What is the difference between self efficacy vs self confidence?

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In this blog we will explore what are the differences between self efficacy vs self confidence. 

We will also discuss what are the theoretical underpinnings of both self efficacy and self confidence. 

What is the difference between self efficacy vs self confidence?

The major difference between self efficacy vs self confidence is that Self efficacy refers to an individual’s own perception that their abilities can help them complete a task or reach their goals whereas self confidence refers to an individual’s self-assuredness that their abilities are equal to the task or challenge at hand.

The other differences between self efficacy vs self confidence include:

  • In this case, self efficacy refers to a sports person understanding that their ability can help them win medals whereas self confidence will be their belief that their skills are good enough to help them meet their goals. 
  • Self-confidence can be observed to be something similar to self-efficacy but they are not the same thing. The major difference being that self confidence has to do with a broader and more stable perception of overall capability whereas self-efficacy has to do with tasks.
  • Self efficacy depends on an individual’s evaluation of how they handled something in the past- meaning that an individual’s self efficacy depends on how their abilities resulted in the success or failures of past challenges. 
  • Whereas self confidence is more so related to their inner thoughts and evaluation of their abilities to take action in the general sense, and does not have to do with specific tasks performed rather it has to do with an overall evaluation of their abilities in whatever situation. 
  • Self-efficacy can be viewed as confidence in a particular situation whereas self confidence is more so trust in oneself and abilities in a general context, irrespective of the situation. 
  • Self efficacy can impact one’s direction in the challenges they are facing, it can influence their persistence as well as the effort they put into overcoming challenges or meeting goals whereas, self confidence is not about goals but rather self-assurance that effective action can be taken.

What is self efficacy?

Self-efficacy refers to the belief that we hold about our own abilities in meeting challenges and to complete tasks successfully. 

Self efficacy can have various forms according to context for example, academic self efficacy or self efficacy related to parenting. 

Self efficacy is positively related to our sense of self worth and value as an individual and is generally understood as the belief of individuals in their own abilities to effect or include the events and direction of their own lives played a huge role in their behaviour.

What are the theories of self efficacy?

Let us discuss a few theories related to self efficacy:

Albert Bandura and His Model

The theoretical understanding of self efficacy can be traced back to the study and research of Albert Bandura. 

According to this research, he noticed that the belief of individuals in their own abilities to effect or include the events and direction of their own lives played a huge role in their behaviour.

Bandura proposed that this particular belief in terms of self efficacy is what influences individuals resilience in the sense that it impacts what coping behaviours are used to cope with stress and challenges. 

Bandura pushed the idea that self- efficacy is a self-sustaining trait and is important for an individual’s ability to push back and adapt to challenges and it is this experience of resilience and adaptability that boost their self efficacy even more. 

Locus of Control Explained

Another theory that explains how self-efficacy is developed is the Locus of Control theory. 

This theory pushes the idea that individuals with an internal locus of control tend to have high self efficacy, where they have the beliefs that they have the power to impact or control the direction of their own lives.

Whereas individuals who have an external locus of control where they believe that everything in their lives are controlled by external forces which leads them to believe that they can do nothing to influence the direction of their own lives tend to have a lower level of self efficacy. 

While an internal locus of control is important to develop self efficacy, having too much of an internal locus of control can lead to too much self blame for everything in their lives- even things they cannot control. 

How to build self efficacy?

Here are a few things that you can do to build self-efficacy:

  • Appreciate your present success and take notice of how each success is connected and how it allows you to move toward your main goal. 
  • Surround yourself with successful people from whom you can learn and grow from. Take notice of how they deal with challenges and what are the strategies they take in meeting their goals and learn from them. 
  • Surround yourself with people who truly support you and give you the much needed appreciation and feedback from. Take heed of the feedback that they give you about your progress and learn from this feedback. 
  • Pay attention to how you deal with emotions and thoughts related to your own growth and manage these effectively since self-efficacy is not only about goals but also about being able to handle challenges that come your way and managing stress and anxiety is part of it. 

What is self confidence?

Self confidence can be understood as one’s own trust in their own abilities, their own judgements, and their own capabilities. (Psychology Dictionary Online)

Self confidence also includes the internal belief that they can meet their day to day demands and challenges effectively and it underlies a belief in oneself. 

