tba, draft notes, email me if you want this finished sooner or more.

Is anything more important in life?


“The belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations.” (Bandura, 1995, p. 2)

It approaches the idea of self confidence. 


Without a sense of self-efficacy, you can't:

   Be happy.
   Get much done (for your benefit)
   Improve your life
   Add much to your life
With a poor sense of self efficacy, you:

    Fear more
    Are more anxious
    Think poorly of yourself
    Wait to be rescued (which can't be controlled, causing more anxiety)

And if you feel you are not competent to handle life you are sending a clear signal that your survival is at risk, so your alarm system goes into overdrive looking to carry the load.

One super damaging practice:  Setting standards that are too high.  "I must be a doctor to be ok."  And then you set up your whole life to "fail" to meet those standards, rather than seeing what you do have.   You'll always have an Unhappiness Gap.  Study The Role Of Expectations In Life And In Relationships (a killer!).

Opposite is helplessness and a belief in one's being powerless or not powerful enough. 


A huge, huge, huge cost....

Not allowing another person to cope on his/her own can have a huge cost. 

How else can they learn to cope? 

Yes, you might coach them, especially if they have no clue on what to do, but leave it up to them to pull it off!


A person might not be conscious of where he is not competent, but the lack of desired results in an area or overall in life are a sure indicator that there is something to look for. 

In order for a person to get to a higher level of life competence, he/she must become aware of what is called "Unconscious Incompetence" and then proceed to the next level of "Conscious Incompetence", where one can start looking for ways to become competent so that we can achieve "Conscious Competence".  And when we get so competent that it becomes natural (second nature) and automatic, we  reach "Unconscious Competence" - which is the point where it is virtually effortless, but hugely productive.   And the effect is to greatly enhance one's sense of self-efficacy, of having personal power over one's life.  (See At First You're Always Incompetent - It's Not A Fault, Only A Necessary Step To Becoming Competent.)


Do an abilities assessment (see Overall Life Test, a strengths assessment and a successes in life list.  

Affirm that you can do the key things in life if only you take the time to learn to do what a successful person does (and knows). 

Engage in a learning/implementation program.

Do not stop until you've achieved a satisfactory level of key strengths in life. 


Perhaps the most important lesson for children (of which you were one) is that they can solve problems that may not seem solvable.  In one middle school, they took four months to do a major project to produce a working electricity generator and to do what it would take to learn about electricity.  They even had friendly competitions around it.  One girl notably said what perhaps alot of people were thinking:  "I know nothing about science or mechanical stuff.  I will fail." 

But they did succeed after a string of failures (aka learning experiences) - and they learned one of the most valuable lessons in life - that they CAN do it, they can solve problems and come up with solutions...and it takes effort and pushing it through. 

In parenting, one of the difficult decisions is how much to intervene with the child.  Too much intervention (and "rescue") and too little self-reliance produces a child who is entitled or dependent and who does not feel good self-esteem and self confidence.   See the broader discussion  Self-Esteem For "Kids" - Learning What Is True And What Is Not AT All True.

Albert Bandura, the specialist, on Self-Efficacy and an article on The Exercise Of Control.
Components Of Happiness:

1.  Feeling good about myself.

2.  Having the confidence I can handle life

3.  Considering life and the world to have the right stuff for me to be able to use for my benefit.

4. Feeling I (safely) have enough (related to gratitude)

From The Road To Happiness.

The Signs Of A Poor Sense Of Self-Efficacy

Based on the reality of the law of cause and effect, if we see the following effects, it is a super strong indicator of a lack of a sense of self-efficacy.

Underachievement (painfully obvious in the real world; poor earnings, not being able to be organized and effective, etc.) 

Lots of anxiety (of course!)

Low self regard (esteem)

Low self confidence

Outside articles:  Refer to these not to become a researcher, but only to the extent it makes it clear to you.  Then stop.

What Is Self-Efficacy?

Self-Efficacy (Wikipedia)

Self-Efficacy: Helping Students Believe In Themselves 

Self-Efficacy Theory

The Reason Why A Person Does Not Have A Sense Of Self-Efficacy:

He/she stopped short of sufficient knowing, remaining in a lower state of being an amateur at life.

He/she needed to acquire the insights behind having a true
Growth Mindset.

Link to the two pieces above to understand more.