Self-efficacy. Believing in your ability to accomplish a task or succeed under certain circumstances.
Your personal goals, perceived challenges and barriers are in part shaped by your self-efficacy. The more empowered you feel the more likely you are to take action.
How do you improve your self-efficacy? There is both the physical and mental side to consider. You want to obtain the skills necessary and you want to surround yourself with positive affirmation so you BELIEVE you can use those skills effectively.
Simply put, self-efficacy= knowledge + practice + confidence
Here are some examples:
You want to learn to kayak. What needs to be done to improve your self-efficacy and accomplish your goal?
- Structural: You need a kayak. Should you rent one? Borrow one? Buy one?
- Knowledge: You need a body of water to kayak in. Is there a river, lake, or ocean nearby? What special needs might there be for kayaking in these various locations?
- Skill: You must learn how to kayak. Can you watch a video to learn? Take lessons? Do you know someone who could show you?
- Confidence: Can you even do it?! Could you talk with a friend who has kayaked, or get on a chat room for kayakers, or talk to someone at the kayak store or rental shop to hear their experiences and get some tips?
- Priority: How badly do you want to kayak; what are you willing to do to meet this goal? What are the money, time and energy costs?
You want to eat healthy. What needs to be done to improve your self-efficacy and accomplish your goal?
- Knowledge: What does “eating healthy” really mean? Could you talk with a nutritionist, a friend, read some articles or books?
- Skills: Do you need to learn about portion size? How to read labels? How to cook?
- Priority: Why do you want to eat healthy and how important is this to you compared to other aspects of your daily life?
- Confidence: How different is “healthy eating” from the way you are already eating? Is it reasonable and doable to change your habits at this time in your life?
- Support: What relationships do you hold, or need to establish, to help you?
Without being this purposeful in evaluating self-efficacy, we subconsciously make decisions on a daily basis on what to do, or not to do through our view of our abilities at any given time.
Breaking down barriers for specific goals exposes your level of self-efficacy, giving you a chance to fill in what would need to be done to accomplishing them.
Once laid out you can then make a more clear decision on which goals you truly want to pursue and those that you are not yet ready to put in the effort to tackle.
Whether it is for a specific goal or not, I encourage you to find ways to boost your self-efficacy in as many aspects of your life as possible.
Healthy habits will be easier to form now and in the future if you have the knowledge, practice and confidence to achieve them!