Best 5 Difference Between Self-esteem and Self-efficacy

Nov 20, 2023
Difference Between Self-esteem and Self-efficacy

Self-esteem And Self-efficacy: Aren’t we all familiar with the definitions of the terms esteem and efficacy? When applied to oneself, self-esteem and self-efficacy can be confusing. People tend to confuse the two terms, causing them to be used interchangeably. The article explains the difference between these two concepts to help you use the correct term.

Definition of Self-Esteem


An individual’s self-esteem refers to their overall assessment of themselves, from how much they value themselves to whether or not they feel competent enough. An individual’s subjective view of themself affects how they think, feel and act; their feelings about appearance abilities achievements etc all influence it in some manner.

Self-esteem is the result of both acceptance and respect for oneself; its significance depends upon these elements as well. Self-esteem encompasses realistic but positive self-images, confidence in your abilities, and acknowledging one’s intrinsic worth; this level can fluctuate according to personal achievements, social interactions, and experiences.

High self-esteem correlates with positive psychological outcomes, including increased resilience, better emotional well-being, and an increase in motivation to reach one’s goals. Conversely, low self-esteem may lead to feelings of anxiety, doubt, and diminished sense of worth in oneself.

Self-esteem differs from seeking external validation or acceptance from others, though external factors may play a part. Instead, self-esteem stems from within each person based on his/her perception and evaluation.

Self-esteem is a critical indicator of mental well-being for everyone, including their self-concept and confidence levels. Achieve success, build healthy relationships and personal growth rely heavily on maintaining high self-esteem levels in oneself.

Definition of Self-Efficacy

Figure-02: Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in themselves and their capabilities for accomplishing specific tasks or meeting certain goals, or performing successfully under various situations. Self-efficacy has long been seen as a cornerstone concept within social cognitive theory formulated by Albert Bandura; thus making self-efficacy an indispensable aspect of motivation and resilience.

Self-efficacy beliefs arise as a result of an individual assessing themselves based on abilities, skills, knowledge, and experience; along with past performances in similar tasks. Self-efficacy beliefs have an enormous effect on an individual’s perceptions of competence as well as the decisions they make and the effort put forth when facing challenging tasks or when meeting with unexpected situations.

Self-efficacy can differ depending on the task at hand and the activity undertaken; its degree can differ across domains or activities undertaken, for instance with public speaking being higher while solving mathematical puzzles can lower one’s self-efficacy levels than public speaking, for instance. Self-efficacy levels vary across various settings and situations requiring self-improvement efforts to increase effectiveness.

Self-efficacy can be defined as believing one has the capability of succeeding, leading to increased motivation, resilience, and perseverance when facing obstacles. Self-efficacy is seen as a trait that fosters high motivation perseverance and resilience levels among its proponents.

Low self-efficacy on the other hand can cause low motivation, self-doubt, and fear of failure and can make people avoid challenging tasks while they doubt themselves and their capabilities; leading them to experience more stress and anxiety in life.

Self-efficacy is not a static trait and can be strengthened and developed through various means, including mastery (completing tasks successfully), social modeling (observing other people’s successes), persuasion, (gaining support and encouragement from peers or receiving help directly) as well as physiological or emotional conditions.

Self-efficacy can play an essential part in reaching one’s personal goals, cultivating skills, and optimizing performance. With a strong belief in their own capabilities and perseverance in reaching goals, people can enhance their performance, overcome any difficulties along their journey and finally meet them!

Importance of understanding the difference between the two

It is crucial that individuals understand the differences between self-esteem, self-efficacy, and other related elements.

  1. Self-perception, Personal Development, and Growth Recognizing the distinctions between self-efficacy and self-esteem allow individuals to hone in on particular areas of their own perception of themselves, helping to increase psychological well-being as well as overall growth by being mindful of how they view their capabilities.
  2. Accurate Self-Assessment, By distinguishing between self-esteem and self-efficacy, individuals can develop a more accurate self-assessment. Self-worth can be assessed realistically because its foundation lies not solely with external approval but in an internal feeling of value; by measuring self-efficacy people can also identify where additional support may be necessary and improve skills needed in their assessment; all leading towards more accurate self-evaluations.
  3. Motivation and Goal-Setting, Self-esteem, and confidence both play significant roles when it comes to motivation and goal setting, with self-esteem creating feelings of worthiness while self-efficacy is defined by one’s confidence that one can succeed at certain tasks. Understanding this distinction allows individuals to set achievable and realistic goals based on their self-efficacy beliefs – helping individuals realize that simply building up one’s esteem may not suffice in reaching goals successfully, so developing it further becomes integral in motivating ourselves towards reaching our objectives and meeting our desired outcomes!
  4. As they face challenges and failures, those with higher self-efficacy tend to view setbacks more quickly as temporary setbacks related to one specific task or challenge. People with this mindset tend to be more resilient, possess better problem-solving abilities, and remain persistent – key qualities necessary for overcoming obstacles successfully. Understanding its significance as an approach to overcoming obstacles allows individuals to devise strategies that strengthen their belief in themselves faster in the wake of setbacks or setbacks.
  5. Understanding the differences between self-efficacy and self-esteem is vital in creating healthy relationships. Self-efficacy refers to an internal evaluation that’s independent from external validation; thus helping people form genuine friendships built on mutual respect and understanding. Individuals with high levels of self-efficacy tend to be more assertive communicators who take leadership positions within relationships or communities – qualities that ultimately create meaningful interactions and friendships between peers and friends alike.

