What does positive psychology say about self-belief?

Positive psychology advocates human flourishing (Seligman, 1998), which also directs us towards changing our bad habits into good habits for the purpose of optimal wellbeing. Thus building self belief into a pro active self efficacy human trait is an imperative tool for positivity to take place in society today. Depression has overcome individuals to such an extent that is has become a growing epidemic disease. How do you overcome such unhealthy thoughts and what does positive psychology present to us to overcome this epidemic?

The most pioneering self-efficacy theory advocates that “people’s beliefs in their capabilities to produce desired effects by their own actions” (Bandura, 1997, p.vii). The whole process of cultivating self efficacy takes variant pathways that entail adaptive psychological skills and self regulated behavioural modification strategies. These two distinctive positive pathway methods cultivate positive belief behaviours within humans. Thus postulating that these strategies actually allow humans to accomplish their core psychological and physical well being, Evidence based research has found self efficacy as a core factor in changing unhealthy behaviours into healthy behaviours (Maddux & Rogers, 1983: Rogers & Prentice-Dunn, 1997).

In light of some recent high profile cases of high depression resulting in diminished well being have explores some self help measures. Some present day thinkers advocate that the following strategies must be practiced in accordance for self belief to be accomplished: demonstrate adaptive behaviour, be reflective in events of mistakes, avoid blame, self compassion, act confident and above all practice these in your daily life (Hope & Butler, 2007). Furthermore a lack of self belief has strong implications for poor wellbeing (Bandura, 1997). Thus signposting us towards a self regulating our self efficacy human trait as a protective factor in managing our wellbeing in a positive manner. Three components of self efficacy have been identified: goal performance, self evaluation in accordance to goal performance and self efficacy beliefs (Barone et al., 1997).

Recent thinkers propose 12 step techniques to elevate self confidence through: identify your positive side, do not listen to negative people, don’t be bothered by small matters, embrace praise, be active, lift you head, maintain a good posture, think positive, talk with confidence, do not boast, acquire new knowledge, diminish negativity and manage yourself (Zoe, B, 2012). Furthermore others have a more simpler approach such as changing yourself talk methods to positive ones, foresee to adaptively cope with adversities, try self talking, positive body posture and perceiving people as humans who have variant facets to them not feeling threatened by them at all (Dr Thompson, 2014). Also more self help is needed in collaboration with positive psychotherapy thus guiding us towards meditation, cognitive behavioural therapy and self regulatory self help measures which would be vital in enhancing ones well being.

Collaborative use of Self Believe Strategies for Professionals

I feel healthcare professionals can try to test new evidence based self efficacy strategies such as the 12 step techniques and five step techniques in collaboration to their current professional procedures. I feel positive psychology has so much more to offer and with increasing depression levels in society we need more positive interventions be it through home, family, educational sector, healthcare sector, mental wellbeing charities and government we need to focus upon a mutual goal of positive well being for all.

The healthcare industry has lots of information regarding building self belief, the NHS recommends the following tips: identify your positive points, build positive relationships, practice self compassion, exercise assertiveness, learn to say no and give yourself a challenge. Furthermore the following podcast by Dr Chris Williams gives a realistic account of self help advisory guidance for people with low self esteem (to access go on https://www.nhs.uk/Video/Pages/unhelpful-thinking-podcast.aspx).

The future of self belief

I feel some core positive psychology thinkers that cultivate evidence based self help positive interventions can change our present lack of clarity in the field of positive wellbeing. The steps needed to boost happiness (Lyubormirsky, 2007), enhance strengths (Seligman & Parks, 1999) need to be built and repeated if optimal wellbeing is to be achieved. Most recently at the European Positive Psychology Conference in Budapest, Dr Rashid, presents the notion of integration of negative symptoms with a amalgamation of one’s strengths can reduce fear in oneself leading to self efficacy thus self belief (Rashid, 2018).

Some organisations have started such this positive advancement of self as the National Self Esteem Association forwarding a notion of self concept being a combination of values, social interactions, beliefs, abilities and goals. The latest insight into positive wellbeing is the worldwide wellbeing project conducted by martin Seligman, (ongoing) analysing social media posts for the purpose of psychological wellbeing thus developing accurate psychological profiles of users well being. This is in collaboration of healthcare professionals, policy makers thus advancing us towards positive well being for all by 2051.



6 Strategies for Building Self-Confidence


12 Steps to Boost Your Confidence

Lopez, S.J & Snyder, C, R, (2011) The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, Second edition, New York, United States of America, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.

Managing Your Mind: the Mental Fitness Guide, Gillian Butler, Ph.D., and Tony Hope, M.D., write about six ways to improve your confidence.
Prochaska, J., Prochaska, j, (2016). Changing to Thrive: Using the Stages of Change to Overcome the Top Threats to Your Health and Happiness. Hazelden Publishing. USA.
Rashid, R., (2018). The European Positive Psychology Conference, Budapest. Social Media.
Seligman, Martin. Learned Optimism. New York, NY: Pocket Books. 1998.
The How of Happiness, A practical guide to Getting the life You Want, Sonja Lyubomirsky, 2011, Piakus.

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