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Self Efficacy: Will things always be the same?

Motivation is a very interesting topic, and it is always very difficult to understand why people don’t change their habits and behaviours. You would think that having a life threatening condition such as diabetes or heart disease would be enough to be compliant with medication, yet this isn’t always the case.A more productive way to look at change is to pose the question, “Why do people change ?” For change does happen, it happens long term and you can all achieve it!

Natural change – it does happen. People will make changes in their behaviour that equate to an increase in healthy lifestyle choices. While these people have received no formalised intervention to advocate change, the stages of change seem to be the same with or without intervention. An intervention is then a facilitating action that encourages the person to proceed through the natural process of change.

Ready, Willing and Able

Willing – A willingness to change stems from the perceived importance of changing a particular habit or thought process. When someone finds a discrepancy within their current reality, they will develop a perceived importance to change, and will therefore become a willing participant. When the individual doesn’t see any discrepancy within their core values, they are said to be resistant, or in denial.

Able – Self Efficacy. People will often understand the risks associated with their behaviour, and the importance of making changes, but believe they are capable of change. When people find an avenue in which to pursue change, that they believe will work, and they believe they can achieve, they will have created self efficacy and usually follow it through to change. If that same person did not perceive a mode in which change could be achieved, they may shift their thought process and rationalise a negative behaviour in a way that reinforces it. It’s not my problem it’s theirs.

Ready – Without being ready for change, the combination of importance and self efficacy isn’t enough to create change. Like low willingness to change, low readiness can be pathological. For example, “This is my last hamburger. I will quit tomorrow.”

In an effort to align one’s ‘Ready, Willing and Able’ attributes,  one must connect the need for change to an intrinsic value. You must find your why. Why is it important for you to change?

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