SELF EFFICACY is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation.
4 ways of improving Self-Efficacy
The most effective way of developing a strong sense of efficacy is through mastery experiences. Performing a task successfully strengthens our sense of self-efficacy especially if it is reinforced by positive feedback. In time most trainees improve skills like the consultation and with this comes increasing confidence.
Social Modelling is another important source of self-efficacy. Seeing people similar to oneself succeed by sustained effort raises observers’ beliefs that they too possess the capabilities to master comparable activities to succeed. A lot of observational learning could be improved by making the observation experience specific rather than general. Watching someone consult should be interesting. But learning might be more effective if an identified need is addressed. For example if you are struggling with uncertainty and decision making – Today I’d like to observe how you manage patients when you are not sure what is happening. Or in a small study group watch how a colleague performs a scenario effectively and reflect on that might be achievable to you.
Learners can be persuaded to believe that they have the skills and capabilities to succeed. Consider a time when someone said something positive and encouraging that helped you achieve a goal. Getting verbal encouragement from others helps people overcome self-doubt and instead focus on giving their best effort to the task at hand. Struggling trainees are often defensive and interpret persuasion as “being told to do something” Be open to feedback – it is usually to try and help with your performance of that task and not a criticism of you as a person.
Be proactive and try and make your learning in the practice as positive as possible. Be prepared to identify the things that work well for you and those you find difficult. As this happens it should become easier to manage the Psychological Responses and preparedness for the challenge which can help reduce stress levels or low mood when facing difficult situations. Managing the psychological responses can be helped by things like Mindfulness and Positive Mental Training.