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What is self-efficacy and why does it matter?

How do you approach life challenges? Whenever you face a challenging situation whether you think that you will go through it successfully or do you get overwhelmed and feel like a failure? If you think that you will perform pretty well even in difficult times, then you possess a strong belief called self-efficacy. 

Self- efficacy is all about your belief in your abilities to effectively accomplish a task at hand.

What is self-efficacy and why does it matter - Theodore Roosevelt - TDN BlogThere is a hidden power that has a huge potential to help people to have what they want but no one tells them to realize it. This power gives you a belief system and using that you can make your life events favorable for you. As a result, while confronting stress and challenges, you dare to take befitting actions. And if you do so, you adhere to your goals even in the toughest phases of your life; you gain a positive experience from it and it encourages and inspires you to take more actions. When you believe you can do it, you are halfway there. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” Theodore Roosevelt

Albert Bandura terms it self-efficacy and defines it as one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task”. This concept has a major role in the development of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory.

What is self-efficacy and why does it matter - TDN BlogSelf-efficacy has a key role in all life spheres – it lets you put an extra effort or give an extra blow to your life which will take you many steps forward to your dreams – Whether it’s your professional career or your personal affairs, self-efficacy is ever needed and worthwhile. 

We often consider it something inborn but according to Bandura this is something developed by external experiences and self-perceptions. This is something dependent upon each and every life stage and each and every life event – this is why people confronting social rejections, consistent failures and inadequate resources have low levels of self- efficacy. Poor upbringing, weak academic foundations, bad company, depression, anxiety & other mental disorders or post-traumatic stress disorders also deteriorate self-efficacy.


Why do you need to work on your self-efficacy?

 Believing in yourself matters at every stage of your life; no matter it is your academic career or your professional career or your everyday personal affairs, self-efficacy determines how you think, feel or behave – it’s an important determinant of your success or failure in life.

  • A student having self-efficacy always holds a strong belief in him. His self-confidence is sky high. Self-efficacy makes him perform better than other students. Not only in studies but on account of his self-efficacy, he will confidently take part in extracurricular activities and perform well. Similarly, self-efficacy in students will keep on backing him up even in college and university. He will be able to achieve high grades and show exclusive performance. Finally, his successful academic career will make him earn great achievements in his professional life. 
  • A working man or woman comes across different challenges and difficult tasks at work regularly. If they have sufficient levels of self-efficacy, they will work efficiently and up to the expectations of their bosses. They will do day to day tasks effectively and their self-efficacy will aid them accomplish most difficult assignments. Similarly, a businessman, owing to self-efficacy, can take big decisions concerning his business fearlessly. He will be ever ready to take any kind of risks to grow and flourish. Organizations that understand the importance of self-efficacy, organize full fledge training programs to develop self-efficacy of their employees.
  • People having high level of self-efficacy also deal with their personal affairs effectively. For instance, this concept is applied to many diverse behaviors like self-management of chronic diseases, pain control, eating, alcohol usage etc. Similarly, it is self-efficacy that allows parents to effectively cope with parenting challenges and raise well-adjusted kids. 

Factors affecting self-efficacy:

What is self-efficacy and why does it matter - Factors affecting self-efficacy - Perceptions - TDN BlogPerceptions: What we witness and observe directly influences our perceptions. Our beliefs and faiths are primarily a determinant of what  happens around us. For instance, watching your co-worker delivering a remarkable presentation may influence your self-efficacy positively, you tend to think he was not as brilliant and well prepared as I, still he performed a fantastic job, why can’t I? This is the way our brain works. It makes us relate someone else’s success to that of ours; this definitely boosts our morale up. Other similar episodes in life develop a positive mindset that results in high self-esteem, high self-confidence and in turn high self-efficacy.

What is self-efficacy and why does it matter - Factors affecting self-efficacy - Acknowledging or overlooking achievements - TDN BlogAcknowledging or overlooking achievements: Acknowledging your achievements in life is always a morale boosting factor and moral boosting leads to self-efficacy – you tend to perceive that no task or job or assignment is beyond your ability and you are capable enough to accomplish anything in life – and you never give up. On the other hand, if you overlook and disregard your achievements, it influences your self-efficacy negatively.

Societal behaviors: We keep on getting motivated or demotivated, encouraged or discouraged from the people around us. When someone says you What is self-efficacy and why does it matter - Factors affecting self-efficacy - Societal behaviors - TDN Blogcan do it, it adds to our motivation – a negative remark can push us towards demotivation and disappointment. We have a natural tendency to believe that we are exactly what people think about us. If someone says you are good at it and you have the ability to accomplish it, it may ignite a fire in you, which may enable you to do that task. So, being a parent, a teacher or a mentor you must avoid negative compliments as it negatively influences the self-efficacy of others. Also protect your self-efficacy by keeping yourself away from others negative energy.

With a strong self-belief you can safely undergo hardships and life challenges. Otherwise, failures and rejections will keep knocking at your door. Building self-efficacy in your children from an early age is as important as early education – it will make them stronger like a rock when they will hit the age of maturity.

Think differently and always keep working on your self-efficacy to welcome positivity and success into your life. For it, you need to detox your social circle as self-efficacy is largely a product of your social environment.

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