Self confidence has a strong link to one;s own evaluation of their own abilities and capacity to be able to meet the demands of their daily lives and it is believed to be strongly tied to one’s feelings about happiness and motivation. 

Self-confidence can be observed to be something similar to self-efficacy but they are not the same thing. The major difference being that self confidence has to do with a broader and more stable perception of overall capability where as self-efficacy has to do with future oriented tasks.

What are the theories of self confidence?

Let us discuss a few theories related to self confidence:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of need is a theoretical framework that puts forward the idea that every individual has several needs that have to be met in their lives. 

The theory also puts forward the idea that these needs are placed on a hierarchy with more complex needs at the top and that each need must be met before moving on to a more complex need.

According to this theory the more simple needs of physiological needs, need for safety and security, and love and belongingness need to be met before they can develop a healthy sense of confidence with positive self esteem. 

This theory also uses the idea of external self esteem or lower self esteem that one derives from the appreciation and respect of other people and a higher form of self esteem and confidence that comes from internal self respect. 

Sociometer Theory

The sociometer theory developed by Mark Leary, suggests that self esteem is an internal metre that estimates the degree to which one feels included or excluded by other people in a social group.  (Leary, 2006)

This theory posits the idea that self confidence of an individual and their self esteem is impacted by their internal perception of them being accepted or rejected by a social group with individuals being more confident when they perceive themselves as accepted by the group. 

How to build self confidence?

Here are a few things you can do to build confidence:

  • Acknowledge what you have accomplished over time; this includes every big and small thing that you believe matters to you. You can use social standards to define what is worth mentioning as well as include what you think matters to you and that you are proud of. 

For example, you can acknowledge yourself from graduating highschool as well as acknowledge yourself for being able to speak in front of an audience because that is something you found challenging. 

  • Recognize your own strengths and your own skills that you have been honing over time. It is important you recognise them so that you can either build on them further and apply it to other goals or you can build other skills. 
  • Set new goals after you have acknowledged all your other milestones, you can go ahead and set newer goals for yourself. These foals can be for your career or even for your personal life, such as learning how to bake, or manage finances, or communicate etc. 
  • Use positive self-talk to hype yourself up about what you have accomplished so far and make sure that you do this every time you are faced with a thought that is overly critical about yourself. 

Conclusion

In this blog we have explored what are the differences between self efficacy vs self confidence. 

We have also discussed what are the theoretical underpinnings of both self efficacy and self confidence. 

What is self-efficacy and how is it different from self esteem?

Self-efficacy refers to the belief that we hold about our own abilities in meeting challenges and to complete tasks successfully whereas self esteem is a result of our own evaluation of our ability to thrive in life. 

What is efficacy?

Efficacy refers to the ability to create an effect and is the formal way to say effectiveness. And it refers to one’s ability to do a task to a satisfactory degree.  

Does self-efficacy mean self confidence?

No, self efficacy does not mean self confidence, they are two separate concepts however, self efficacy can lead to self confidence. The major difference between self efficacy vs self confidence is that Self efficacy refers to an individual’s own perception that their abilities can help them complete a task or reach their goals whereas self confidence refers to an individual’s self-assuredness that their abilities are equal to the task or challenge at hand.

References

UKEssays. (November 2018). Differences between Self-Efficacy and Self-Confidence. Retrieved from https://www.ukessays.com/essays/psychology/differences-selfefficacy-9095.php?vref=1

Ackerman. C. What is Self-Efficacy Theory in Psychology? (+PDF). Positive Psychology. Retrieved on 21st Feb 2022. https://positivepsychology.com/self-efficacy/

Ackerman.C. What is Self-Confidence? + 9 Ways to Increase It. Positive Psychology Retrieved on 21st Feb 2022. https://positivepsychology.com/self-confidence/

Leary, M. R. (2005). Sociometer theory and the pursuit of relational value: Getting to the root of self-esteem. European Review of Social Psychology, 16, 75–111. https://doi.org/10.1080/10463280540000007

How to build self-confidence. Reachout. Retrieve on 21st feb 2022.https://au.reachout.com/articles/how-to-build-self-confidence

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