Albert Bandura is one of the most respected psychologists in the world. He studies the science of self-efficacy. Also known as: The science of confidence.
Here’s a quick take on what we know.
First, a sense of self-efficacy—a belief that you can achieve what you set out to achieve—is, to put it in technical terms, SUPER important.
For example, if you want to predict who will win a wrestling match between equally talented competitors, find out which one has a stronger belief in his ability to win. And bet on them.
There’s scientifically-validated wisdom in Henry Ford’s quip that whether we think we can or think we can’t, we’re right.
So, Part I reflections: What’s your #1 goal right now?
Got it? Fantastic.
You think you can achieve it? Where’s your self-efficacy on a scale of 1 to 10?
Wherever it is, let’s Optimize it with the four primary ways Bandura tells us we can build self-efficacy.
1. Mastery Experience. In other words, PAST SUCCESS. Small and big wins from the past are GREAT ways to boost your current confidence. Create those wins, feast on them as you build your self-image as someone who succeeds (“That’s like me!!), and bring those past mastery experiences to mind when you’re facing current challenges.
2. Vicarious Learning. In other words, seeing someone else achieve the success YOU would like to achieve. Basic idea here: If they can do it, YOU can do it. KNOW that. (Note: DO NOT get envious of their success. Celebrate it. And say, “If they can do it, I can do it.”)
3. Social Persuasion. In other words, someone tells you that you can achieve success. Like a coach. Or supportive parent or friend. Or ME. (Hah.) “YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!” You can also persuade yourself through positive self-talk and an antifragile, confident mindset. (And, remember to be the one persuading others of their potential!)
4. Physiology. In other words, if you want to succeed, ACT like a successful person. Walk, talk, breathe, and carry yourself as if you’ve already achieved that which you aspire to achieve. Presence-101 style. Strike a power pose and go rock it.
So… We have the Big 4 of Self-Efficacy: Mastery Experiences + Vicarious Learning + Social Persuasion + Physiology.
How’re YOU doing with each?
4 quick questions:
1. What’s a past success we can celebrate? (NICE!!)
2. Who has achieved something you’d like to achieve? Celebrate them! If they can do it, you can do it.
3. Who’s supported you and what supportive words did they share? (Thanks, Cool Person!)
4. When you’re at your best, how do you walk, talk, breathe and hold yourself? (Now a good time for that?)
Let’s +1 our self-efficacy today.
And… Whenever in doubt, please feel free to put this message from me on auto-repeat: “YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!”