Self Efficacy Matters More Than Self-Esteem

In life, we hear a lot about having a good sense of self esteem. Indeed, positive self esteem is of great value. But on what is it built?

Self efficacy builds self confidence. So the more skills in life we have, the more confidence there is.

Efficacy is simply being efficient. If we are brought up learning age appropriate tasks, we have self efficacy. Being able to do most everything around running a home by the time we are moving away from home, we will have the confidence to do it.

This is how I raised my daughter. She learned age appropriate skills as she grew up, including how to cookShe found success in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards as she had the skills she needed do well and lead others as they hiked for miles carrying everything they needed on their backs. She was probably not the targeted candidate, but these long weekends certainly increased her self-confidence.

When we aim at self-esteem, validation is needed. Where validation is required, there are going to be quite a few times when good self-esteem is missing, as we are all human and make mistakes. We can all feel foolish sometimes.

Feeling foolish is handled better by someone with self confidence, whereas another person feels the need for validation again.

People who have self efficacy have self confidence, and that produces good self esteem. We can’t raise a child successfully unless we follow that route. If we concentrate on self esteem only, that adult child will constantly need reassurance. Making a mistake will devastate them, rather than being a point of learning.

We see then that self confidence is far more resilient than self esteem. Confidence can weather the mistakes in life, without needing a posse of validation.

Published in Know Thyself, Heal Theyself