How to boost your self-efficacy to help you achieve your goals

Psychologist Albert Bandura defined self-efficacy as a “person’s particular set of beliefs that determine how well one can execute a plan of action" (Bandura, 1977). Self-efficacy is our positive beliefs in relation to our capability to achieve successful task-specific outcomes.


Our self-efficacy plays a vital role in how we approach our tasks and goals.

People with low self-efficacy:

  • avoid difficult tasks
  • don’t trust their skills and capabilities
  • fear failure
  • quickly lose confidence in their ability
  • experience low motivation and are more likely to procrastinate
  • are less likely to ask for help
  • develop a fixed mindset (don’t believe things can change)

People with high self-efficacy:

  • foster curiosity and interest in their own personal development
  • are willing to explore new ideas and try new things
  • enjoy the opportunity to learn new skills, develop their strengths and learn from others
  • view failure as feedback
  • recover well from disappointments
  • feel positive and motivated
  • have a growth mindset (nothing is set in stone; with effort, things can change.) 

How can we develop our level of self-efficacy?

Bandura identified four major sources:

  1. Mastering experience - developing our skills in pursuit of our goals.
  2. Social modelling - learning from observing others' efforts in pursuing success.
  3. Social persuasion - being exposed to positive encouragement and feedback from others.
  4. Psychological responses - an ability to influence our moods and emotional states, such as reducing stress, choosing happiness and developing a  positive mindset.

How could you incorporate Bandura's self-efficacy theory into your own ability to achieve your goals?

Here are seven ways to boost your self-efficacy:

  1. Reflect often on your abilities, talents, and knowledge. Identify areas where you have grown and developed over time. Be generous with your sense of pride and achievement! 
  2. Break down your current goals into more manageable tasks. By dividing your goals into more manageable steps, you can approach them with a greater sense of purpose.
  3. Keep a learning log to monitor your ongoing progress so you can reflect often on your development. Celebrate major and minor wins!
  4. Reach out! Look for role models, blogs, support groups, and autobiographies - success leaves clues. The journey was often challenging at times for them too.
  5. Spend time with people who provide positive encouragement - seek out people who are happy to get right behind. 
  6. Always protect and promote your well-being - rest, relax, and create space to recharge and regulate your emotions. Nothing will slow you down more than you, in a negative frame of mind. 
  7. Practice self-compassion and positive self-talk - aim to be your very own cheerleader! Be kind and encouraging to yourself and practice talking to yourself as you would talk to your dearest friend. Practice saying things such as: "Wow, that is so hard for you, I'm so proud of you for giving it your best shot."

Remember, self-efficacy is developed through experience, perseverance, and positive self-talk. By leveraging your strengths, drawing inspiration from past achievements, and breaking down goals, you can enhance your self-efficacy and believe in your ability to accomplish new tasks and overcome obstacles.

And please also remember, your worth is never a reflection of your growth and achievements. You matter most, not your goals. Your goals are just things that you are working on. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Whaley Bridge SK23 & Manchester M2
Written by Sandie Norbron-Shaw, Founder of High Peak Life Coaching since 2006
Whaley Bridge SK23 & Manchester M2

Sandie Norbron-Shaw is a qualified and seasoned Career Coach and Life Coach supporting mid-life and mid-career professionals to follow their dreams and foster purpose, positivity and happiness to fuel their professional success. As a World Happiness Summit Coach Facilitator, she is passionate about helping people thrive!

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