Understanding the distinctions among self-esteem, self-efficacy, and resilience can provide individuals with valuable insights about themselves; including perceptions, motivation, goals, relationships, and resilience. A balanced grasp on both concepts will assist individuals in cultivating a healthier sense of themselves while effectively handling challenges or opportunities that come their way throughout their lives.

Understanding Self-esteem

Self-esteem refers to an individual’s perception and evaluation of himself or herself and his/her worth in comparison with that of others. Self-esteem affects an individual’s sense of themselves as an individual as well as his or her abilities and overall image – this should all be taken into consideration when looking at self-esteem.

  1. Self-esteem comprises two components; self-worth and confidence. A belief an individual holds in themselves regardless of external accomplishments or validation is called self-worth; in contrast, confidence refers to one’s belief about their capabilities or competencies to complete tasks or find success in certain domains.
  2. Influencing Factors, Many things can contribute to our self-esteem, including personal experiences, social interaction, cultural expectations and societal expectations, upbringing, and internal thought patterns. Positive relationships, achievements, and experiences all play a part in developing higher senses of self; while negative ones can damage it significantly.
  3. Effects of Low and High Self-Esteem,  High self-esteem has an immensely positive influence on psychological well-being, leading to improved emotional health, positive self-perceptions, and a greater ability to cope under pressure, as well as being more willing to take risks by pursuing difficult goals or taking on risks altogether. Individuals with lower levels of self-esteem tend to suffer more negatively with reduced confidence or experiences of negative self-perception leading to mental health problems as well as stress or anxiety issues.
  4. Real World Scenarios Real-world scenarios offer an ideal example of the impact that self-esteem has on an individual. Someone with higher self-esteem might feel more assured in themselves and take up leadership positions easily; while someone with low self-esteem could hesitate to express themselves freely or have difficulties with assertiveness and accepting themselves as individuals.
  5. Self-esteem does not only depend on external achievements or validation. Although external influences influence one’s sense of themselves and perceptions about themself, ultimately developing healthy self-acceptance through setting realistic goals and cultivating positive thoughts are the keys to creating a healthy sense of self-esteem.

Understanding one’s self-esteem can provide individuals with insight into their perceptions, emotional wellbeing, and decision-making processes – providing valuable knowledge that enables them to pinpoint areas for improvement, enhance self-acceptance and develop positive associations between themselves and positive images of themselves.

Understanding Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s confidence in his or her own abilities to complete specific tasks successfully, achieve desired outcomes, or navigate various situations effectively – an essential aspect of motivating people, setting goals, and realizing personal success. Consider these key indicators of self-efficacy when exploring self-efficacy.

  1. Components of Self-Efficacy, Self-efficacy is comprised of various elements such as self-belief, perception, and expectations; however it should not be seen as a universal trait; instead, it can vary according to areas like academics, sports, social interactions, or problem-solving.
  2. Multiple sources affect self-efficacy. Mastery experiences, where successful completion of tasks achieves desired results, is the cornerstone of self-efficacy; social modeling (observing other people’s success and copying their behavior) also makes an impression, and persuasion offers positive encouragement that boosts it; plus it may also depend on physiological or emotional factors like managing stress and anxiety levels.
  3. Impact of Self-Efficacy on Behavior and Performance, Beliefs about one’s abilities have an outsized influence on motivation, effort, and performance. Self-efficacious individuals tend to set more ambitious goals while showing greater resilience; setbacks can be taken as learning experiences instead of seeing setbacks as opportunities; they’re more inclined to tackle challenging tasks; those lacking self-efficacy often doubt themselves as capable individuals who avoid difficult situations with reduced motivation levels and fear challenges that lie ahead.
  4. Scenarios from Real Life, Real-world scenarios provide vivid evidence of self-efficacy’s significance. Students with high math self-efficacy might approach challenging problems confidently and use problem-solving techniques until a solution has been discovered; those who don’t are more likely to doubt themselves and give up more easily when faced with tasks requiring math.
  5. Self-efficacy can be strengthened and developed through various means, including actively engaging in challenges, seeking mastery over them, and gathering feedback; gradually increasing their complexity can also contribute to its development.

Self-efficacy helps individuals understand how central self-belief is for performance and motivation, helping individuals identify any areas where improvement may be necessary and take the steps needed to strengthen confidence, accomplish challenging goals, and overcome any potential roadblocks along the way.

Differentiating Self-esteem and Self-efficacy

  • Discussion Thread for self-esteem vs self-efficacy differences on (see discussion page )
  • Self-esteem and self-efficacy are closely related concepts, yet each has different implications and applications. Below are key distinctions between them.

