Self-Esteem and Self -Efficacy

Published June 6, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Our perceptions influence how we respond to the environment. In other words, our individuality helps shape the way we view ourselves and others on a personal and professional level. Bach (2013) suggests that these evaluations play a role in our ability to achieve successful outcomes as well as how we emotionally respond to the people we interact with. (Bach, 2013).

According to Gecas (1982) personality theorists use the term “self” to identify the center of an individual’s conscious existence. It is the self that defines our psychological reality or how we view the world (Gecas, 1982).  An awareness of the self, or the way a person views their self, means that they have a realization of their physical, social, spiritual or moral being. For example, when a person has a strong sense of their unique talents and skills, this means they have a well-developed self-concept. A person who has a less developed self-concept, may spend minimal time focused on personal characteristics or how they differ from others.

self esteem

Self-esteem on the other hand, is how a person evaluates their worth. Self-efficacy reveals a person’s beliefs about their ability to successfully complete an assignment or challenge. McKay and Fanning (2000) posit that self-esteem is essential for psychological survival and is an emotional sine qua non. In other words, without some measure of self-worth, life can be enormously painful, with many basic needs going unmet (Fanning & McKay, 2000). How well a person operates or functions in a society, organizational, or family environment, is guided by how an individual exhibits their self-worth.

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For example, in my eBook, Ethics in the Real World, I reveal that a person with issues of low self esteem, may be too timid to voice their views or offer assistance for fear of being misunderstood or worse, ridiculed. As a result, they may not feel worthy of offering their opinion and are often reluctant to participate in meetings or other social events. That kind of behavior can hinder an individual from furthering career aspirations in an organization or even deter a beneficial experience (Berry, 2013). In short, low self esteem can also play a role in how well a person thinks they can perform at any given task.

For instance, I recall many times in my youth when an adult supervisor asked me to complete a task. Some supervisors were intimidating and strict, putting high expectations on the outcome. If there are predetermined deadlines or punishment for not completing the task as that leader wants it done, it increases stress levels which in turn has an impact on performance levels and outcomes. In other words, under pressure, an individual loses confidence which can then have a profound affect on that individual’s self-efficacy.  On the other hand, a person with high self-esteem and confidence is more likely to volunteer their input without taking personal offense to positive or negative feedback. The bottom line is that an individual’s concept of self plays a role in their development and how they define ethical behavior.

That’s all for this week! Have a great weekend everyone …  and keep organized!

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Uncertainty will always be a part of the taking charge process. – Harold Geneen



Baack, D. (2012). Organizational Behavior. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Gecas, V. (1982). The self-concept. In R. H. Turner & J. F. Short, Jr. (Eds.), Annual Review of Sociology. Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews.

Fanning, M. M. (2000). Self-Esteem. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

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