Understanding  self-efficacy!

“Self-efficacy is defined as one’s confidence in their own ability to develop strategies and complete tasks necessary to be successful in various endeavours.” (Bandura 1977)

It is proposed that self-efficacy is formed and affected by four main sources of information:

  • Personal accomplishment
  • Vicarious experience
  • Verbal persuasion
  • Physiological states (empowering or disempowering)

How can self-efficacy impact Pilates, and how can Pilates improve self-efficacy? Researchers have found that body composition is inversely related to self-efficacy, and that as little as 10 mins of exercise can increase feelings of self-efficacy and promote feelings of comfort.

Increasing self-efficacy through master experience

This is the most powerful source of self-efficacy, so it is very important to focus on this during your Pilates introduction/class. For example, saying to yourself, “I’ve done it once; I can do it again.”

With Pilates, the best tools can be: using past personal successes, goal setting, appropriate class selection and exercise logs.

If you have no apparent past personal successes…then YOU can create them now! See the previous Peak blogpost for a recap on goal setting using SMART principles!


Increasing self-efficacy through vicarious experience

This is the second biggest source of self-efficacy and can be targeted through modelling and imagery.

Imaging yourself mastering an exercise or seeing yourself in the shoes of a successful peer or someone who you know has recently done well with exercise.

 Increasing self-efficacy through social persuasion

Verbal or social persuasion from respected individuals, or even self-encouragement, is the third highly effective way to increase self-efficacy. Encourage people to encourage you! Don’t be afraid to sing your own praises and SING LOUD!

Increasing self-efficacy through your physiological state

Educating  yourself and asking about what is going on inside your body and what physical sensations to expect during Pilates can help you attenuate any anxiety that you may be feeling about the Pilates class.

Once you understand the odd feeling of a neural stretch with hamstrings or piriformis, or maintaining an elevated heart rate during jump board, you are much more likely to deal with the physiological states more effectively. If you ever feel anxious, use deep breathing techniques/ mindfulness and positive self-talk to reduce anxiety.

If you would like to boost your own self-efficacy you can do so at any of the Peak Pilates and Physiotherapy clinics located Auckland-wide. Visit  https://www.peakpilatesgroup.co.nz/ to book your introduction now.