The Quest for Personal Power
My favorite definition of power is, “the ability to act.” So personal power is the ability for you to take action. Self-belief is the energy that drives you to take action. Self-efficacy is your belief about how much you can control your own actions and the events that affect your life. One of the worst enemies of personal power is, learned helplessness — why bother if you can’t get results? That’s why self-efficacy is so important. If you have confidence in your ability to get results, you’ll take action and build momentum.
In the book Emotional Capitalists: The New Leaders (J-B Foreign Imprint Series – EMEA) , Martyn Newman writes about the quest for personal power and the four main sources of self-efficacy.
Key Take Aways
Here’s my key take aways:
- Self-belief is your energy for results. When you believe that your can get results, you have more energy to take action.
- Know the 4 main sources of self-efficacy. The four source are: 1) mastery 2) modeling 3) mentoring and 4) mood.
- Master emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is so important because it helps you interpret your feelings and take appropriate actions.
Why does self-efficacy matter so much? Newman writes:
What does a psychology of leadership come down to? After more than a quarter of a century of studying how people make their best choices, seize opportunities, generate lasting motivation, maintain energetic mood states and develop resilience to adversity and stress, psychologists are almost unamimous that most of it depends on how much self-efficacy you possess … Self-efficacy beliefs determine how you feel, think, motivate yourself and behave.
4 Main Sources of Self-Efficacy
According to Newman, the four main sources of self-efficacy beliefs are:
- Mastery – value what you do.
- Modeling – seeing is believing.
- Mentoring – listening to trusted advisers.
- Mood – if it feels good, do it.
Getting successes under your belt help build confidence. Newman writes:
The first source of self-efficacy involves mastery experiences. Each success you experience builds a robust belief in your self-efficacy. They accumulate to convince you that you have what it takes. That’s why it’s so critical that you regularly remind yourself of your positive efforts and reward yourself for them.
When you see other people succeed by applying skills, you learn that you too can learn and apply skills. Newman writes:
The second source of self-efficacy is modeling. Seeing people similar to yourself succeed by sustained effort increases your belief that you, too, possess the capabilities to master similar skills and challenges.
Other people’s confidence in you, fuels your own confidence. Newman writes:
The third source of self-efficacy comes from the effect that other people have on you. The more you are persuaded by trusted advisers that you possess the capabilities to master the challenges of leadership, the more likely you are to mobilize your efforts to develop the skills you need to succeed. This implies that you are receptive to others.
Your mood shapes your self-efficacy beliefs. Newman writes:
The fourth sense of self-efficacy may be surprising to some. It comes from the feedback you receive from your emotional and physical experience. These experiences shape your mood and your mood affects your judgements about your personal efficacy. A positive mood enhances your self-efficacy.
Why Emotional Intelligence is So Important
You need to know what your emotions are telling you. Newman writes:
This is where emotional intelligence is so important. If you are not fully aware of what emotions you are feeling and how it affects you, you lose a crucial piece of feedback to inform your actions. Research on emotional intelligence has taught us that thoughts and feelings, cognitions, and emotions, work together to create action. And for the simple reason that thoughts determine feelings and actions, a number of psychological and philosophical traditions such as Buddhism, emphasise, ‘right thinking’ as a path to maturity and freedom.
You can find more insights and actions in the book Emotional Capitalists: The New Leaders (J-B Foreign Imprint Series – EMEA) .
My Related Posts
- 3 Pillars for Building Self-Efficacy
- 10 Key Success Strategies
- Confidence is Knowing and Going
- Positive Thinking vs. Positive Action
Photo by afagen.