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How strong is your belief in yourself if a project is stalling out? Do you find your belief in yourself shifts to debilitating self-doubt? The good news – there is hope in examining the juxtaposition of self-doubt, which is self-efficacy. When you understand and strengthen self-efficacy, your project or your desired outcome begins to flourish.

‘Your belief’ is how the definition of self-efficacy starts. It’s all about believing you can, which is very powerful and, at the same time, terribly intangible. It is a belief from within you in your capability and capacity to achieve your goals, ideas, dreams or whatever it is that you would love to accomplish.

Another way of wording self-efficacy is “people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives.” –Albert Bandura.

So what! 

This is all theoretical, and did I say intangible? 

I’m with you. 

However, the application of this definition is life-changing. It enables you to go after that new promotion, create a new app, run your first 10 km or whatever it is you want. You have to believe you can do it because when you think you can, you can!

Even though I like to theorize, when it comes to producing a desired outcome, I like the tangible and practical. So this started my journey of interviewing and understanding HOW individuals who do and have made incredible achievements in this world strengthen their self-efficacy.

Yes, they became CEOs, engineered new products, became Olympians, completed complex projects, fundraised millions and many other notable achievements.

My interviewees not only believed they could, but they also did it. In our conversations, there were many ways this diverse group of achievers approached how they strengthened their inner belief in themselves. These are a few of my favourites.

Five tangible practices to improve your self-efficacy.

Embrace failure

I don’t know about you, but I have had some failures that knocked me off my feet and took me a while to recover. Nobody escapes failure, but highly efficacious individuals look at failure differently. Even though what they did may have failed, they are never a failure. When there is an obstacle, they look for unexpected opportunities. Whether they fall or fail, they lean into resiliency, dust themselves off, and try again.

Micro-steps consistently

Grow your belief in your capability to achieve your outcome by breaking your goal down into small steps. I have found with my coaching clients that when they make the task small, even micro-small, they shift to “I can do this.” When you know you can, the fear recedes; before you know it, you put the next micro-step into a micro-action. Consistent micro-actions accelerate you to your goal through actionability.

Focus on your successes

Reflect on your past successes. Think about this last year. What went well? Where did you feel alive? Who was with you? Reflect on what made the success successful. Now write it down for future reference. Then, when a project or task is not going great, pause and remember your past achievements. Then apply those learnings to your current stagnated situation.

Practice self-care

The other day a client of mine brought home a year-long, high-budget project. In clarifying what would make this project successful, self-care was one of the three focuses during the project’s unfolding. They knew when they took the time for self-care, it energized them. I was surprised by how many times the importance of self-care came up in my interviews. We hear about the importance of self-care. It is now time for you to heed the call.

Have an inner circle

Who’s got your back? When you pursue your goal, challenges will arise. Highly productive leaders have an inner circle they rely on for help, insight, wisdom and to call bullshit on them. Who is your inner circle? Who will speak the truth to you and catch you when you fall?

As you embrace the honing of your ‘yes, I can…” which of these five practices will you put into practice? Curious about what it would be like to work with a coach specializing in self-efficacy. Reach out, and let’s have a conversation


  1. What’s the difference between self-efficacy, self-esteem and self-confidence?
  2. Why is self-efficacy important?