- Any Size
People take small steps towards having courage.
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The next time that you meet with all the participants, everyone has to report about what happened when they dared to act with 1 percent more courage. There are usually quite inspirational stories. You can spend 20 minutes hearing people’s stories.
Then ask what they have learned from this activity. Often people will echo the research of Karl Weick (See Theory section below) in their answers: By achieving small wins, they felt like they could succeed in moving towards goals that seemed impossible and scary at first. They have a greater sense of self-efficacy.
Many people (most of us!) suffer from the “impostor syndrome.” Studies show that, even among the most successful people, 40 to 70 percent believe that they are frauds. This is a common experience in college, for example. Many people secretly think that everyone else is so much smarter than they are and that they don’t really belong. Thus most of us are reluctant to try to take on overwhelming tasks, thinking that we can’t accomplish them. That’s why, more than 30 years ago, Michigan Business School professor Karl Weick developed the theory of “small wins.” When people take on small changes and achieve them, it boosts motivation and self-confidence.
Judith Martinez, social entrepreneur, and founder of “In Her Shoes,” a nonprofit that helps young women increase self-confidence
Sakulku, Jaruwan (2011). "The Impostor Phenomenon" International Journal of Behavioral Science. 6 (1): 73–92.
Weick, K. E. (1984). Small wins: Redefining the scale of social problems. American Psychologist, 39(1), 40-49.