“Self-efficacy” is a word that you have heard the WCN use many times, and it’s a term that’s being heard more and more these days – in business, in social science, in education. What in the world does it mean and what difference does it make to you?
Self-efficacy is your own judgment of your ability to do something – sell a car, play golf, solve a problem, whatever. But self-efficacy isn’t so much about your skills as it is about your appraisal of your ability to use those skills.
Here is something that is very important. Research has shown that people who see themselves as efficacious generally perform better than people who don’t, even though their skills may be similar. Now why is that? Typically, they hang in there when things get tough. Instead of giving up, they try something different. They don’t get uptight under pressure because they believe they are going to find the solution and come through just fine.
Efficacious people have more options in life, because they believe in possibilities. People usually avoid things they think they can’t handle, and efficacious people just think they can, and so they do! There it is in a nutshell: We behave not in accordance with the truth, but with “the truth” as we believe it to be.
Now, a little self-examination about that “truth” we hold typically uncovers some dearly held beliefs that may be holding us back. These beliefs sometimes stand in the way of our ability to make something happen. So, the question is, do we keep these beliefs just because we have always had them, or do we set them aside and create new beliefs, more in line with who we really are today?
If you would like to raise your self-efficacy and your self-esteem, start today by setting a goal and creating the vision of where you want to go. It doesn’t need to be a big goal, just something that’s out of your “normal,” something you don’t already know how to do. It will be a bit of a challenge, but you will figure out how to achieve it as you go along. You are that smart. Believe it!