My last post on teaching reminded me of this favorite from Sharon Salzberg’s The Force of Kindness:
“’People’s beliefs about their abilities have a profound effect on those abilities….Ability is not a fixed property…there is huge variability in it; people who have a sense of self-efficacy bounce back from failures; they approach things in terms of how to handle them rather than worrying about what can go wrong.’ Albert Bandura…..If ability is not a pre-ordained, limited, commodity, then our potential to grow, to understand, to love, to connect is significantly nourished by what we believe about ourselves.” — Sharon Salzberg
She quotes Albert Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy from Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. Albert Bandura, to overly simplify, is a highly honored and influential psychologist and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University.
I also found the following words highly resonant:
“Success and failure are largely self-defined in terms of personal standards. The higher the self-standards, the more likely will given attainments be viewed as failures, regardless of what others might think.” — Albert Bandura
Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social-Cognitive Theory
“By sticking it out through tough times, people emerge from adversity with a stronger sense of efficacy.” — Albert Bandura
Encyclopedia of Human Behavior