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Ready to Change? Your First Step is Gaining Self-Efficacy!

Ready to Change? Your First Step is Gaining Self-Efficacy!

New PictureDo you feel stuck, want to make a change in your life for the better but are afraid or don’t know how to start?

Researchers have found that when wanting to make a change in your life, understanding your sense of self-efficacy can really make a difference in your eventual success.

So then, what is self-efficacy?  The concept of self-efficacy was proposed by a psychologist (Bandura) in 1977 and has been studied by researchers ever since.   Self-efficacy is a sense and perception that when you are faced with a new challenge, or a desired change, you are going to be successful in making it happen.  It’s your ability to define a goal, persevere and see yourself as capable.  It is intrinsic faith in yourself, when you haven’t even taken the first step!

Here are 3 important things you can do to build self-efficacy:

Build Mastery

Learn as much as you can about your goal. Read, ask questions, prepare before you jump in!

Take Laura, for example. Her fear of public speaking has taken a huge toll on her at her work. She has been asked to present at a workshop and now all she does is worry about how she’s going to manage to speak in front of 50 people.  Rather than continuing to wallow in her anxiety, Laura started to do some research on her fear; she learned that fear of public speaking is one of the most prevalent phobias out there and that many people have overcome it and go on to become successful public speakers.

Give yourself some credit. Celebrate small successes, (“Wow, I am good at this”).  Work on attributing your success to your internal ability to be successful. Refrain from dismissing the success (“It’s no big deal, I just got lucky”).

 Get your own Cheerleading Squad.  

When you receive encouragement from your friends, colleagues, family, that you have the skills and capabilities to handle your situation, you are more likely to put in greater effort and to persist in the face of setback.  When Laura is around her childhood friends, they are her greatest cheerleaders, offering support and reassurance that she can overcome her fear. Also – when we see someone else who is similar to us work hard to achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle, it contributes to our belief that we, too, can have a larger part in determining our outcomes.  For example, if Laura sees her friend persevere and overcome her fear of public speaking, she then thinks to herself, “If Angela can do it, I can, too.” And did you know that the more similar you are to the person who has succeeded, the stronger the effect will be on beliefs about your own ability to succeed? So also work on surrounding yourself with those who will support you and help you make the desired change in your life.

 Manage your Mood. Get help if you need it!

Positive emotions and mood build a sense of-efficacy; negative emotions and mood undermine  it. People who experience more positive emotion can also experience what’s called an “upward spiral.” Their positive emotions, give them the ability to see more solutions to the challenge ahead and enhance their ability to cope with the challenges that come with trying to make a change for the better.

Let’s revisit Laura. She struggles with negative thoughts and emotions that frequently lead to a downward spiral.  She gets anxious, sad, isolates, and ends up with terrible migraines.  Learning to reframe her negative self talk into positive self talk has begun to make a big difference. Instead of saying, “I can’t do anything; I always fail” she tells herself “It’s scary and I’m afraid, but with help, I’m going to overcome this.”  She is learning how to increase her positive emotion.  One of the best workbooks available for learning how to manage your mood is: “Mind Over Mood” by Dennis Greenberger, Ph.D and Christine A. Padesky, Ph.D.  Or if you realize you need more help, it’s time to visit your psychologist for the support you need.

Try these methods to begin to make the desired change in your life. When you get a handle on these three areas, you are on your way to establishing a sense of self-efficacy so that you can be successful in making the changes in your life you hope for. Contact me at any time and let me know how your are managing and building your sense of self-efficacy!

orginalDr. Jeannette Burkhardt Pino, is a Clinical Health Psychologist in Newport Beach, CA.  She received her Master’s Degree in Psychology at Pepperdine University and her doctorate from Fielding Institute in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Health Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral training in Family Medicine Health Psychology at Long Beach Memorial Hospital in Long Beach, CA and her postdoctoral training at Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa, CA.  As a research associate at University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, Dr. Burkhardt Pino performed clinical research with the Pritzger-Conte Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium.  Dr. Burkhardt Pino has an active public speaking schedule, has taught and teaches at local Universities, including Pepperdine University, Irvine and Concordia University, Irvine.  She has presented workshops and seminars at numerous hospitals and organizations, including Long Beach Memorial Hospital, Orange County Diabetes Resource Center, and Huntington Beach Hospital. She has been a regional board member of American Diabetes Association, and Providence Speech and Hearing.

 In her private practice, Dr. Burkhardt Pino offers clinical psychotherapy services to Adults ages 18 and older. She works from a biopsychosocial perspective, embracing the whole person, including health and wellness issues, personal growth and change, and family and relationship challenges.  Dr. Burkhardt Pino also offers program development consulting services to physician’s groups, nonprofit organizations, medical professionals and community organizations. When not working, Dr. Burkhardt Pino enjoys spending time with her family, running, swimming, playing violin and learning guitar.

Ten Tips for Making Positive Change

Monday, March 10th from 6-7pm at Spa Gregorie’s Newport Beach

When you consider your overall well-being, what changes do you want to make for the better?  Did you make a New Years Resolution for 2014 and have already given up on your goal? Dr. Jeannette Burkhardt Pino will present you with 10 powerful tips for making changes that will be meaningful and lasting in your life. In an interactive workshop, you will have opportunity to learn the 10 top strategies, supported by psychological and behavioral medicine research, to make successful changes in your life. Whether you have unsuccessfully accomplished change or have not tried to make a difference in your life but have the desire to do so, join Dr. Burkhardt Pino for this informative, interactive journey. We’ll begin with your taking a self-help quiz on your unique readiness to change score. From there, Dr. Burkhardt Pino will offer her 10 tips for getting to the next level so that the desired change in your life can become a reality. You will walk away feeling empowered and ready to embark on your journey toward long-lasting results, no matter what barriers you may face.

Please RSVP to  Dr. Burkhardt Pino by March 5th by calling (949) 278-3414 or email her at


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