Pillar 4: Empower and Build Self-Efficacy

Pillar 4: Empower and Build Self-Efficacy – Believe to Achieve Lasting Change

This week, the Applied Behavioral Science team continues sharing insights from Envolve PeopleCare’s Behavioral Science Approach (BSA) and the Five Pillars of Behavior Change Science by diving into Pillar No. 4: Empower and Build Self-Efficacy. Although we will discuss one Pillar each week, every Pillar is inter-connected. Keep in mind that the strategies to incorporate the Pillars into EPC’s products will vary based on the product platform and delivery method. Click here for an overview of the BSA.

Empower and Build Self-Efficacy

Many people think self-efficacy is just another word for confidence. But there’s more to it! Self-efficacy is the belief we have in our ability to accomplish a task or succeed in an endeavor.

You’ve probably heard the famous words – “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” This quote by Henry Ford suggests that our beliefs about our capabilities have a big impact on our behaviors and accomplishments. He’s right.

Imagine a member, George, who enrolls in our smoking cessation program. He has tried to quit smoking many times over the last 20 years. Repeatedly trying to quit – but never staying quit for very long – has caused George’s self-efficacy to plummet. He wonders, “Why should this time be any different?”

When self-efficacy diminishes, a ripple effect can occur. Since George doubts he will succeed, he might become frustrated and have less energy to invest in quitting. And even if he works really hard, the fear of failing again can lead to anxiety or stress that can sabotage his efforts.

Envolve PeopleCare programs help members build self-efficacy for any health behavior by using a “small steps” approach. Having success with incremental changes can be powerful – like building a confidence muscle. Other ways to guide members toward building self-efficacy include:

  • 1. Connect them with similar others who have succeeded after many behavior change attempts.

  • 2. Encourage members to reflect on past successes with other behavioral challenges. What habits have they already changed? What can they learn from those experiences?

  • 3. Provide genuine encouragement and recognition for even the smallest improvements.

  • 4. Help members develop skills to manage their emotions—e.g., feel more calm—when they are working on making tough changes.


    Applied Behavior Change Science Team

    Allison GrupskiDonovan

    Envolve PeopleCare’s Applied Behavior Change Science (ABS) team is comprised of Allison Grupski, PhD, Allison Rose, MHS, and Jimmy Donovan. Combined, the ABS team brings a wealth of experience in behavior change, clinical psychology, weight management, health promotion and health disparities research, healthcare operations and communications. The ABS team is responsible for maintaining Envolve PeopleCare’s Behavioral Science Approach to ensure that our products and services are rooted in behavioral science and promote positive, sustainable health behavior change. 

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