What Are You Summoning?

Moons ago, I watched The Secret. I was intrigued but skeptical.

Something about the vision boards and all the manifesting didn’t quite sit right with me. The law of attraction, serendipity, and conspiracies of the universe have been the topics of countless conversations with family and friends since.

But I was never all-in on any one thing.

Then I landed upon the Self-Efficacy Theory (SET). At its simplest, SET is about your capacity to do something successfully. This could be tight roping across Yosemite Cathedral Peak or becoming a meditator.

You believe in your ability to perform.

Pioneered by Canadian-American psychologist Albert Bandura, SET has four mechanisms that help build your efficacy:

Personal Mastery

How successful you’ve been at something in the past will affect your confidence in tackling a related (or even an entirely new undertaking). Makes sense since your previous accomplishments can give you the chutzpah to level up. Just ask big waver surfer Kai Lenny and he’ll tell you precisely this:

Embarking on an entirely new endeavor, however, requires the fortitude to fail and learn. Often we won’t start something because the road to greatness is too daunting. But whether you’re past experiences have been positive or negative — your mindset that makes the difference.

Social Persuasion

My brother and I used to breakdance back in the day. He’d do a headspin and I’d look on in awe. With his cajoling (and through trial and error), I eventually got it. Today the roles have reversed as he’s learning how to improve his handstand game from me.

This kind of pep-talking falls squarely in the realm of coaching and It’s crucial that the learner believes in the credibility of the coach. And the same rules apply to those who discourage you with their words.

If the critical choir comes from inside my head, I kindly tell them to take a hike. And if the voices come from living and breathing individuals, I convert their intimidation into creative fuel.

Vicarious Experiences

Seeing someone else succeed can make an endeavor much more palpable for you. Once deemed impossible, Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile in 1954. Today elite athletes are smashing this time. When the unfathomable becomes fathomable — the sky’s the limit.

While you can get motivated by someone achieving something great — you can also get deflated. This is why having role models invested in your success is a good bet in helping you be your best.

Physiological Feedback

The body does keep score. When you’re emotionally aroused you feel it in your bones. One minute you may feel giddy and in another, you feel stressed.

If you’ve cultivated self-efficacy you’re able to better navigate heightened emotional states. An experience that once gave you anxiety can be something that you now look forward to.

A New Addition?

I’d add a fifth mechanism that probably sits closer to The Secret than I’d care to admit. I call it the Summoning Standard. This is your ability to evoke wonder in your life. So if you call forth more serenity you may find yourself catching a sunrise.

While in a small fishing village over the holidays, I put the summoning standard to the test. I had heard of this magical beach across the bay that could only be accessed by a local fisherman. Three futile attempts to organize a trip led me to think, “This is just not meant to be.”

On my last day there, I peered out one last time in the direction of the elusive beach. Something stirred in me. In the next moment, I summoned another soul that had the same vision of going there. Et voila! just like that — the next day a gang of us (I had summoned even more seekers by then) set sail. I may not have been steering the ship but I commanded it. Surf, sand, and fresh fish tacos followed.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since The Secret, it’s that your attitude really can make dreams come true.

I guess I’m coming around after all 🎣

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Jonas Altman

Jonas Altman

Founder, Coach & Author of the bestseller SHAPERS → www.shapers.life/book