Vitality – 36/77 – Confidence & Self-efficacy

I came across this lovely text down below in today’s compulsory reading in ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ by Jon-Kabat Zinn:

“Self-Efficacy: Your confidence in your ability to grow influences your ability to grow

One thought pattern that appears to be extremely powerful in improving health status is what is called self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is a belief in your ability to exercise control over specific events in your life. It reflects confidence in your ability to actually do things, a belief in your ability to make things happen, even when you might have to face new, unpredictable, and stressful occurrences. (…) A strong sense of self-efficacy is the best and most consistent predictor of positive health outcomes in many different medical situations, including who will recover most successfully from a heart attack, who will be able to cope well with the pain of arthritis , and who will be able to successfully make lifestyle changes (such as quitting smoking). A strong belief in your ability so succeed at whatever you decide to do can influence the kinds of activities in which you will engage in the first place, how much effort you will put into something new and different before giving up, and how stressful your efforts to achieve control in important areas of your life will be.

Self-efficacy increases when you have experiences of succeeding at something you feel is important. For example, if you are practicing the body scan and, as a result, feel more in touch with your body and more relaxed, then that taste of success will lead you to feel more confident in your ability to relax when you want to. At the same time, such an experience will make it more likely that you will keep practicing the body scan.
your self-efficacy can also increase if you are inspired by the examples of what other people are able to do.  For instance, in the MBSR classes, when one person reports a positive experience with the body scan, say in regulating pain, it usually has a dramatic positive effect on other people in the class who may no yet have had such an experience. They are likely to say to themselves, ‘if that person can have such a positive experience, even with all of this problems, then I probably can as well, even with all of my problems’ so seeing one person with a problem succeed, in the sense of having a positive experience, can boost everybody else’s confidence in their own ability in the efficacy of the practice they are working with.”

So, dear you: Start taking your ____ in your own hands, believe you can manage your ____ , and you most likely will.


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