Self Efficacy

Sep 06, 2021

We all are faced with challenges. Probably everyday! Some are little challenges that pop up like trying to solve a new math problem or science task. Some challenges are big and seem impossible to get through. This is your self efficacy.

"Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as people's beliefs in their capabilities to exercise control over their own functioning and over events that affect their lives." (Positive Psychology)

Whatever challenges you face, you have a few options. 

OPTION 1 * You can run away! This is too hard! I don't have the needed skills to do this. Maybe someone else is better equipped to do this. Not me. I'm scared. What if I fail? 

OPTION 2 * You can walk around it for a while and maybe try it. I'm not sure I can do this. I think I might be able to, but what if I can't? Let me think about this for a bit. Hmm. I don't really want to try this. I am sure I will fail. Ok I will try it and once it gets too hard, I need to quit. 

OPTION 3 *You can try it! I am not sure I can do this, but I am going to give it my all. If I run into any problems, I will seek out help. I will start to find people I know who can help me if I get stuck. But first I will do my best and keep working at it. 

OPTION 4 *I know I have the skills to do this!! If I get stuck, I will ask for help, but I have confidence that my experiences and education will lead me to success!


These are examples of the levels of self efficacy. "Self-efficacy in all forms influence our thoughts, emotions, actions, and motivation. It operates mainly through the cognitive and affective channels and plays a crucial role in shaping our perception of life experiences. " (Positive Psychology) 

You think you can't do something and it makes you feel unworthy. Not smart. Then you decide not to even try anything. Finally you lose all interest in things related to this and you never explore the possibility that you could actual do this and be successful. That one thought led to a change in your emotions which led to your action not to do it, which ended up as a lack of motivation. 

Now you change your thinking. You think ' I believe I could do this!'. This changes your emotions to be excited to try something new and challenging. These emotions then lead to you putting in action which then ends up a high level of motivation to try this and other things. 

This does not mean you CAN do everything, but it is about your positive mindset. 

There are many ways to have positive thoughts, emotions, actions and motivations. 

Here are a few simple steps to go through the process to start developing strong self efficacy. 

1. Find your passion and skills. You can't be good at everything. And you don't have to be! If everyone was a great doctor, then we wouldn't have teachers, plumbers, mechanics, lawyers, etc. Self efficacy doesn't mean you tackle and achieve everything you do. Find what you love to do. When we do what we love we are more likely to be motivated. When we are motivated, we are more likely to work harder when something is difficult.

2. Set goals. Set realistic goals for yourself. It can be anything from organizing your room to academics! When you set these goals, they should be things that you can achieve in a short amount of time. I could set a goal of building a house, but that will take very long and require skills that I don't have. It's not impossible, but I would need to break it down into manageable goals like first learn how to build a wall! I could set a goal of learning how to hammer a nail in a board, but I can already do that! Something that is hard enough that you have to work at it, but easy enough that it can be attained. 

3. Seek help. Asking for help, after you have given 100% and look at it from all angles, can enable you to complete the task. If you have someone you trust and knows how to do something and can offer their expertise and guide you, you can feel like you can accomplish it. 

4. Feedback. Ask and accept feedback. Again, you can't do everything. When someone offers good feedback it is for your own benefit. They want you to succeed but in order to do, you need to change or fix something that you are not doing quite right. You want to get better and tackle this challenge, right? Then you need may need to make some adjustments so the next time you do it, it won't be as much of a challenge. 

5. When you achieve that goal, reward yourself! Reflect back on where you started and write down how you are proud of yourself for what you have accomplished! 

Seek approval from inside! Only you truly know what you can do. You know if you put 100% in or 50%. This is one of the foundations of the Montessori Method. It's about you being proud of you and less about seeking approval. Others can pat you on the back, which is nice, but only you know if you deserve it. 



These all seem like work ethic, which it is. But it is also developing a 'Can Do' attitude. 

Find ways to track your progress and be sure to reflect on your accomplishments. When you start to see that you can do it, you will start approaching challenges with a positive way of thinking  and believing in your capabilities!


We have a FREE on demand workshop to help you get started as well as ways to help you develop your compassionate leadership skills. 

Visit and click on Free workshop.  Then visit to join the discussion. 

Also be sure to check out our global youth leadership programs! It is an amazing, game changing program to collaborate and learn from other students and experts around the world in the areas of soft skills, teamwork, leadership and compassion. 

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