What did I do?

Posted in: Kate Elliott

So festive holidays are round the corner and 2022 is coming to a close (whaaaat - how did that happen so quickly?). It’s a great time to devote a little energy to celebrating your successes and learning from what went well. 

Self-efficacy¹ is our belief in our ability to succeed (whereas self-esteem is our belief in our value). Strong self-efficacy helps us to make greater efforts when working on a task, to persist for longer and to recover more quickly from setbacks. Self-efficacy has been shown to be strongly related to performance at work² and has also been linked to psychological wellbeing in both teachers³ and undergraduate students⁴ 

One of the key sources of self-efficacy is our past mastery experiences, and yet many of us [sheepishly raises hand] spend little time reflecting on our successes and may even find it an uncomfortable experience. So here’s a short celebrating success exercise to help you work with that discomfort, and help to build self-efficacy, motivation and resilience for the new year: 

  1. Set a timer for 3 minutes and list all of your achievements over the past year 
  2. Identify 2 or 3 that are the most meaningful to you 
  3. For each achievement, ask yourself: 
  • What did I do? (think about your actions, your strengths and your abilities) 
  • Why did I do it? (think about your values and beliefs) 
  • What did it lead to? (think about outcomes)

4. Make one small commitment (write it down, or better yet tell someone else about it!) based on what you’ve learned 

You may also like to start keeping a ‘feedback folder’ where you can collect and store any pieces of positive feedback to remind yourself of your successes whenever you need a little boost! 

Wishing you and yours a well deserved festive break and a positive start to the new year. 

Kate Elliott Learning and OD Manager, Workforce Development Team, Department of Human Resources 

Further resources: 

The University of Bath coaching service for staff 

University of Bath Development Toolkit | Resiliency (goodpractice.net) 

University of Bath Development Toolkit | Feedback (goodpractice.net) 

Foot note

¹Bandura, A. (1977). Self-Efficacy:Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change. Psychological Review, 84, 191-215 

²Stajkovic, A. D., & Luthans, F. (1998). Self-efficacy and work-related performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological bulletin, 124(2), 240. 

³Klassen, R. M., & Chiu, M. M. (2010). Effects on teachers' self-efficacy and job satisfaction: Teacher gender, years of experience, and job stress. Journal of educational Psychology, 102(3), 741. 

Siddiqui, S. (2015). Impact of self-efficacy on psychological well-being among undergraduate students. The International Journal of Indian Psychology, 2(3), 5-16. 

Posted in: Kate Elliott


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