When you are facing a challenge do you feel confident to rise up and accomplish it or do you feel like you don’t know enough, aren’t good enough, will make mistakes, or just want to give up?
Are you like the Little Engine That Could, with the notion of ‘I think I can, I think I can, I think I can?’, then you KNOW you can, and do it? This is all about your level of self-efficacy. The second component of psychological capital that we are exploring this month.
Self-efficacy is portrayed as confidence in one’s ability to achieve certain outcomes and overcome challenges in a specific situation. Albert Bandura defines self-efficacy as ‘people’s beliefs in their capabilities to exercise control over their functioning and over events that affect their lives’.
Someone with high levels of self-efficacy believes in themselves! Believes they’ve got the goods. Believes deep down, I’ve got this! A self-efficacious person is more likely to perceive failures as opportunities, to have higher levels of resilience and keep going despite obstacles, and are great team players.
Self-efficacy is the ability to look inside, be comfortable with what you see and who you ‘BE’, and then keep taking action.
When we increase our levels of self-efficacy, we will experience numerous benefits in career and life. These include; increased resilience, ability to reduce stress, improved performance, higher level of career attainment and increased success in all areas of life.
So how can you increase self-efficacy when it’s a bit shaky, or hard to find?
- Recognise your past accomplishments: Get into the dopamine loop of achievement, self-recognition and celebration. Boost your feelings of achievement by reminding yourself of all the things, big and small, that you have accomplished to date. When we focus on our accomplishments, the things we have mastered, worked through, gotten through whatever comes our way, we develop our self-efficacy.
- Use Imagery: This is more advanced than visualisation because you create details within your mind utilising ALL of your senses. When you incorporate all your senses to explore and rehearse a specific situation focusing on the positive outcome, you will increase your feelings of confidence in your ability to ‘perform’ and therefore boost your self-efficacy.
- Self-accountability: Hold yourself accountable for the things you commit to. ‘Commit and Decide’ creates the action momentum and then you just keep going! Let other people make their own decisions AND YOU make your decisions with fast action! Making your own decisions and holding yourself accountable, allows for mistakes, learning and success to be experienced.
We all desire success in some way. It may be in our careers, getting a promotion, being financially stable, great relationships, a family, travel, respect in our field… When we work on increasing our self-efficacy these are all attainable without ego or arrogance, and we have the opportunity to become our authentic self in every way.