Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What You Don't Know, Can Limit You

As you are aware, people everywhere share the same goals at one level or another. We all want a comfortable home, friends, meaningful work, and to contribute.

This desire to help others plays out in many ways, one of which is social work. One communication-driven form of social work is an industry called "education-entertainment." One example of an E-E product is Sesame Street; it's entertainment that teaches.

You may be wondering what social work has to do with you. Well, there's a social psychological concept that help you see that you're probably capable of achieving more, with less effort in your life, by making an inner paradigm shift.

The concept is called "self-efficacy" and it was developed by social psychologist Dr. Antonio Banduras (no, dear readers, not Antonio Banderas!) Self-efficacy consists of one's beliefs in one's own ability to carry out a certain action, and is the driving force for behavioral change. According to Banduras, "Efficacy expectations are a major determinant of people's choice of activities, how much effort they will expend, and how long they will sustain effort in dealing with stressful situations."

In other words...your self-efficacy reflects your faith in your own ability to live the life you desire. At the other extreme is the victim mentality, of placing blame on one's parents, the government, society, etc., for undesired results.

Entertainment-education programs are designed to help people feel empowered to choose healthier alternatives in their lives. While these are often directed toward the marginal people in a society, the concept has important repercussions for high-achieving Mixonian readers.

Here's the deal, anything you do that expands your sense of self-efficacy, results in taking more responsibility for the results in your life. There are two obvious ways to raise the level of self-efficacy: taking calculated risks, in other words, taking action, or expanding your awareness through education.

Assuming more responsibility for the outcomes you experience is the path to greater control over those outcomes.