Self-Efficacy - an individual’s belief in his or her innate ability to achieve goals
Self-Efficacy is one of the 7 elements which combine to create resilience. Having a greater belief in your own ability improves your ability to deal with adversity, pressure, failures and new challenges. (Reivich and Shatte. The Resilience Factor 2003). You believe you can make things happen, dealing with, changing or achieving something different.
My son has it in bucket loads as do many other children however life, experience, disappointment and other’s influence over the years knocks it out of many of us. How do I keep him believing in being an astronaut, so he does his maths homework?
There are people out there who will argue that children need to have a reality check. Our children are VERY unlikely to be astronauts, professional footballers, rock stars or YouTube sensations (whatever that means) and we should equip them for reality. My opinion is that life will do that for them and I shall continue to wonder with my son about what it will be like when he gets to Mars.
It's no good having just one of these 7 strengths they work together to help boost resilience. His realistic optimism, causal analysis and ability to reach out and try new things will all help him either achieve his dream or deal with disappointment if he only makes it to be an airline pilot (his backup plan).
I will look at these elements inmore detail in upcoming blogs.
OK we aren’t eleven-year-old children so what does self-efficacy in adults look like?
Not great in my experience. When I do coaching and training relating to resilience and pressure self-efficacy is the element which people feel is a weakness more than any other. Even people who on the surface appear to be brimming with confidence are often faking it.
So how do we change that? How do we embrace the inner eleven -year-old?
As with all personal development you must want to help yourself and with self-efficacy it is particularly challenging and takes time but here are my 5 simple ideas to take some baby steps to start.
Five Things to Help You Help Yourself.
If you dare 😉
- Try something new, master it and then be proud. Have a means of remembering the feeling with a photo, memento or note about it.
- Learn to take a compliment and choose your company well. Spend time with people who appreciate you. Be brave and ask them what they appreciate and why. Write it down.
- Three good and one bad. Keep a diary every day of 3 things you did well and one thing that didn’t got to plan. Only allow yourself to write one bad thing. Review the good and bad regularly.
- Focus on your strengths when facing a new challenge. What skills/knowledge/traits do you have which will be useful for the task. Make no reference to the ones you feel you don’t possess.
- When faced with something you think you can’t do look for the evidence and counter evidence. What evidence have you for not being able to do said task? What evidence do you have that you will be able to do it?
Keep a record of your achievements. What can you do now that you couldn’t do 10 years ago?
What will you be able to say about the next 10 years in 2028, other than where did the time go?
If you are serious about tackling it then there is loads of more detailed information here https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/self-efficacy
Or feel free to get in touch.