Why self-belief is so important

Why is self-belief so important? Child psychologist Karen Sullivan discusses the benefits of strong, positive self-belief for students and the negatives of low self-belief.

It goes without saying that now, more than ever, self-belief is integral to the short and long-term success of our students. In a tough marketplace, at a time when expectations for academic achievement are increasing, and in a culture where young people are simply not valued in the way they once were, a belief in oneself is critical to motivation, self-promotion, an ability to overcome failure and find the positive in mistakes made, and develop the type of thinking and functioning that will result in achievement.

An excellent paper examines the relationship between self-concept and success: Frank Pajares and Dale H Schunk’s Self-belief in Psychology and Education: A Historical Perspective. At one point they focus on the work of Albert Bandura, professor psychology at Stanford University. He proposed a social cognitive theory of human functioning that emphasised the critical role of self-beliefs in human cognition, motivation and behaviour. 

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