The focus of the Assessment

  • Self-esteem can be defined as the evaluation of one’s worth as an individual and encompasses multiple dimensions – appearance, personal qualities and abilities among them.
  • Self-efficacy refers to one’s belief in their ability to successfully complete tasks, achieve goals, and manage difficult situations. Self-efficacy may differ based on domain and task; thus it could vary.

Nature of Beliefs

  • An individual’s self-esteem refers to his or her sense of worthiness and acceptance by themselves and society at large. Self-worth is defined as their overall evaluation as well as any subjective assessments they perform about other people’s worthiness and value.
  • Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s confidence that they possess the skills needed to successfully carry out specific actions that result in desired results, which involves evaluating personal performance and competence.

Influence on Motivation and Behavior

  • Self-Esteem: How individuals perceive themselves has a direct bearing on their self-confidence and emotional well-being, impacting motivation, decisions, and participation in goals or activities.
  • Self-Efficacy: Beliefs in one’s self-efficacy have an enormous effect on motivation, persistence, and effort when performing any given task. Self-efficacy has also been associated with greater confidence when setting goals or facing new challenges which ultimately results in improved performance and leads to enhanced success rates overall.

Stability and Development

  • Self-Esteem can remain relatively consistent over time; however, its influence may change with various experiences, beliefs, or interactions that take place throughout life. Long-term experience plays an integral part in shaping one’s sense of worthiness and social interactions can further shape it as time progresses.
  • Self-Efficacy, Beliefs in self-efficacy can be strengthened or diminished through personal experiences, social models, feedback, and task mastery. Furthermore, these beliefs can be altered depending on specific situations or context factors.

Application and Implications

  • Self-Esteem, Self-esteem encompasses many components, from psychological well-being and acceptance, through identity development to relationship quality and overall satisfaction with life. This has far-reaching effects on overall satisfaction with life and emotional resilience as well as quality relationships.
  • Self-Efficacy – Self-efficacy has an inextricable link with task performance, goal attainment, and skill acquisition. It plays an instrumental role in how individuals face difficulties head-on while dealing with failure and persevering despite any potential setbacks they might encounter along their journeys.

Self-esteem differs from self-efficacy in that each focuses on different elements of perception and personal growth, helping individuals identify how these two concepts interact and shape perception. By cultivating both an optimistic self-perception as well as strong beliefs in oneself’s capabilities and capabilities (through positive self-efficacy beliefs) individuals can build up strong feelings of worthiness, motivation, and confidence which lead to successful personal and career advancement.

The Importance of Balancing Self-esteem and Self-efficacy

Striking a balance between self-efficacy and self-esteem for personal development and overall well-being is of vital importance; finding this equilibrium between both aspects is therefore so essential.

  • The balance between self-efficacy and self-esteem helps individuals maintain an accurate and realistic sense of themselves. A healthy sense of self-esteem enables individuals to appreciate themselves for who they are as human beings without external validation; self-efficacy ensures individuals remain realistic about their capabilities or domains of competence.
  • Motivating and Setting Goals, Striking the right balance between self-efficacy and self-esteem increases our ability to set goals and motivate. Self-efficacy refers to believing you can meet your goals; by aligning esteem and efficacy levels accordingly individuals may set challenging yet obtainable goals that leverage strengths and abilities, leading to increased commitment and ultimately success.
  • The balance between self-esteem and self-efficacy promotes resilience when facing setbacks or challenges, such as failures. Self-esteem helps individuals stay resilient during times of hardship while self-efficacy enables individuals to see setbacks as temporary. Achieving this balance allows people to rebound after failures while keeping a positive outlook.
  • The balance between Self-Esteem, Self-Efficacy, and Healthy Relationships, Successful relationships require striking a delicate balance between Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy, creating fulfilling and happy partnerships based on mutual acceptance and respect for all parties involved. A healthy sense of Self Esteem allows individuals to set healthy boundaries while cultivating Self Respect which fosters meaningful connections based on mutual acceptance. Self Efficacy empowers people with effective communication abilities which empowers them to assert themselves effectively within relationships as well.
  • The balance between self-esteem, self-efficacy, and personal achievement is critical to growth and success. Self-esteem provides the basis of acceptance of oneself and belief in your inherent worth; on the other hand, self-efficacy motivates individuals to act, learn new skills, and reach desired results – when combined together these factors allow us to maximize potential while accomplishing all goals we set forth for ourselves.

Finding an equilibrium between self-esteem and efficacy requires developing an accurate view of oneself, accepting both weaknesses and strengths, setting realistic goals, and nurturing positive thoughts about yourself, and believing in your abilities as key components to personal success and development. Striking this balance enables individuals to live fulfilling lives while taking on challenges successfully across various domains.


Confidence and self-efficacy comprise the two most important elements of our self-concept, each of them playing an integral influence on the attitudes of our beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes. Self-esteem is an evaluation of self-worth and self-acceptance which affects our emotional well-being. In contrast, self-efficacy is the belief in our capability to accomplish goals, directly impacting our motivations and determination to achieve the goal of success. Knowing the distinction between self-esteem and self-efficacy enables us to build a stronger sense of self-worth and build confidence that will allow us to take on every challenge with grit and determination.