The first thing we need to do when breaking down and explaining the concept of self-efficacy is to define self-efficacy.
What is Self-Efficacy?
Self-efficacy refers to how strong someone's belief is in relationship to completing tasks and reaching goals. This concept was first proposed by Albert Bandura in 1977.
Self-Perspective and Self-Efficacy
Strong self-efficacy starts with a healthy self-perspective. Self-perspective includes a healthy self-esteem. This is a foundational place to start from in order to later develop the confidence involved in self-efficacy.
Here are a few steps that can be taken in order to develop self-efficacy:
1. Process and reframe your past experiences and emotions associated with them in a healthy way. The saying that goes something like, "unprocessed emotions buried alive stay alive" is applicable here. These remaining feeling-concepts can have a profound effect on our present attitudes, perspectives,responses, and decisions. The good news is if we realize we decided to process these things in an unhealthy way, then we can also decide to reprocess these experiences in a healthier way and reframe our memories of them as well.
2. Positive self-affirmations and visualizations can help. A lot could be said about these things. The bottom line is that most successful people use these tools regularly. Having the attitude that we can deal with challenges, reach goals, and visualizing and confessing the same creates positive energy and direction and boosts momentary confidence.
3. Remember to factor in the time element to reaching any goal and be realistic about your human limitations. This is an area that I've seen many self-help teachers and students get hung up on. For example, I've witnessed some "positive talking" success seekers go without proper sleep or ignore important relationships in their lives and then wonder why they have health issues or are "suddenly alone." The time to reach a certain goal or goals also varies per individual depending on their life situations as well as other variables.
4. Take baby steps to create new positive outcomes. You may have heard the question, "How do you eat an elephant?" The answer is, of course, "one bite at a time." When trying to achieve a larger goal or vision, it helps to break it down into manageable and small steps that gradually build confidence with each baby step.
5. As you experience incremental success, monitor your internal responses. I've heard many success teachers and counselors mention how people unconsciously sabotage their own success. As you gradually "climb the mountain" to your success, you may realize you haven't completely "peeled away the onion of your past painful experiences." Certain events trigger past pain. Despite the momentary difficulty, this can be seen as a positive opportunity to grow and move forward in your life.
6. Creating a new history of overcoming obstacles and reaching goals is like a tidal wave of healthy and realistic confidence. It will simply become easier as you go and build on each new positive experience.
7. Affirmations and observations of other people who will cheer us on can help expedite and hasten our journey. Encouragers are true friends who can see our strengths and weaknesses and also remind us of the progress we have made.
Self-efficacy is the strength of someone's belief in their ability to complete tasks and reach goals. Steps to creating self-efficacy include processing and reframing our past, using positive affirmations and visualizations, recognizing human limitations including time elements involved in success, taking baby steps, monitoring internal responses to gradual success, building a new and positive history to refer to, and seeking encouraging friends on the way.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your self-efficacy? Where are you at on the steps to creating self-efficacy and what do you need to do next? When breaking down and explaining the concept of self-efficacy, which step or steps do you need to start with?
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