Self-efficacy – Believing in yourself matters.

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Are you someone who is able to face challenges head on? Recovers quickly from setbacks? Then you have a strong sense of self-efficacy. If however, you are someone who quickly loses confidence, avoids challenging tasks and shy away from challenging situations then you may have a weak sense of self-efficacy. Bandura (1977) describes self-efficacy as a person’s belief in themselves, their capabilities and ability to achieve goals. Self-efficacy develops in childhood either by mastering skills, observing others achieve skills, verbal persuasion and/or a person’s psychological state (Bandura, 1994).

According to Bandura (1994), there are four major psychological processes through which self-efficacy affect the way people function. The first is Cognitive Processes, which is the ability for a person to make a commitment and to visualise their success. The second, Motivational processes is the ability for a person to set goals, be self-motivators and are self-satisfied from fulfilling their goals. The third, Affective Processes is the ability for a person to cope with stress and challenging situations. The final process is the Selection Process; this is where a person exercises control over their own environment and where their occupation can provide them with a source of personal growth (Bandura, 1994).

Its never too late to develop self-efficacy. Through mastering small goals, surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and making an effort you can develop self-efficacy.  Teachers and role models can play an integral role in providing students with appropriate feedback to their situation which can assist them in overcoming any difficulties they may have had and in turn enhance their learning ability and self-efficacy (Goulao, 2014).

“Success is not just a matter of capability, but really a matter of how capable we think we are” Dr. Chad Magnuson


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Bandura A. (1977). Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.

Goulão, M.F. (2014). The Relationship between Self-Efficacy and Academic Achievement in Adults’ Learners. Athens Journal of Education, 1(3), 237-246.

Li, M., Yang, Y., (2009). Determinants of Problem Solving, Social Support Seeking, and Avoidance: a Path Analytic Model. International Journal of Stress Management, 16(3), 155-176.

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Rutter, M. (1987). Psychosocial Resilience and Protective Mechanisms. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 57(3), 316-331.