It’s a very human thing, the act of creating a goal and striving towards achieving that goal. Every year we hear and speak of new year’s resolutions, goals we promise to ourselves and others that we will work to make a reality in the future. Striving for our goals breeds satisfaction in the form of progress, be the progress painful and difficult or not. Every step forward changes us slightly, usually not noticeably, but it’s there. In this way, our goals both define and create us. Others look upon our goals to attempt to accurately judge us as people.
Do they have a degree? Have they an important job? Do they possess wealth? Have they travelled the world? Do they own a lot of luxuries? Are they happy?
We create our own sense of self and actual self partly from the experiences we have had in moving towards and achieving our goals.
Do you see yourself as a success so far? Are there good things in the future for you? Are you where you should be? Do you compare yourself to others?
We all ask these questions internally to some degree at certain points in our lives to see how we measure up to others and our ideal self. It may seem like thinking and caring about how others perceive our accomplishments comes with a hint of shallowness, but it’s actually very important. We are social creatures who judge each other without thought, that judgement can make or break opportunities for everyone, therefore it is very important to be happy in achieving and working towards your personal goals.
How Does Knowing This Help?
It doesn’t, because you already know it, a simple observation of self and others.
What does help though, is adjusting your attitude to becoming the strongest version of yourself through setting high expectations and seeing them through with consistency. Self-Efficacy is a term Bandura uses to describe our own confidence in our own abilities, and people with a high self-efficacy are more likely to get back up and try again after they fall, they’re also likely to do so more quickly. With this in mind, how much self-efficacy do you possess? You’ll need to think about your own life experiences to come to a conclusion. Have you improved who you are since last year? Last Month even? Are you confident that you have skills that can be employed effectively when needed? Do you have a track record of achieving your goals? These types of questions may give you a starting point in self-evaluation.
I’ve Gauged my Self-Efficacy, Now What?
You’ll be pleased to know that the roads are very similar for everyone when it comes to setting and achieving goals, it’s just that those who struggle with consistency and have a low self-efficacy may find the road to be a longer one. This should not deter you however, if you are truly committed to your goal, then you should be enjoying the journey, the most important part of having a goal in the first place. The achievement is great, it’s a great feeling to overcome personal milestones, however never forget the countless hours in the gym, the long nights studying or the first few frustrating hours of learning piano keys, that is where progress and personal growth comes from. That is the part that changes you, the part that builds your character and makes you stronger, each experience pushing you towards becoming the strongest version of yourself.
Never not be striving towards a goal as everyday is another day you could be becoming stronger and getting ever closer to glory. In your heart lies the will, in your hands, the means.
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