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Your Contributions, Self-Efficacy, & YouTube Yoga

By: Michael Blankenship |

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

Greetings from LA and Oahu!

This week we’re sharing some awesome (and free) yoga YouTube videos, highlighting answers that YOU (our lovely readers) have given to our weekly questions over the past few months, and discussing the importance of something called self-efficacy and how to get more of it. 


By the way, as the situation in Ukraine develops, many of you are probably wondering how you can help — you can provide direct support to Ukrainian armed forces by clicking here. If each of us at The Tonic gave just $20, we’d be able to provide over $100,000 of relief!

How cool would that be?

YouTube Yoga

My wife and I (Mike) recently started doing yoga in the evenings to loosen up before bed — that’s a habit I highly recommend if you want to mitigate aches and pains and get more restful sleep. 

It feels amazing and it only takes about 30 minutes. 

Not to mention that improving flexibility also offers this list of benefits (according to CBHS):

  • Helps maintain appropriate muscle length and avoid muscle shortening
  • Helps improve muscular weaknesses
  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • Improves posture and the ability to move
  • Helps relieve stress and reduce risk of lower back pain
  • Increases the tendons’ ability to absorb energy, which decreases the chance of injury.

The best part is, we discovered this YouTube Channel called Yoga With Kassandra with hundreds of free yoga classes between 30 minutes and 90 minutes.

We just pick a new one every night. 

If you’re looking for a new routine to relax yourself in the evening, definitely give this a try. 

Your Contributions

Over the last few months, you (our readers) have sent us some really thoughtful answers to our weekly questions. 

And here, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorites. 

Question: What’s an area of your life where you struggle with imposter syndrome?

Answer from a reader who asked to be kept anonymous: 

My struggle with imposter syndrome manifests itself professionally. I have worked as the Administrative Assistant to the Head of School at a private, independent school for the past 10 years. I also support a Board of Trustees populated by highly accomplished parents, alumni, and community members. In that time, I’ve been given increasing levels of responsibility and have proven myself capable of handling highly confidential information. To the latter point, I’ve been told I’m the most trusted person in the school. Trustees and community members have offered me jobs.  

No one micromanages me, and I have a great deal of independence in keeping things organized and moving forward for the people I support. All this should reinforce a belief in my professional abilities. And yet…

There are times when I wonder why I was hired or wonder if someone will “find me out.” What prompts these feelings? Making a mistake – even a minor typographical one. Lacking knowledge about setting up or using some of our tech programs. Reading professional development materials and feeling dwarfed by the accomplishments of others in similar positions. Looking at my to-do list and considering everything I’m responsible for and feeling overwhelmed.  

I doubt I’ll ever eliminate these feelings, but I’ve learned some tricks that help reduce their frequency, such as re-reading performance evaluations, thank-you notes, and complimentary e-mails. Reminding myself they stem from my desire to do my job well also helps.

Question: What pain are you experiencing that isn’t in the present moment?

Answer from Jenee:

The pain I experienced was self-inflicted in my youth. I never told myself it was ok to NOT be perfect or to make a mistake. I never told myself that the best learning in life would come from these mistakes. I now know to forgive myself and to embrace my imperfections in order to continue developing, not just in my career, but as an individual. As I forgive myself, I’m empowered to be the best version of myself.

Question: Why do you think charitable giving is so impactful for the giver?

Answer from Steven:

The second I give is the second I stop being defined by what I have. That is a freeing prospect, which is contagious and inspires confidence in both the giver and the receiver. Giving says “what I do matters more than what I have.”


Norman Vincent Peale once wrote, “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

It sounds a little cliche. 

But cliches are often true. 

The more you believe in yourself, the more likely you are to succeed in whatever thing it is that you’re pursuing — in fact, without this belief… it’s nearly impossible to succeed. 

Psychologists have a name for this. It’s called self-efficacy. Here’s how Verywell Mind defines it

Self-efficacy is a person’s belief in their ability to succeed in a particular situation. Psychologist Albert Bandura described these beliefs as determinants of how people think, behave, and feel.

They add, 

Self-efficacy can play a role in not only how you feel about yourself, but whether or not you successfully achieve your goals in life. The concept of self-efficacy is central to Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory.

People with a strong sense of self-efficacy are more motivated and likely to succeed because they see themself as someone who is capable of accomplishing their goals. 

They are more committed, recover quickly from setbacks, and view challenging tasks as problems to be solved. 

People with low self-efficacy avoid challenging tasks, believe they’re incapable of achieving their goals, and focus on personal shortcomings. 

Obviously, we all want to be the former type of person. 

So how do you develop more self-efficacy? 

Here are a few ideas from the article:

Social Modeling — Watch other people similar to you accomplish their goals. The closer you are to them, the more you’ll start to believe you can do it, too. 

Social Persuasion — Know someone who inspires and encourages you? Don’t hesitate to reach out to them for motivation. Get encouragement from your friends and family. The more that other people believe in you, the more you’ll believe in yourself. 

Psychological Responses — Practice managing your emotional states and moods through meditation and breathing exercises. The more you are able to control those responses, the easier it’ll be to overcome setbacks. 

If you want to learn more about this, check out this article from Positive Psychology.

Extra Stuff

Here is some other random stuff we found interesting this last week!

This Week’s Photo

Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy / Reuters

“A view shows the area near the regional administration building, which city officials have said was hit by a missile attack, in central Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 1, 2022.” via The Atlantic

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

Without a bridle or a saddle, across a thing I ride a-straddle. And those I ride, by help of me, though almost blind, are made to see. What am I?

This Week’s Question

Answer this question — either privately or by replying to this email. If your answer inspires us, then we’ll ask for permission to include it in a future email!

What’s something you’re naturally gifted at? What’s something you’re naturally NOT gifted at? 

This Week’s Challenge

Start doing some yoga! There are few other ways we’ve found to get mindfulness, exercise, and flexibility all in one simple and powerful package. Morning time or night time is great for yoga. You can use the videos we recommended in this email to do it from the comfort of your living room.

Until next week, 

Mike & Alec

Riddle Answer: Eye glasses

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