Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in their ability to influence events in their lives (Bandura, 2010). Simply stated, if you believe you can successfully perform an activity, you are more likely to succeed in that activity, and the opposite is true if you are sceptical. Is it enough to believe in success to be successful? We will explore whether self-efficacy is correlated to success (or successful performance), with an additional guide on strengthening your self-efficacy in everyday workplace tasks.
Why is self-efficacy an important construct?
Self-efficacy was introduced in the literature a couple of decades ago, and with-it developments in a variety of psychological theories. Self-efficacy serves as a powerful influence in all areas of human behaviour, including completing more tedious workplace tasks for jobs in Malta and elsewhere.
It has been shown that people with higher self-efficacy are more likely to place effort in achieving their goals (Kirk, 2012). Whether factors exist that serve to be motivating or guiding, one’s belief that they can accomplish said goals are a sufficient starting point in making a difference through their actions (Bandura, 2010). Self-efficacy is a strong theory, and upcoming research continues to improve it through its applicability across different contextual workplace settings (such as in leadership roles, e.g., Fitzgerald & Schutte, 2010).
As we all wish to strive in our professional development, it is at times not always easy. Sometimes we wake up unmotivated to work, and other times workplace goals present themselves with a myriad of difficult obstacles. What can we do to increase our self-efficacy, and apply this theory in our everyday working lives?
Practice makes perfect
We’ve all heard the saying before, yet how does it transpire in practice? When completing tasks successfully, we become more confident to achieve similar tasks again. Practising tasks so that we become more assertive and skilful is one way to build your self-efficacy. Start slow and work your way up in building and maintaining confidence to carry your jobs successfully. This includes work from home and remote jobs.
Learn from your colleagues
Bandura speaks of vicarious experiences that refers to learning skills and achieving tasks from others. For example, if you observe a colleague make a mistake at work, you will know what to avoid in making the same mistake, without having made it yourself. The same is true for learning what tasks were carried out from colleagues in successfully meeting goals. Speaking to and learning from others who are successful works as a motivator to achieve similar goals and aspirations.
Gain inspiration with role models
Self-efficacy theory addresses role models as individuals who inspire us to follow their principles and guidance. Role models are vital in building self-efficacy, as their teachings influence us to follow in their footsteps to achieve similar successful career paths. Do you work for a finance, banking, or IT job? Identifying someone who inspires you in the workplace will go a long way in motivating your confidence to achieve certain tasks.
A positive sense of self
Our mental and physical wellbeing is an important consideration for self-efficacy such that, if you are going through a difficult circumstance in your life, you will be less motivated and optimistic in yourself. Positive experiences on the other hand allow us the confidence to meet our goals. The note worth making here is that the way we perceive ourselves, be it in a positive or negative light, influences our self-efficacy. Practice positive self-talk and focus on your positive features to help overturn a negative sense of self.
Success in the workplace
At the end of the day, successful professional development begins from you and your attitude towards yourself and work. Applying self-efficacy theory is one way to attain positive habits that not only help workplace success, but also help create a successful, and optimistic view of your day-to-day life.
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