Self-Efficacy vs Self-Esteem. All You Need to Know

Difference Between Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy

Simply put, self-efficacy means that you believe in your ability to succeed and improve your quality of life. You feel confident and filled with positive beliefs.

Self-esteem is the value you place on yourself and how you see yourself. High or low self-esteem has a massive impact on our behaviour and how we act with other people.

The self-efficacy theory was developed by psychologist Bandura, A. in the 1960s and 70s, who focused on behaviour rather than personality traits. Perceived self-efficacy is not only the ability to feel intense emotional and physical reactions but be able to take specific actions to achieve a goal.

Building Self-Efficacy

Identifying your own self-efficacy beliefs and building them can be beneficial in many situations.

For example, if you want to spend more time writing but feel you don’t have enough time due to other obligations, self-efficacy could help. If you have a strong belief that deep down, you’re able to schedule a slot for writing in your daily life, you will make it happen. This can apply to any challenging tasks you sign up for.

Building self-efficacy will force you to undergo complex tasks. It stretches your limit and surprises you with the outcomes!

How Self-Efficacy Changes Your Self-Confidence

How does self-efficacy change your self-confidence and your overall attitude towards life?

You feel good about yourself when you achieve a task and experience success. That’s why setting goals, breaking them down into smaller steps, and getting regular feedback will help you feel confident in your ability to get things done. Trying to do too much at once might be overwhelming and cause you to give up before starting. Try to take on tasks one step at a time that suit your actual ability.

The experience of achieving these small goals will build your self-confidence, have control of action, and motivate you to continue on the path to achieving your larger goals.

Forget Self-Esteem. Focus on Self-Efficacy Instead

Self-esteem focuses on how people view themselves. It’s essential but not as crucial as self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is your ability to recognize the courses of action required to get what you want. It’s a combination of confidence, optimism and motivation. It challenges your capability level.

Research suggests that self-esteem correlates with depression than happiness. Low self-esteem makes people feel like they aren’t good enough, preventing them from doing the things they need to do to be happy and prosperous.

Self-efficacy links to positive emotions and behaviour, like optimism, happiness and success. It’s connected to both willpower and confidence, and it increases your chances of success in all areas of life, including your career, relationships, finances, and developing healthy behaviours.

Having high self-efficacy means that you believe in your personal abilities — even if you don’t feel confident at a particular moment in time.

Telling yourself “I’m good enough” can positively affect you when encouragement and support are needed. But if it’s not rooted in your sense of efficacy, it can backfire on you, making you less likely to take on challenges and develop yourself and your skills.

Applications of Self-Efficacy

The first step for applying self-efficacy is to make sure you have it.

First, ask yourself if you believe you have the power to change your behaviour. If not, you need to work on this before implementing any techniques.

Reflect on your achievements

Look back at times when you’ve worked hard toward a goal and succeeded. Note what happened and how you felt.

Did you have to push yourself a little?

Did friends or family notice that you were working hard?

Did you feel proud of what you did?

Did you set up rewards for yourself along the way?

Please write your answers, and reflect on them whenever you feel discouraged.

The same is true if you’ve failed to reach a goal.

Think through why it didn’t work out and what might have been different.

Either way, thinking about it will help you learn from the experience and identify ways to do better next time.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it—a simple crash course in self-efficacy vs self-esteem.

Have we covered every nuance of this dichotomy? No way, that’s a tall order. The relationship between these two terms is complex and ever-changing. Likewise, people will draw on these concepts for different reasons, each uniquely suited to their needs and goals.

The next time you come across these concepts, rather than getting caught up in the semantics of what makes sense at face value, reflect more on your specific situation and goals.

Understanding the personal meaning of these concepts can make all the difference.

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