The term self-efficacy was described by Albert Bandura (psychologist) as a feeling of adequacy, efficiency and competence in coping with life. In other words, it is the power of believing you can.
Individuals high in self-efficacy believe that they can effectively deal new situations or events, because they expect themselves to succeed in overcoming obstacles. These people have confidence in their abilities and view new situations as a challenge rather than a threat. High self-efficacy reduces one's fear of failure and improves their problem solving and analytical thinking.
On the other hand, people with low self-efficacy feel like they are not in control of their life and are often helpless. When these individuals face any difficulties, they give up easily if they are initially unable to solve the problem. These individuals believe that any effort they make is pointless because they convince themselves that it won't make a difference. Low self-efficacy can destroy one's motivation, interference with their cognitive functioning and damage physical health.
The initial source that helps us judge our self-efficacy is performance attainment. Any previous successful experiences gives us information about our competence. If we have achieved anything in the past, it will increase our feelings of self-efficacy. If we face a failure or repeated failures, it will lower our self-efficacy. Receiving feedback on our performance can indicate our performance attainment.
The second way people judge their self-efficacy is by observing others. If we see others, particularly people with similar abilities as our own performing successfully, then it strengthens our own feelings of self-efficacy. The similar judgement works if we people with similar abilities to us, fail. This leads us to believe that " if they can't do it, neither can I." Therefore, effective models can enhance our feelings of competence and adequacy.
The third was one can enhance their self-efficacy is by receiving reminders from people who tell them that they have the ability to achieve whatever they want to. This verbal persuasion is often offered to us by our parents, peers, spouse or coaches. This verbal persuasion needs to be realistic in order to be effective.
The final way we judge our self-efficacy is through physiological and emotional arousal we feel more confident in our ability to overcome an obstacle successfully if we are not feeling tensed or anxious. Therefore, the more calm we are, the greater our self-efficacy. Whenever we have a greater physiological and emotional arousal, it weakens our feeling of self-efficacy.