Welcome to my site! I hope you will enjoy reading the personal articles as I journey and navigate this life. I welcome suggestions for topics that you think are important, relevant, and valuable.
Please feel free to leave your comments by clicking the "Comments" section, located below each article. You can also email any article to your relatives and friends by clicking the "Email This" button, also located at the end of each article.
I am inviting my readers to share their stories of courage, success or resiliency to inspire other readers. You can submit your stories, 2-3 paragraphs in length, via the Comments section, located at the end of every article page. Your stories will be added to the "Readers' Contributions" page.
Monday, May 30, 2011
In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy,
strung together with resilience to meet the inevitable
obstacles and inequities of life.
In my first autumn here in Calgary, Alberta (year 2002), I planted 120 tulips in two garden beds which had some pre-existing irises and bleeding heart flowers.
I have never done any gardening before and I thought that if I can grow flowers in our front yard, I will be fine in my new life here in Calgary. The planting season here is only 120 days or even less. I was told that planting anything here, in Zone 3 hardiness, is a science. I comforted myself that if those 120 tulips will grow, then I can succeed and flourish here.
The tulips bloomed the following spring in resplendent yellow, red, black and white colors. I received a lot of compliments from passers-by. Growing tulips and being successful in gardening has taught me a different kind of power, a personal one. It is called self-efficacy.
What is self-efficacy? Albert Bandura defined it as our belief in our ability to succeed in our goals. It pertains to our perception of how competent we are and of our ability to master difficult tasks instead of avoiding them. The way we view our self-efficacy determines the personal power we have over our ambitions, tasks, and challenges.
Personal power is not about having a prestigious job or having a lot of money, although most people think these constitute power. Personal power is having a belief that we can change things in our lives for the better. It is a defining characteristic of resilient people.
Two kinds of self-efficacy. There are two kinds of self-efficacy. The first one is external efficacy--the belief that we have the power to get things done in the outside world. It may involve the power to speak up and be heard, to have an effect, to make a change.
The other type of self-efficacy is internal efficacy--the belief that we have control over our internal world, the understanding that we are at the helm of our own emotional journey. Our emotions are at the mercy of our thoughts and our thoughts are under our voluntary control.
A truly resilient person has both internal and external self-efficacy. But internal efficacy is where it all begins. For instance, it means being able to pull ourselves out of depression, anger, numbness, or feelings of trauma.
Personal power then is having the confidence that we can restore our psychological equilibrium if we have lost it, that we can take positive action in improving our wayward negative emotions, and that we can start somewhere, believing we can accomplish something good.
As for my gardening, I have been planting all kinds of flowers and even vegetables since that fall season of 2002. I have since added five more garden beds to the existing two. I have created a butterfly garden two weeks ago to support and sustain dwindling number of butterflies and bees.
And yes, I have proven to myself I can succeed and flourish here.
I hope you have learned something positive by reading this article and previous ones.
Please leave your comments below.
Have a good week, my dear readers!
Posted by Amy Chaves