The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the 2nd part of this post, I will discuss what I have learned about the importance of self-efficacy in my life.
We admire those who have the courage to bet on their own ideas those who, to paraphrase T. S. Eliot, risk going too far as the only way to discover how far they can really go. This applies not only to entrepreneurs, but to everyone. Those who risk going to the edge to achieve an important goal are individuals who have high self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is commonly defined as our belief in our ability to succeed in reaching a specific goal. It’s trusting that we have what it takes to cope with a given situation. In common parlance, it is having a can-do attitude.
Individuals with high self-efficacy are more likely to put a greater effort in achieving specific outcomes; they also attribute any failure to things that are within their control, rather than blaming others or the conditions surrounding them. Most importantly, they are able to recover quickly from setbacks and are, therefore, more likely to succeed in realizing their goals.
Here are a few more tips to help you raise your self-efficacy:
Control your moods.
Be aware of your inner conversation; if it is keeping you focused on a gloomy perspective and causing you to be in a perpetual bad mood, find ways to channel those moods in a more productive path. Bad moods can lower your self-efficacy and, if you are leading a team, this can have a ripple effect on them. As Daniel Goleman put it in a seminal article entitled What Makes a Leader: Fewer bad moods at the top mean fewer throughout the organization.
Stop seeking feedback from others.
There is a fine line between seeking advice, once in a while on important issues, and being dependent on others counsel on a regular basis. We can become addicted to seeking advice and in the process, dilute our own insights and weaken our authentic voice. Worse still, this insidious habit can slowly corrode our self-reliance and confidence in our own abilities.
Self-efficacy is a gift you can give to yourself and others.
It’s the gift of self-trust. Perhaps this is what Michael Jordan meant when he said: You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them. What is your recurring self-perception? Does it support what you want to achieve? What can you do right now to increase your self-efficacy?