Sense of self efficacy – 26 Jan 2010

Mahesh decided to become an entrepreneur at 22 years of age. He had practically nothing in his pocket and no place to stay in the new city where he had decided to make his mark. All he had was immense confidence in himself and his capabilities. It was a steep climb as he had set a high goal for himself but he was determined. He had never been afraid of hard work and never been afraid to learn new things and face challenges. He was ready to work twenty hours per day to meet his goals. As he gradually began to master newer experiences his sense of self efficacy went up like never before. Earlier he had a high self image but now he had a high sense of self efficacy too. It did not come easily- it gradually developed as he learnt new tasks and mastered them. The positive experiences of handling the tasks effectively gave him the sense of self efficacy. The successful outcomes of the goals achieved were responsible further for enhancing the sense.

Self efficacy is the belief that an individual has in his/her own capacities for fulfilling a specific goal. It is an important component of the mind which harbours faith or the lack of it in one’s own capabilities to perform a task successfully. It is correlated to many other behaviour components such as making a proper choice of goal, motivating oneself to achieve that goal, striving towards attaining that goal successfully, and some more aspects. It is a goal oriented perception of one’s belief in doing a task effectively.

It is linked to the self esteem but is certainly different from it. A person with a high self esteem would have a general confidence in himself /herself but may not have the sense self efficacy in the specific task that he is to perform for himself. This sense follows only after the successful completion and the gaining of confidence in repeating similar tasks in future. On the contrary a person with a high sense of self efficacy can still suffer from a low self esteem. This is quite commonly observed. Many good and effective professionals may have a fairly good sense of self efficacy but still may not have an overall faith in oneself. This sounds contradictory but is not. Therefore in spite of having the competence and the capacity to perform effectively many persons may not want to take on more for want of self confidence. The overall faith in oneself is as important as the belief in ones capabilities to perform.

An achiever would possess both a high sense of esteem as well a good sense of self efficacy as he climbs up the ladder of success. Both these dimensions would need to be taken care of if he is to rise further. Of course many more dimensions come into play at that level but we will restrict their discussion here. The system of self is complex and also includes your attitudes and values. A person who has a high sense of self efficacy would also have to master other areas too so that he can become an all rounded personality rather than becoming lop sided. A self efficacious person may be ineffective in some other areas of his life which lead to partial unhappiness of some sort. If people are to experience larger happiness or extended happiness then they would need to extend their sense of self efficacy in more areas of life. But people may neglect this or overlook this aspect of their life. In the rat race they may acquire a lop-sided personality due to excessive focus on limited goals. But that is matter of individual choice you would agree.


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