Is low self efficacy holding you back?


Self efficacy is the belief that you have about your ability to master a particular skill or behaviour. Self Efficacy was examined in Bandura’s study.

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

If for example, you don’t believe you had the skill to master public speaking you wouldn’t try presenting and therefore wouldn’t be able to master the skill. You would think spending time to learn the skill is useless as it is not something you can achieve. We only try to do things we think we can actually achieve.

Research other people’s journey

Growing up I always thought people were born with things. That the person was so confident and God had given them that gift and not me. But I later realized anything can be mastered. It takes hard work, effort, practice, and new strategies. We just don’t see the hard work someone put into where they are. We usually see the end result and assume that was the journey was easy.

For example, if you see an influencer on Instagram you see their end result. When they are already famous and think oh they are so confident and know what they are talking about I can’t be like that. We don’t see the backend of things the struggle they went through the years of effort it took to get there. If you see someone is doing a job you are interested in find out their challenges how they got there. Seeing the effort they put in can increase your self-efficacy. Seeing someone else put in effort and get results will make you believe you can put in effort and master the skill.

Low self efficacy could be why you avoid challenges

If you have low self efficacy you would avoid challenges and difficult tasks because you think you can’t get better. This would happen with me and Mathematics or any tough subjects. Because I thought my writing skills and my Maths skill couldn’t be improved I avoided subjects that I found challenging. Instead of taking it as an experience to learn.

Low self efficacy could also be the reason you are procrastinating as you are afraid of the challenge.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What is a skill or behaviour you wish you had?
  • What is stopping you from reaching there?
  • Do you believe you can master the behaviour or skill?
  • Why not?
  • Can you do something to make yourself believe that you can master the skill?

Increasing self efficacy

To increase your self efficacy about a behaviour first-rate yourself based on self efficacy on behaviours you would like to achieve. If you have rated yourself less than 5/10 ask yourself why and if there is anything you can do to change that.

Try changing your self-talk from people are born with skills to a growth mindset where new skills can be achieved the more effort you put in.

Celebrate your small wins as this will make you increase your self efficacy.

Give yourself positive self-affirmations this can be from positively speaking to yourself in the mirror or speaking out good things about yourself. For example, when I complete a workout I tell myself I did a good job and put in hard work. I give myself an applaud even if I am alone in the room. This makes me feel good about myself and even though I might only be doing a plank for 10 seconds now I know I can master the skill if I keep practicing.

Think about your past experience where you found something hard and with time it became easier. Is there a skill you at first thought you wouldn’t be able to do and now can? If you can use examples to prove to yourself that you can achieve things by hard work then you can convince yourself you can learn anything. Write down these examples including the journey and the results to remind yourself when needed.

Reference: The New Dynamics of Life Skills Coaching

Also Read: How To Stay Motivated During Quarantine?


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