What is Self-Efficacy?
Self-Efficacy is one’s confidence in their ability to accomplish any task. We often overlook this wonderful quality in people. Students who have high self-efficacy are more confident, have successful coping in regard to various life changes, and are able to focus better in their professional lives. If you are someone who is always up for a challenge, or think that you can deal with difficult situations as easily as buttering up a toast, you may be high on self-efficacy.
Now imagine, for a second, that you have a ton of homework and on top of that, your mom keeps asking you to go to the market to run a few errands. On one hand, it is highly frustrating to you, but on the other, you realize that this is something that you have to do. Without yelling at your mom or ranting about your homework to anyone, you are able to calm yourself, and manage all the tasks. This is an example of emotional self-efficacy.
Emotional self-efficacy is a component of one’s emotional quotient, a self-belief that an individual is capable of managing their emotions and coping with difficult situations.
Albert Bandura, one of the most influential psychologists of the century, talked about Self-Efficacy in 1997 in a research paper. It formed a part of his Social Cognitive theory. Bandura theorized that an individual’s abilities, cognitive capacity and abilities are a part of his/her self-system. Our self-efficacy is a part of this self-system, and it helps decide how we perceive different situations and cope with them.
Since then, much importance has been placed on this aspect of self. Many researchers after Bandura have talked about its importance.
Importance in Career Selection
As youngsters, we often overlook the importance of emotional aspects in our life. We take it for granted, because we are never taught the concept of right expression of emotion, or the consequences of not expressing them in a healthy way. In order to become confident individuals, and to overcome challenges (Personal & Professional) without being overwhelmed by emotions, it is important that we understand the significance of emotional self-efficacy in our lives.
When it comes to career selection too, it is crucial to place value on Emotional Components. Here are a few reasons why that is so:
- Behavior at work – When we think of pursuing a career, and working in it for a long period of time, we are not aware about how strong an impact our emotional self-efficacy will have. For example – your colleague gets a promotion and you are not happy about it, it would be okay to break a few dishes if you are at home, but an unacceptable behavior in the workplace. If you know you cannot handle the ups and downs that come with a career, then perhaps you should be doing something else that you can handle emotionally.
- Setting Goals – Individuals who have a higher level of emotional self-efficacy are better goal setters, because they have high expectations of themselves, as well as the confidence to deal with those expectations. It enables them to do better in their professional lives. This is why checking self-efficacy is crucial for career selection.
- Experimenting with New ideas – High emotional self-efficacy helps people experiment with new ideas as they are confident and comfortable in their capacities. As such, a high emotional self-efficacy helps people avoid stagnation in their careers as they are always open to change.
- Setting Expectations – Emotional self-efficacy is an important determinant of expectations that people have from themselves. Generally, individuals with higher level of self-efficacy have higher expectations of themselves and often the means to meet these expectations. Lower emotional self-efficacy leads to individuals setting low expectations in their work and career.
- Confidence and Personal Well–Being – Imagine that you have tremendous belief in your own emotional experiences in every situation. You know you can handle all difficulties with grace and a calm approach. Even if you are unable to solve a problem, it is evident to you that your reaction to the problem matters more than the problem itself. This belief will not only bestow you with confidence, but also fill you with a sense of well-being in your personal life!
How to Increase Emotional Self-Efficacy
Emotional Self-Efficacy can be increased by keeping a few points in mind:
- Set Up a Reward System – When trying to increase emotional self-efficacy, start with taking small steps and set goals that you think are achievable. Once done, give yourself praise and self-assurance in order to make achieving goals a rewarding experience. Slowly, you will see that self-praise becomes a habit and your emotional efficacy shoots up.
- Take Initiative – Try and take initiative to do things, at school, at home. It can be anything, from participating in debates or drama to volunteering to get vegetables from the market. This builds a sense of ownership in you and boosts your emotional self-efficacy manifold. It is also a great way to build mastery over different kinds of tasks.
- Get more Organized – Believe it or not, getting more organized will give you the confidence to take on challenges. It will also help you feel more in control of your life and emotions. So de-clutter your wardrobe, file your documents & homework and organize your study table!
- Ask for Feedback – When you complete a task, ask for feedback from your teachers, friends and parents. This kind of constructive feedback will help you overcome your fears and doubts, as well as boost your emotional strength. It is a simple yet effective way to increase your emotional self-efficacy.
- Get Expert Opinion – Sometimes Emotional issues at school, college or home can lead to a low level confidence in your own emotional strength. If nothing helps, it is always better to seek help from a professional counsellor. Sharing your concerns with a professional will definitely help you amplify your emotional self-efficacy.
We hope these points prove helpful to you. If still in doubt, take the Mindler Assessment to find out how your emotional self-efficacy will help you choose the right career.
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