The 4-Step Guide to Building Confidence With Migraine

Exploring Solutions | 5 Min. Read
Author: Ctrl M Health Migraine Team
Reviewed by: Ctrl M Health Medical Directors

Summary

  • Having confidence in your ability to achieve a specific goal (self-efficacy) is a big factor in actually getting there. Building self-efficacy boosts your success in managing migraine.
  • Reflecting on Past Successes helps you build mastery.
  • Identifying People Trying to Achieve Similar Goals gives you doses of inspiration and insight from observing the success of others.
  • Surrounding Yourself With People Who Foster Your Progress helps you strengthen your support system.
  • Celebrating Successes with rewards at each milestone helps you maintain motivation.

Full Article

Research shows that having confidence in your ability to achieve a specific goal is a huge factor in actually getting there. That “I think I can”-type of belief in yourself is called self-efficacy. Unfortunately, because migraine so readily disrupts plans, progress, and aspirations, it often erodes self-efficacy — chipping away at the belief that you have control over your life. This has negative consequences for your health, including for your headache and migraine.

Conversely, building up your self-efficacy boosts your success in managing migraine. But when migraine has you feeling helpless or defeated, how do you build back your confidence?

We’ve done the hard work for you. The Ctrl M Health app lays out the four ways to build self-efficacy, all based in psychological research, so you can improve your migraine.

#1: Get greater mastery

Research shows that four factors build self-efficacy, starting with building mastery. Mastery is the act of becoming expert at something. You achieve mastery through practice — specifically, by living through challenges, and learning from your successes and failures along the way. 

Thinking back on your own mastery experiences will build your confidence in your ability to attain new goals in managing headache and migraine.

Try our “Reflect On Past Successes” activity:

    • Write down what you consider your prior achievements. Think of anything that brings you a sense of accomplishment or pride. 
    • Write down how you overcame obstacles along the way.
    • Identify at least one way those acts of perseverance and creativity can apply to your current goals and help you prepare for the potential impact of migraine.

Four side-by-side images of an iphone showing the Ctrl M Health app, with step by step instructions on accessing the "Reflect on Past Successes" activity for building confidence with migraine..

Get greater mastery with the “Reflect On Past Successes” activity.

#2 Get inspired

Now that you’ve reflected on your successes, it’s time to get further inspiration through observing the success of others: the second factor in building self-efficacy. 

Ever become inspired to exercise or eat better because you observed a friend doing so? When you see other people similar to yourself achieve goals like yours, the brain takes notice. The more you’re able to see yourself in that person, the more the brain can visualize you attaining the same success. This becomes a powerful influencer toward achieving your migraine health goals, building up your confidence — without having taken even a single action.

Try our “Identify People Trying to Achieve Similar Goals” activity:

    • Take time to identify at least two people you respect who have tried to achieve goals similar to your own. 
    • Identify behaviors or actions they took to get to their goals, especially when they encountered obstacles. Don’t be afraid to ask how they did it.
    • Consider how these aspects could be applied to you and your goal. Consider how their tools to success could be adapted to fit your needs.

Four side-by-side images of an iphone showing the Ctrl M Health app, with step by step instructions on accessing the "Identify People Trying to Achieve Similar Goals" activity for building confidence with migraine.

Get inspired with the “Identify People Trying to Achieve Similar Goals” activity.

#3 Get positive support

With your confidence growing from two different directions, now it’s time to strengthen your support system. The feedback you get from the people around you has a huge impact on your confidence level and thus your chances of success. Negative or discouraging feedback can undermine confidence, which can be especially crushing when migraine has shaken your sense of self-efficacy. On the other hand, encouragement builds confidence, particularly when we doubt ourselves.

Change is hard. Having people by your side who believe in your abilities, reinforce your strengths, and stick by you through obstacles is crucial to helping you motivate toward your goals.

Try our “Surround Yourself With People Who Foster Your Progress” activity:

    • Choose at least two people who can foster your progress with their words and actions.
    • Surround yourself with these people whenever possible and alert them to your goals.
    • Make a point to take in any encouragement or positive feedback they provide; use it as a springboard to develop your own confidence as you take on new health behaviors.

Four side-by-side images of an iphone showing the Ctrl M Health app, with step by step instructions on accessing the "Surround Yourself With People Who Foster Your Progress" activity for building confidence with migraine.

Get strength with the “Surround Yourself With People Who Foster Your Progress” activity.

#4 Get rewarded

Celebration is like a reward for the brain. It helps by releasing “feel good” neurotransmitters like dopamine that not only make us feel glowy inside, but also protect against the fallout of migraine. Yet too often we hold off on celebrating success until we have hit our goal or big milestones. And in the meantime it’s easy for motivation to dwindle, especially when migraine puts obstacles and challenges in your way. 

Noticing and celebrating successes each time you hit a tiny milestone toward your goal — no matter how small! — can help you sustain motivation, even after setbacks like migraine attacks.

Try our “Celebrate Successes” activity:

    • Consider the goal you’re working toward. Then break down your larger goal into smaller action steps. (If you’ve completed the “Set a Reach Goal” activity, you’ve already done this.)
    • Pick one small way you can reward yourself daily for hitting your action steps. Think in terms of tiny celebrations that could feel fun. It can be as simple as complimenting yourself or sharing your achievement with a friend.
    • Savor those moments of celebration after every action step. Practice this week, and make it a regular part of your routine.

Four side-by-side images of an iphone showing the Ctrl M Health app, with step by step instructions on accessing the "Celebrate Your Successes" activity for building confidence with migraine.

Get rewarded with the “Celebrate Successes” activity.

Choose Your Next Step to Improve Your Migraine

You have the power to prevent migraine attacks, starting with building your confidence. The personalized plan within your Ctrl M Health app is ready to help. You’ve got this!

    1. Get greater mastery with the “Reflect On Past Successes” activity.
    2. Get inspired with the “Identify People Trying to Achieve Similar Goals” activity.
    3. Get strength with the “Surround Yourself With People Who Foster Your Progress” activity.
    4. Get rewarded with the “Celebrate Successes” activity.

Good luck! We believe in you. We’ll be with you every step of the way.

Take the next step to better health

© 2020 Ctrl M Health. All rights reserved.

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