You may have heard of self-esteem and self-confidence, but you heard of the term self-efficacy before? I’ve been reading about psychology at lot recently in preparation for post-lockdown life and have been learning about ways to boost your belief in your abilities – here’s how…
If you haven’t heard of the term before, it’s helpful to understand the definition, as it’s quite different to self-esteem and self-confidence. Psychology website BetterHelp says “self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief about whether they can achieve their goals through their actions” and describes ways in which you can improve your own self-efficacy. So, if you’ve had a rocky start to 2020 it’s time to look more closely at your internal self-efficacy ‘settings’.
Your career may have changed path, or your plans might have been thrown off track by the pandemic, or perhaps your health goals have taken a hit. In which case you may be feeling low in self-efficacy. This may mean you feel unable to achieve what you want to achieve this year, or even that you no longer have the skills to do the work you do. In fact, stress can cause your self-efficacy to decrease anyway, so it’s no wonder that you might be feeling lacklustre at the moment.
Thankfully there are things you can do to boost your self-efficacy yourself, such as:
They are your biggest cheerleaders so why not ask your friends and family what they think about your ability to achieve your goals? They will easily be able to list your talents and let you know how capable they think you you are. Get in touch with you parents, siblings and the friends who know you best for a pep talk that gives you an instant uplift in the way you perceive your abilities. This might motivate you to take action and plot a new course through the year.
Understandably, you may be feeling stressed at the moment and this will certainly have an impact on your emotions. It’s been a year of having to live with conditions outside of our control, which is a stressful situation for everyone. Minimising the stresses that you can control will help you to feel better and put you back on track.
Take some time out for mindful contemplation, listen to a guided meditation, relax with a book, go for a walk and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature (unless it would stress you out to do this), declutter your desk, or take a day off to unwind. Every action you take to lower your stress levels will boost your self-efficacy in two ways; firstly, less stress equals an emotional boost that’ll bring up your self-efficacy vibes. Secondly, doing something to actively reduce your stress levels is taking an action, therefore reinforcing your belief in your own ability to achieve your goals.
And I mean celebrate every little thing you do to move toward your goals this year. You may have had to re-determine what those goals are and the timescale in which you’re going to achieve them. But nonetheless, if you do something, anything, to get one step closer, at least you’ve made progress and can feel confident in your ability to achieve.
As life and business strategist Tony Robbins says “Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade.” That just goes to show that there’s no hurry – and, with the pandemic affecting all our lives, it’s no wonder that your goals have been thrown off track this year! Every mini celebration will give you a boost in self-efficacy and will make you want to do even more next time.
What other things could you do to boost your self-efficacy? Let me know in the comments below and feel free to share your goals for 2020 – there’s still plenty of time to achieve them this year, or next year, or within the decade! You can do it!
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