One of the personal qualities that helps most with handling change is called self-efficacy. It’s an odd word, and not one you hear a lot in everyday conversation. It’s been around since the 1970s, though, when Albert Bandura invented it as part of his theory that the beliefs we have about our abilities affect our actual outcomes. Or, as Henry Ford put it many years earlier, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right”.
In 1979 Ralf Schwarzer and Matthias Jerusalem came up with a test to predict how well people are likely to cope with daily problems and stressful life events. Since then, a lot of research has gone into showing that, in fact, our beliefs about our own abilities do affect our success in many different areas of life.