Melissa Lee-Tammeus, PhD/LMHC View Entire Blog

Making Some Sunshine

Self efficacy is one’s personal belief system by which one thinks, creates action, and makes decisions (Bandura & Locke, 2003). Emotions and behaviors, we exude through self-efficacy, whether perceived as positive or negative, are super sensitive. They can be changed through external cues such as opinions and judgments of others. They can change on a dime when we compare ourselves to someone else. They can even grow based on encouragement and praise.

Whatever we chose affects how we feel about ourselves, what we think about ourselves, and what we do with ourselves every minute of every day (Bandura & Locke, 2003).

Self-efficacy theories are rooted in the core belief that we have the power to produce anything we want (Bandura & Locke, 2014). You’re like SuperHuman with the cape AND the cool ride. You just gotta know how to use it.

So, here’s the deal. Right now, latch on to one positive aspect that you are bringing to the table right now.

Is it the fact that you are kind to animals? Is it the fact that you can’t let a smile from a stranger go unreturned? Is it the fact that you could have thrown that cigarette out the window but you put it in the trash instead? Grab something, anything. I guarantee you can pick one positive thing. Reading this counts too, by the way. After all, it’s all about improvement, right? Points for you, right here! Woohoo!

When you focus on these positives in yourself, you can build a positive self-perception. Everyone deserves a bad-ass self-perception. You deserve to know you matter.

It matters that you contributed to society by cleaning up your own mess, or spreading a bit of sunshine, playing with an animal that needed attention, or reading something with the hope of self improvement.

Reiterating and acknowledging your contributions gives you permission to be even more engaged next time around.

And guess what? Imagine what happens when you pick out positives for others to help with their self-perception? We are talking unicorns and cotton candy for all, people.

What is important to remember when thinking about self-efficacy is that we all are sensitive to environmental cues. We can either stifle that in ourselves or others or we can help it blossom. Bandura and Locke (2003) said that “erroneous feedback serves as a form of persuasory influence” (para. 12).

Your words and actions have power. Everything you say, everything you do, can build up your worth or tear it down.

So, give yourself some sunshine. There’s more where that came from.


Bandura, A., &, Locke, E. A. (2003). Negative self-efficacy and goal effects revisited. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(1), 87–99.