How Does Self-Efficacy Affect Our Rate of Success?

Last week I introduced the concept of self-efficacy; the belief in our own abilities and skills to deal with a challenging event or situation. Self-efficacy provides the foundation for human motivation, well-being and personal accomplishments. The more we believe we can do, the more we invest and thus the greater likelihood we will accomplish our goals. Research shows that belief in one’s ability to cope is a stronger predictor of success than objectively possessing the knowledge and operations skills necessary to get the task done. This is because how we perceive our abilities impacts how we choose to utilise those tools in such a significant way, that it’s more valuable to the outcome than the quality and quantity of the tools themselves. In our daily lives we make decisions about not only what course of action to pursue, but how long to continue the behaviors we have undertaken. Self-efficacy affects how much effort and energy we invest in the decisions we make. Therefore a positive outcome is not necessarily a matter of what is objectively true regarding knowledge or skills possessed at the time of the dilemma, but rather a matter of attitude, since self-perception is more likely to influence behavior. That’s why talented people can be plagued with self-doubt while someone who is less talented will put themselves out there and get the task done. Along the way the less talented person may experience some setbacks, but they generally just ignore or discount them and maintain their perseverance. Do you believe in your skills and abilities to make change happen?