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Once upon a time, I was sitting on an uncomfortable stool in a lab listening to the instructor. Well, only half-listening as it was a recertification course.

As I half-listened, they said three words in a row—self-esteem, self-confidence, self-efficacy.

  • Self-esteem – I’m worthy, okay, get that.
  • Self-confidence – I trust myself and my actions; I get that too.
  • Self-efficacy – I refocused. What’s this?

Self-efficacy is your belief that you have the actionability, the capability to achieve a specific outcome.

It’s a belief. We are talking about an inner belief that impacts how you show up and achieve your desired goals and results. As I struggled to understand this new concept, it was like I was walking down a sidewalk with uneven pavement, and I stubbed my toe. I didn’t like what I just heard. I didn’t like it because I realized I did not have a strong self-efficacy.

So, I did what most people do. I ignored it

Fast forward to 4 years ago. This time I sat on a chair on a patio. As I sipped my coffee, the woman I was with told me about the group of women she co-led. She had asked me to be their next speaker.

I asked, “What is the biggest challenge for these women?”

Her reply. “They don’t believe they can get into the real estate market.” “They don’t believe that can go into a bank and get a loan.” “They don’t believe they can manage a renovation.”

As I rode my bike home from this meeting, “they don’t believe they can…” kept churning in my head.

A word from the deep depths of my mind wormed its way back to the surface of my memory. A term I had heard many years ago, self-efficacy.

That bike ride home from our meeting was the start of ‘The Self-Efficacy Project.’

I wanted to find out how people who do amazing things, who have significant responsibilities, and who impact the world strengthen their ‘I can do that’ belief? How come some of us get paralyzed by doubt, and others go after their dreams.

Have you ever thought about how strong your ‘yes I can’ belief is?

How do you shift from doubt to belief, or can you?

Photo credit Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash