Most people are aware of what it means to have ‘self-esteem’ – confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. However, ‘self-efficacy’ is slightly different in that it looks beyond our belief in our intrinsic worth and instead measures the ‘belief in our ability or skill to do something’.

For instance, if someone has high self-efficacy in playing an instrument and low self-efficacy in public speaking, this means that they are more confident in their ability to perform and achieve in the former activity over the latter.

In the workplace, this becomes important because the ability to achieve set goals, reach targets (deliver public presentations), depends on whether or not you believe you can do it.

If you think you can, you are more likely to succeed. If you think you can’t, you increase your chances of being right about that too.

Still, if you are patient enough with yourself and are consistent about your growth you can see more wins. Further, a little help can go a long way, and asking for it serves you more in the long run when two heads are finding a way to solve a problem instead of one.

So, cultivating a high self-efficacy can make you more successful, and here are four ways in which you can do it.

Keep on going – trip, fall, fly

Even if it scares you, close your eyes and jump, get ready and go swimming. In order to boost your confidence and increase your self-efficacy you just have to do it. Once you get your feet wet with that task, a new skill, or journey take some time to ask for feedback to see how you are doing. People are more willing to help those who they believe are trying and constructive feedback can help you build your confidence to better conquer your fears.

Pay attention – watch and learn

If you feel like diving in is too big of risk then find someone who you can shadow who works in the same space as you would like to be in. This way of learning works well with people who are in similar professional fields as you are able to see how various skills are implemented in the real world. Seeing someone you can relate to makes the work less daunting and more doable because you can see yourself in their shoes.

Reach out when you need help

Pep talks are a great pick me up when you are feeling low about your own abilities. Positive affirmations have a significant effect on our mindsets and can help to shift our thoughts and behaviour. If you are feeling nervous before a presentation, tell a friend and ask for a quick pep-talk. For larger-than-life situations, you can reach out to a therapist to work with. Speaking to others also builds interpersonal relationships, and one day it may be you giving a helping hand.

See your success

Visualising your success is one of the best ways to bring your future into the present moment. By believing in yourself and maintaining a positive outlook you exponentially increase your ability to succeed. Make use of daily affirmations, mantras, or visualisation techniques such as ‘picture and describe’ to help you get on top of your game and achieve your goals.