager to accomplish her new goal, which enhanced her ability to do so. If she was feeling down, unmotivated and tired, it’s far less likely she’d succeed. 

There are many ways to feel your best, both physically and emotionally. One of them is by reducing stress. In the next module, you will create a Self Care Plan, which will include stress-reducing techniques.

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What is something you can do right now to lessen stress?

You can always speak to your Goodpath coach for ideas.