Self-Confidence is one of the most sought after qualities in today’s world.
That makes sense too and why shouldn’t it? Who doesn’t want to hang out with someone who is oozing out the “Can Do” attitude?
Undoubtedly this one quality can help us to achieve success in almost all aspects of our life whether it’s sport, education or relationship.
On the other hand lack of Self-Confidence is straightaway an invitation to a number of uninvited guests in our lives.
Like low self-esteem, unpleasant feelings, sadness etc. As it’s said that one thing leads to another.
You never know when sadness becomes depression and when that low self-esteem starts not only affecting our mind but starts taking a toll on our bodies.
Hopefully, it’s possible to increase your Self-Confidence, no matter in whichever state of mind you are in. I’ll say this though that it’s neither a cakewalk nor an overnight process.
It’s a long road full of obstacles, but in the end, it will take you to the paradise city. In this journey Self-Efficacy is the key to becoming a Self-Confident person.
Now the question arises: What is Self-Efficacy? Let’s discuss this in brief.
WHAT’S IN IT
What is Self-Efficacy?
Self-efficacy is a personal judgment of “how well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations”.
This concept was proposed by the Canadian-American psychologist Albert Bandura.
Given the personal nature of Self-Efficacy, it makes it one of the most important as well an effective aspect to build a Self-Confident personality.
According to Bandura, there are four main sources of self-efficacy beliefs which are as follows:
- Mastery experiences
- Vicarious experiences
- Verbal persuasion
- Emotional and physiological states
Before I move forward and shed some light on these beliefs some of you might be wondering and asking yourself: So what’s the difference between Self-Efficacy and Confidence?
This difference is very well defined by Albert Bandura in his book himself and which goes as follows:
“Confidence is a nondescript term that refers to the strength of belief but does not necessarily specify what the certainty is about.”
For Example, I can be supremely confident that I will fail at an endeavour.
“Whereas perceived self-efficacy refers to belief in one’s agentive capabilities, that one can produce given levels of attainment”.
See: Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control, 1997, p. 382
4 Sources of Self-Efficacy Beliefs
- Mastery Experiences: This refers to when we accomplish a task. This teaches us that since we were able to do this once, we can do it again. Though failing to accomplish a task can weaken one’s Self-Efficacy. Still remember practice makes a man perfect.
- Vicarious Experiences or Modeled Behaviour: According to Bandura, “Seeing people similar to oneself succeed by sustained effort raises observers’ beliefs that they too possess the capabilities to master comparable activities to succeed.”
- Verbal Persuasion: Sometimes a simple “You can do it” is enough to do the trick. Words of encouragement have a positive impact on us. When others are confident in our ability to do something, it helps in clearing the cloud of self-doubt. We have witnessed this number of times in our lives:
- For example: When an Employer trusts in the ability of his employee to accomplish a task, the person is already going to perform at a higher level.
- Emotional and physiological states: Our own emotions and physiological state affects the level of Self-Efficacy. As Bandura notes “it is not the sheer intensity of emotional and physical reactions that is important but rather how they are perceived and interpreted.”
- A person who is already suffering from some sort of depression would have a hard time believing in himself. Also, let’s say if someone is suffering from some sort of physiological challenge maybe an injury or health condition would find it hard to maintain a higher level of Self-Efficacy.
- Now it’s hard but not impossible. One way to have a positive level of Emotional state is to surround yourself with positive people and those who encourage you to do better.
Importance of Self-Efficacy
Believe in yourself and you’re halfway there. Most of us are aware of our self -goals and generally we do know the path which will lead us to our goal.
Still, some can achieve their goals and some don’t.
One of the big reasons behind this is the approach, the approach with the right attitude of believing in your abilities to perform the tasks required.
This is where Self-Efficacy plays a major role.
Let’s see how different levels of Self-Efficacy changes the approach of a person.
.People with a strong sense of self-efficacy:
- View challenging problems as tasks to be mastered
- Develop a deeper interest in the activities in which they participate
- Form a stronger sense of commitment to their interests and activities
- Recover quickly from setbacks and disappointments
People with a weak sense of self-efficacy:
- Avoid challenging tasks
- Believe that difficult tasks and situations are beyond their capabilities
- Focus on personal failings and negative outcomes
- Quickly lose confidence in personal abilities
How to improve Self-Efficacy
So far we have established the importance of Self-Efficacy in our life and how it can help us to progress in different aspects of our life.
We have also seen how a person with a higher level of Self-Efficacy will approach one’s life as compared to one with a lower level of Self-Efficacy.
The good part is that we can increase our level of Self-Efficacy and have a positive impact on our lives.
For this, we focus on 4 Sources of Self-Efficacy Beliefs and derive some methods or steps we can take in our daily life to achieve our goal.
Again remember this is not an overnight process and will take some fair share of your time. Just keep in mind “It’s all worth it”.
Without further ado let’s see steps to improve Self-Efficacy.
Steps to improve Self-Efficacy
1. Set Small Goals: Sometimes we overwhelm ourselves with our expectations & big tasks.
When we fail to accomplish such tasks we get demotivated. One should start slow & break the bigger tasks into smaller chunks.
For Example: Let’s say you are preparing for an entrance exam & decide to make a schedule.
Now don’t assign 8 hrs of study the very next day. Give it some time, maybe start with 2 hrs a day and gradually increase the time.
2. Create a Positive Environment: Be in the company of people who believe in your ability & encourage you to accomplish your goals.
Positive vibes from people around you will affect you. Now the positive environment is not only limited to people.
The same applies to your workplace, kitchen, bedroom etc. A messy bedroom will already occupy some unnecessary space in your mind.
Talking about the workplace stick a motivational quote every week or have a small plant at your desk.
4. Role Model: A role model is a person someone looks up to, because of admirable traits. Anyone can be a role model for you.
It’s not necessary that it needs to be someone older than you or a celebrity. It can be someone in your family or from your friend circle.
A role model is a person who shows you what’s possible. Additionally, there is a lot one can learn from them like hard work, determination and dedication.
Just learn from them and try to incorporate some of their qualities in your life.
5. Avoid Comparison: Self-Efficacy is about ourselves & the prefix is an indicator of that.
When we see others winning, meanwhile we are losing & starting comparing ourselves creates a problem.
Eventually, we start seeing ourselves in a negative light without even knowing the effort and time the person has put.
Self-Efficacy is something we can learn and are not born with.
This is the most important takeaway from this article. This is a process and will take time.
During your journey at times, you’ll see no progress. Don’t get disheartened buy it, just remember the principles and continue.
Just say this to yourself “This too shall pass”.
Also you can read our blog on Stay Focused While Working From Home- How to Work From Home