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Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career


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CBT

Jealousy

Depression

Relationships

Conflict

Self-efficacy

Happiness

Goal-setting

Motivation

Wellness

Sport Psych

Martial Arts


POPULAR ARTICLES

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Rejection Sensitivity, Irrational Jealousy and Impact on Relationships

When You Have Been Betrayed

Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

For Women Only: How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams

What to Do When Your Partner's Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Relationship

Making Attributions for a Healthier Attitude

Happiness is An Attitude

Conflict in the Workplace

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

Feedback, Self-Efficacy and the Development of Motor skills

The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Performance Enhancement in the Martial Arts: A Review

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?





RECENT ARTICLES

When Anger Hurts Those You Love

A Brief Primer On the Biology of Stress and How CBT Can Help

50 Tools for Panic and Anxiety

Coping With Change: Psychological Flexibility

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Ending a Bad Relationship

I'm Depressed. I'm Overwhelmed. Where Do I Start?

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Promoting Healthy Behavior Change

10 Common Errors in CBT

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Co-Dependency: An Issue of Control

The Pillars of the Self-Concept: Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy



NEW AUDIOS

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

The Great Desert Mindfulness

Tropical Garden Mindfulness

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Probability and OCD

Choosing Happiness

Magic Bubbles for Children

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Cloud Castles for Children

Hot Air Balloon Motivation

Day of Fishing Mindfulness

Audio Version of Article: Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

"...refers to situation-specific self-confidence as “self-efficacy” which is the strength of an individual’s belief that he or she can successfully perform a given activity."
Self-Efficacy: The Key to Success in SportsWithout confidence in one’s ability, an individual cannot perform to his or her potential. It is even possible that someone with lesser ability, but with confidence, can outperform this person because belief in oneself can be a powerful influence. What is this sense of confidence? Albert Bandura refers to situation-specific self-confidence as “self-efficacy” which is the strength of an individual’s belief
that he or she can successfully perform a given activity. The concept of self-efficacy has often been used interchangeably with the concept of self-esteem which is the process of evaluating the self; however, self-efficacy is more accurately described as a precursor to self-esteem and is mediated by the individual’s self-attributions. READ MORE...


Making Mistakes to Enhance Self-Esteem and Improve PerformanceThe vast majority of my clients with anxiety disorders are perfectionists. Additionally, perfectionism is extremely pervasive in our culture generally. However, the typical response when I inquire about perfectionism is, “Oh, no, I’m not a perfectionist. I’m far from perfect.” Such a response indicates a lack of understanding regarding the concept of perfectionism.


Perfectionism is the belief that one must attain perfection or one is a failure. Perfectionism is an extreme distortion of the concept “Do your best” when an individual believes that his or her “best” means, “perfect.” The individual becomes fearful of making mistakes and may experience stress, anxiety, and depression as a result. READ MORE...


Feedback, Self-Efficacy, and the Development of Motor SkillsAlthough we may prefer to believe that learning a motor skill is purely learning a set of physical techniques, we have to consider that most learning typically takes place in the context of an interpersonal relationship with a teacher. The critical question is how does this interaction affect the development of motor skills. It appears that the mediating factor between the presentation of the instructions by the teacher and the performance of the skill by the student may be the cognitive process of self-efficacy (Escarti & Guzman, 1999). Some may argue that the development of effective skills may lead to the increased self-efficacy demonstrated by students of high ability. Although this process occurs, it is not sufficient for explaining the role of developing self-efficacy and its impact on learning motor skills. To fully explain the role of self-efficacy, we must
evaluate the interpersonal context of how the teacher or coach provides feedback to the athlete, how that feedback affects self-efficacy, and how self-efficacy enhances performance. Unfortunately, studies directly examining this relationship are sparse, and therefore, the inferences need to be made based on research examining the relation of the different components of the equation such as the feedback/self-efficacy relationship and the self-efficacy/motor skills relationship.
READ MORE...


RECOMMENDED BOOKS...


Making Attributions for a Healthier AttitudeA natural human tendency is to simplify explanations, especially explanations regarding the behavior of other people. Even science teaches the importance of being parsimonious; in other words, don’t use a complex explanation when a simple one will do. However, many times we over-simplify the cause of behavior, both as individuals and as a science.

In social psychology, a concept known as "the fundamental attribution error" describes the tendency to view too much of someone else’s behavior as related to internal factors. For instance, if a person is fired from a job, we may think, "That person is incompetent," even though we could as easily think, "That job was not right for that person." We tend to believe that the problems other people have are due to some internal fault or flaw and we tend to over-estimate the degree of the person's responsibility. READ MORE...


The Reciprocal Influence of Self-Esteem and Exercise Low self-esteem has been implicated in most psychological dysfunction; however, low self-esteem is not necessarily the root cause of this dysfunction. It is believed (Aro, 1994) that individuals with high self-esteem who may be predisposed to psychological disorders are better equipped to cope with those disorders, and thus, reduce the negative consequences that may result. Therefore, if self-esteem can be enhanced, the psychological consequences of disorders can be reduced. This process can be illustrated by describing a similar process that occurs with physical illness such as diabetes. The individual may be genetically predisposed to developing the illness, but if they engage in the proper healthy care-taking activities, they may prevent the development of the illness or, at least, reduce its consequences (Amir et. al., 1990. The enhancement of self-esteem and self-efficacy can be an important contributing factor to both the prevention of psychological and physical illness and the maintenance of health.  READ MORE...


Giving Women Feedback to Increase Self-EfficacyThe manner in which instructors provide feedback to athletes can have significant impact upon an athlete's self-efficacy which in turn affects the ability to learn a skill and the overall performance. Self-efficacy is the athlete's personal belief that he or she has the capability to learn and perform a specific skill or activity. The results of an interesting study by Amparo Escarti and Jose Guzman in 1999 indicated that performance feedback which focuses on providing feedback regarding technique rather than evaluating outcome was related to increased self-efficacy, a higher level of performance, and the tendency to choose more difficult tasks. Other research has shown that a higher level of self-efficacy improves performance. Thus, research shows us that how a coach provides feedback to athletes is critical in the development of the athlete.

To make this issue all the more complicated, there is research evidence that women respond differently than men to feedback from coaches. This is most likely a crucial point in the martial arts today because the majority of instructors in the martial arts are men and there are more and more women choosing to participate and compete in the martial arts. Therefore, a martial arts instructor needs to be more attuned to the methods of providing feedback to women in order to elicit their best performance as well as to keep them interested in continuing their training  READ MORE...



Excellence vs. Perfection Some people may be curious as to why this website is dedicated to the "pursuit of excellence" when I am constantly warning about the dangers of perfectionism.  To address this question we must differentiate between the pursuit of excellence and the need to be perfect.  These concepts are not only different but can be considered antagonistic to one another. In fact these concepts are so opposed to one another that  excellence can best be attained by giving up the demands of perfection.

What is Perfectionism?  Perfectionism is the individual's belief that he or she must be perfect to be acceptable. Perfectionism is black and white with no gray area. Anything other than perfect is failure. Perfectionism is an attitude, not necessarily a behavior. In other words, two people can engage in the same behavior such as trying to win an Olympic gold medal but one can be pursuing excellence and the other is demanding perfection. The difference lies in the thought process about the goal or behavior, not in the goal or behavior itself.  READ MORE...