“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

- Ayn Rand

The term “ self-efficacy” has always excited me! It means knowing that you can “ get the job done” in your life.

What I find exciting is the thought that what I do matters; the thought that I can create the results I want; that I don’t need “luck” or “timing” or “permission” – I just need “ me .”

The knowledge that I can control my motivation, my behavior, and my outcomes keeps me going when times are hard. So, why did I write about self-efficacy today?

Simple. I’m a bit “bogged down.” I’m having trouble creating something of importance to me. It’s moving along, but slower than expected. I’m down on myself…(not helpful Kari, not helpful).

But I’m 100% confident that I’ll get past the “stuck point” in this project and finish it. In this case, I’m absolutely sure about me . So where did this certainty come from? From years of observation of myself and completing projects I care about. They always get done, and they get done well. Knowing that keeps me working on this project.

As sure as I am about me in regard to projects, I’m not so sure about me in regard to bold, new, creative ventures!

I don’t have as many successes of that type in my mental “scrapbook” to cheer me on and keep me going. Fortunately, I have a few, so I’m predicting that self-efficacy is going to win this round and the bold new venture is going to see the light of day!

I might be tempted to change the bold new venture in ways to make it more like those projects that I’ve “knocked out of the park” before. What’s so interesting about this approach is that in one way I’d feel better if I did that. I’d be sure I could complete the project really well. That would feel good! (Temporarily)

But in another way, I’d feel worse if I changed the nature of my bold new venture to be like the projects I’ve had a lot of success with in the past. If I did that, I’d be taking a stand against me . I’d be telling myself I didn’t have what it takes to get that bold new venture out into the light.

Well maybe when I roll out the bold new venture it will really suck. But actually, how good it turns out to be is not as important for my future as the fact that it actually does roll out!

Because if it sucks, I can fix it. But if it dies before it’s even finished, then my ability to get the job done the time after that – my self-efficacy – will be derailed.

So how do you develop greater self-efficacy?

You have to direct the lion’s share of your attention towards recognizing , remembering and celebrating your accomplishments. I know - that may be hard some days.

Some days you may have to dig deep to find your successes. Believe me, some days I have to dig really, really deep to find my successes. Some days I feel as though I’m running in circles like a rat in the trap, never getting enough done (and by the way, not feeling very happy about my power over my life).

So make a commitment to yourself to focus on your “ wins .” Build up your mental “scrapbook” out of the times you “ made it happen .” Notice every tiny step forward in being a “ force to be reckoned with ”!

So in comment to Ayn Rand’s observation: “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” To that I would say: self-efficacy is knowing that the only one who can stop you is you .

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

- Alice Walker

If you have passionate dreams and brilliant ideas, but you’re frustrated by procrastination, lack of focus and difficulty following through, it’s time to get in the driver’s seat once and for all! I help women take charge of their “out of control” lives … women who feel scattered, overwhelmed, and out of their depths trying to keep their heads above water in their careers and personal lives.

►  Get started right now!

Grab a copy of my FOCUS Strategies for Women with ADHD - A proven system to stay attentive, on target and in control . I share a few of my best tips for getting focused and I even show you how to combine them into a successful system so you can stop the cycle of overwhelm and blame, get control of your time, and feel good about how much you accomplish. 

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Kari Miller - ADHD & Productivity Coaching For Women and Students

Imagine finally feeling focused, confident and in control of your time and your tasks. What would it be like to release the frustration and shame and finally be able to skillfully manage your home, your career and your life! If you've tried all the "traditional" approaches to time and task management, but the pieces haven't come together for you yet, contact me - I can help!

To contact Dr. Miller
Email: klmiller555@sbcglobal.net
Website: ADHDclearandfocused.com