Self Efficacy and Why Believing in Yourself Matters
How would you rate your self-confidence on a scale from 1 to 10? Be honest. When you start a task, do you believe that you’re going to be able to successfully complete it? What if we told you that the amount that you believe that you’ll succeed actually impacts how successful you’ll actually be? PYM believes that you can do anything, but we want you to be able to believe in yourself too.
There is so much talk about self-esteem and self-confidence that we forget about another important “self” belief - self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is a term that specifically refers to the belief that you have that you’ll be able to achieve a goal or complete a task. It was coined by a psychologist named Albert Bandura in 1977.
This can actually affect not only completing that goal or task successfully but also whether you even start it in the first place. It often comes hand in hand with another, a similar concept is known as outcome expectancy. While self-efficacy is the odds you give yourself of success, outcome expectancy is whether you believe that you’ll actually have good results.
If you have a high level of self-efficacy, you’re likely to put forth a lot more effort into the task. You’re also less likely to be knocked off course when setbacks happen. If you have a low level of self-efficacy, those same setbacks may make you quit entirely. A good example is a difficult class. If your self-efficacy is high, you’ll stick with it and try to understand it better (or seek tutoring) if you don’t understand something. If it’s low, you’re likely just to drop the class.
It’s important to note that self-efficacy is not the same across the board. You can have a high level of self-efficacy in one thing and a low level in another. You can’t predict how well you’ll do at one task based on your self-efficacy level in another.
Developing Self Efficacy
There are generally four types of factors that play into developing a high sense of self-efficacy. Each plays a different but important role in helping you to tackle increasing your own self-efficacy, especially if you learn how to use them appropriately.
One of those factors is your own personal experience with similar tasks. This one makes a lot of sense if you’ve already done something like the task before, you’re more likely to believe that you’ll be successful at doing it again. Unfortunately, this is also one reason why it can be tricky to develop your self-efficacy. You have to succeed at something to develop a high sense of self-efficacy, and if you’re not sure that you’ll be successful, you may not attempt it in the first place.
As humans, we naturally compare ourselves to others. When it comes to self-efficacy, that can go either way. If we see someone who looks like us succeeding at something that we didn’t think that we could, it can increase our belief that we can also do it. Studies have shown that this is more likely to be the case if the person succeeds after putting in the hard work instead of having an innate ability. However, observation tends to affect self-efficacy less than personal experience.
While it doesn’t have a big effect, when other people try to help you succeed by giving you support and encouragement, it can help you to at least take that first step. However, having a fan club in your corner can definitely help you develop a more positive sense of self-esteem and greater self-confidence. Everything in life is connected, so helping in one area of your life naturally seeps into other areas as well.
Emotion really does control a lot of what we say, think, and do. When it comes to self-efficacy, this often refers mostly to fear and anxiety. Nerves can impact how hard we try and how well we think that we’ll do. If you’re feeling nervous, try a PYM Mood Chew. It can help you calm your nerves so that you can work through them and get some good personal experience to increase your self-efficacy in the long run.
How Believing In Yourself Can Change Your Life
While self-esteem and self-confidence are important, self-efficacy has a few specific uses that make it potentially life changing (if you know how to use it).
Phobias are one of those uses. The psychologist who originally researched and identified the concept of self efficacy did plenty of resource on its use in helping to treat phobias. Specifically, he tested the impact that having positive interactions with snakes has on not only self-efficacy but also helping treat their phobias. He found a positive correlation, suggesting that self-efficacy can have a big impact on the treatment of many types of phobias (similar to “exposure therapy” but with a more positive angle).
Having a high level of self-efficacy can also help people who are trying to develop healthier behaviors. When you know how to find positive role models that you can relate to performing the behaviors you want to achieve (a good example is running a marathon), you develop that self efficacy through both personal experience and observation. You can then go on to inspire someone else! Share the love.
Believing in yourself matters. Not only can it make or break whether you actually succeed at a task, but it can also help you build the other “selfs” - self-esteem and self-confidence. PYM Mood Chews can help you feel less anxious when you tackle a new task so that you can build your self-efficacy and learn more about yourself. Every goal is reachable when you learn to believe that you can do them.