How to Improve Self-Efficacy


To achieve our goals it is important to learn how to become “Effective” …

What is meant by Self-Efficacy

Self-Efficacy concerns the “inner mental capacity-conviction of an individual to effectively (concretely or profitably) achieve their goals”, on the basis of previous successful experiences in the past.

The concept of Self-Efficacy was developed by the psychologist Albert Bandura, who, in the book “Self-Efficacy”, argues that the Expectations of Self-Efficacy can originate from four main sources:

  1. Personal Experiences (attributable to “effective management of activities” and “successes” of the past)
  2. The Vicar Experience (of the “Vicars” that is other similar people – “our substitutes” – who achieve the results)
  3. Persuasion (also “Verbal” of other people who encourage us to achieve goals)
  4. Reduction of Emotional and Physiological States (linked to the “Frustration” and “Stress” that block us)

The Relationship between Self-Efficacy and Achievement of Goals

When we are given a task to complete or we work out a goal to achieve, our Mind begins to activate some cognitive processes, loading them with a “positive” or “negative” value, depending on whether the person has a high degree of self-esteem (judgment of global value that an individual attributes to himself) or is instead governed by thoughts limiting that cause a sense of anxiety related to performance expectations.

In the first case, the individual often reacts with enthusiasm and determination, carefully planning the context and identifying their strengths, the resources available, as well as the risks associated with the activity to be pursued; in the other case the person places too much attention on the difficulties related to the achievement of the task and the goal, not being able to make an objective assessment of the situation, as it is “crushed” from a vision that amplifies one’s weaknesses and which, on the contrary, does not contemplate one’s own potential.

How to improve Self-Efficacy

Given that to strengthen self-efficacy it is always essential to work on self-esteem, it may be useful to “get used to” considering each of our Goals as “achievable” (as long as it has the characteristics to be such) and start structuring our thoughts in a way that is functional to its achievement by limiting stress and emotional blocks.

By way of example, in the case of preparation for a sports competition it is essential to develop “positive” thoughts that start from a high and correct consideration of oneself (free from self-exaltation components) and extend to embrace practical aspects (such as training planning, knowing one’s limits, as well as managing the time to devote daily), always with a view to “performing” to be able to do it!