Game-changing perceptions and relationships: take on challenges with self-efficacy and connection

Today’s blog continues our discussion of critical factors that build your resilience, focusing on self-efficacy and connection.

Critical factors that build your resilience

Two key factors in resilience

Building resilience is like a mosaic with different pieces that come together to form the complete picture. Two key pieces are self-efficacy or mastery and connection or relationships.


The right mindset: self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is your belief in your ability to overcome challenges and successfully complete tasks (Akhtar, 2008). It is rooted in self-awareness : knowing your talents and strengths. And in self-regulation: having a “can do” attitude. In brief it’s the conviction that you can master your environment.  

Psychologist Albert Bandura’s research is a springboard for the theory of self-efficacy. Bandura discerned a mechanism that had previously gone unnoticed: individuals’ belief in their ability to impact life events. He suggested that self-efficacy shapes the coping behavior a person adopts when faced with stress and obstacles and is linked to the degree of time and effort a person will allot to achieving his/her goals (1999).


"Self-efficacy is a self-sustaining trait.” In other words, the more driven you are to tackle your problems, the more positive experiences you amass, and the more your self-efficacy grows(Bandura).    


According to Positive Psychology, character strengths and self-awareness help self-efficacy thrive and fuel your empowered perception that you master your surroundings and overcome difficulties. The father of positive psychology Dr Martin Seligman and his colleague Dr Chris Peterson worked with a team of researchers to classify character strengths and virtues. They came up with 24 character strengths categorized under 6 virtues: “wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence.” This feat made identifying, analyzing, and nurturing good character easier. It even helps us all think about the key character strengths and virtues that have contributed to our life successes. Indeed, this is part and parcel of how heightened self-efficacy is a catalyst for success, aids in rapid recovery from failure, and is at the core of resilience.


Higher power: connection

Another factor in resilience is connection/relationships: having people in your life you can rely on and who will support you, regardless of geographical distance. This is so important, it is featured heavily in the literature and science of resilience and it even predicts and contributes to resilience. 

Connection goes beyond inter-personal relationships. It entails being connected to something bigger: a purpose, mission, idea, or belief. Anything that is vital to you and encourages you to push yourself. It can even be your faith, a link to nature, or spirituality.




Research reveals that 77% percent of HR specialists and business leaders acknowledge that their strategies, priorities, and companies are regularly changing, especially in these VUCA times. Luckily, resilient people reach their maximum potential during such circumstances. A certified coach enables you, leaders, and teams, to unlock the power of resilience through the use of evidence-based strategies and tools to build your self-awareness, self-regulation, mental agility, flexibility, self-efficacy, and connection.


About the Author

As Executive Director of Resilience & Co FZE, Nada El Marji is responsible for setting the company’s overall strategic direction, including planning and defining the strategy, development, and evolution of R&CO’s portfolio of services and programs.

She has more than 20 years of global experience in various industries and technologies.

Given her life and professional experience, she’s particularly passionate about building the resilience of individuals, organizations and communities, enabling them to thrive and not just to survive during VUCA times.

Ms El Marji holds an MBA degree from Leicester University in the UK, she's also a Certified Leadership Coach, Certified Systemic Team Coach and Associate Certified Coach (ACC) by the International Coach Federation (ICF). 

Executive Director of Resilience & Co - Nada El Marji


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