Last week, in our "Wait, what?" session, we dived into the Droste effect, thanks to one of our designers, Nor Mira Canales, who wanted to explore the...
I love exploring what exactly makes us as humans tick. What determines this inner drive which determines our actions and how can we increase it? Why do we favour certain activities over others and avoid some activities altogether?
Albert Bandura developed the self-efficacy theory which links motivation with self-esteem.
So what is self-efficacy and what does it have to do with motivation?
Self-efficacy is a belief in your own capabilities to succeed in a particular situation. People with self-efficacy are more likely to set goals for themselves, persist longer when challenged and remain resilient to failures. In short, they engage more in life and the opportunities it offers them, simply because they believe that they will be able to meet the challenges they are confronted with. Motivation is increased when a person has a sense of being able to achieve the desired result. Conversely, when I seriously doubt my ability to succeed and feel like I am destined for failure, what is the use in trying?
There are four sources of self-efficacy:
This is the simple principle of success breeding success. This is the strongest and most enduring source of self-efficacy. The feeling of success leads to confidence in your own abilities and skills. When failure is experienced time and time again, self-efficacy can be undermined.
To be inspired by a role model is another potential source of self-efficacy. Role models which are effective are individuals who are seen as similar to oneself. A successful entrepreneur with humble beginnings is more likely to be an inspiration to people with similar background than an aspiring entrepreneur from a privileged background. When we see people similar to us succeed we think: “If they can do it, so can I.”
3. Social persuasion
When we receive verbal encouragement from other people, it reinforces or strengthens the belief we have in our own capabilities. As humans, we don’t always have realistic views or beliefs about our own capabilities and when we hear the other people believe we are capable of more than what we believed, our self-efficacy can grow too. When we are criticised by other people or become aware of a sense of disapproval from others, this can break down self-efficacy.
4. Emotional states
The emotional response to an activity can either motivate further participation or completely dishearten someone from future engagement in a particular activity. If you suffer from anxiety when speaking in front of an audience, you will most probably avoid the situation at all cost because the emotions experienced will make you feel out of control and cause self-doubt.
How can self-efficacy be increased?
Break tasks down into smaller achievable components. Remember, success breeds success.
Engage in activities which result in positive emotions and feedback.
Identify role models similar to yourself in the areas in which you would like to grow.
Make an effort to connect with them and to draw inspiration from them.
Avoid individuals who drain your energy with negative criticism and surround yourself with people who encourage you.
Ask someone to help you to reinterpret negative emotional states, because the way we think or perceive a situation can impact the emotional reaction we have towards it.