Difference between self-esteem & self-efficacy


April 25, 2011 Posted by Olivia

Self-esteem vs Self-efficacy

We often hear the words esteem and efficacy, but when it comes to self, the concepts of self-esteem and self-efficacy can be confusing. Many people use these terms interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. This article aims to clarify the differences between the two concepts so that we can use the terms correctly.


Self-esteem is a popular term in psychology that refers to a person’s overall evaluation of themselves. It is an appraisal of one’s own worth. There is no scale to measure self-esteem, but you can observe a person’s behavior and reaction to their environment to determine if they have high or low self-esteem. People with high self-esteem have a positive self-image and believe that they are good, reliable, hardworking, honest, and friendly. Self-esteem is like a mirror that reflects a person’s qualities, just as a mirror reflects their image.

On the other hand, those with low self-esteem tend to be timid, shy, introverted, and non-competitive. They believe that others are better than them and may feel awkward even when dressed well, thinking that others are better dressed. People with low self-esteem often fail to realize their potential and may lead a sub-standard life inwardly. Self-esteem is important for having a positive attitude towards life and others. Low self-esteem leads to poor self-confidence, resulting in negative feelings and a tendency to give up easily on challenges.


Self-efficacy is closely related to self-esteem and was introduced by Albert Bandura. If you are familiar with the concept of locus of control, you will understand self-efficacy. It is an assessment of an individual’s belief in their ability to perform a task or face a situation. Self-efficacy is built up as one learns and masters different abilities in life. It is a strong belief in one’s own ability to succeed despite difficulties. If you have a strong belief in your ability to learn new things, you are likely to have a high sense of self-efficacy.

Self-esteem vs Self-efficacy

A person may have low self-efficacy for ballroom dancing, but that doesn’t necessarily result in low self-esteem if they don’t consider ballroom dancing important in their life. This shows that self-esteem is different from self-efficacy. Self-esteem is a permanent internal feeling, whereas self-efficacy depends on the specific task at hand. If self-esteem and self-efficacy were the same, one would feel great one day and terrible the next when faced with a task they are unable to perform. Additionally, success or failure at one task does not affect a person’s self-esteem, as they know their worth is not solely defined by their performance.

Key Takeaways

1. The concepts of self-esteem and self-efficacy are often confused and used interchangeably, but they are different concepts.
2. Self-esteem refers to a person’s overall evaluation of themselves and their worth, while self-efficacy refers to a person’s belief in their ability to perform a specific task or face a situation.
3. Self-esteem is a permanent internal feeling, while self-efficacy can vary depending on the task or situation at hand.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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