Self-efficacy, self-confidence

In his 1997 book Self-efficacy: The Exercise of Control, Albert Bandura defines self-efficacy as the belief “in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the course of action required to produce given attainments”. As such, self-efficacy is a specific form of self-confidence: It is confidence in action.

The combination of self-efficacy and self-confidence, following Bandura’s idea, is influenced by

  1. Mastery experiences that build a robust sense of confidence and efficacy through success, or diminish it through failure.
  2. Social modeling: Seeing people who are similar to yourself achieve their goals through their efforts and persistence are sources of inspiration and motivation and raise your belief your own abilities.
  3. Social persuasion: building an ideal environment that enables successes and avoids failures.
  4. Physical and emotional states: A positive mood enhances self-confidence and self-efficacy, while negative mood diminishes it.

These points are important to keep in mind, as we can influence any of these four aspects with concrete actions.

1. Self-Efficacy Exercise

For the first exercise, you will make an assessment of your self-efficacy and how to further develop it. Please fill out the worksheet provided below for this.

Self Efficacy Exercise as PDF

Take a look at the questions there and follow the exercise. Rank your willingness to do activities despite adverse factors. How determined are you? If you have a low score, you should spend some time reflecting on the reasons for your low self-efficacy and self-confidence. Knowing why can help you find ways to improve it.

Source: Resnick, B. and Jenkins, L.S. “Testing the Reliability and Validity of the Self Efficacy for Exercise Scale.” Nursing Research 49 (2000).

2. Understanding Self-Confidence

Next, we have the “Understanding Self-Confidence”-worksheet. It will help you explore your feelings in two very different situations, analyze your responses to these situations, and come up with an action plan for the next time you experience low self-esteem.

This exercise will help you understand how to take control of your development and give you a sense of ownership in your own well-being—a trait that will serve you well in the future.

Understanding Self Confidence as PDF

This worksheet is adapted from the work of Seph Fontane Pennock, psychologist expert in Positive Psychology Techniques.

3. Three Things

Finally, the “Three Things” exercise is a self-help measure that allows you to keep track of your daily activities and how they make you feel. It is also a great way to prioritize your tasks without much effort. This exercise will support you in your understanding self-efficacy and what exactly you need to do to enhance it.

Three Things as PDF

Source: This worksheet is adapted from the work of Dr Hugo Alberts (PhD psychologist, researcher, and entrepreneur).