Self Esteem vs Self Efficacy

Meisenhelder (1985) asserted that self-esteem is essential in the upkeep of both physical and mental health wellbeing. McInnes (2006) further developed links by considering previous research initially led by Rosenberg (1979) who associated self-worth led to lower levels of anxiety or depression experienced. This was emphasized again a few years later by Ellis (1995) and his study outcomes. Further studies found lower levels of self-esteem correlated higher levels of depression (Chamberlain & Hoaga, 2001; Flett et al., 2003) and anxiety (Chamberlain & Hoaga, 2001). Blankertz (2001) asserted from his studies that in order to maintain self-esteem, it is essential to maintain positive behaviour.

We can have dire situations thrown at us, which if our self-esteem is intact, our mental health and wellbeing remains fairly buoyant. This can not be down to fluke or luck. This has to be down to the individual and how they are feeling about themselves. If they are not feeling so good about themselves, it opens the opportunity for mental ill health to strike. Individuals can show symptoms of stress in different ways, be it physical or mental. It is not always easy to diagnose a client into a certain type of mental ill health. Common mental health issues are affected by several things and can not be fitted into a box, as many clients will tell you.

Albert Bandura (1995) talked about self-efficacy, where we believe in our abilities to accomplish or achieve tasks we set ourselves. This is a very intricate area of developmentĀ  under the umbrella of attachment. We learn about self-efficacy through our care givers whereby we learn how to react to a task. Bandura (1995) asserts that our levels of motivation are related to ur self-efficacy. He affirms this by describing the most powerful knowledge to us is our experiences of success. each success we experience in turn builds our confidence to take bigger risks, which continues to drive our motivation and aspirations.An example of this is learning to ride a bike where we might fall off several times and be too afraid to give up on learning resigning ourselves to not being able to achieve the task because our care giver lets us give up or verbally makes us worry about the safety aspect.

Through all of this learning, we are also learning the ability in self-regulating our emotions. This, again, is dependent upon our caregivers. We are not taught these in a way we associate with learning. These are skills we absorb as part of our learning throughout our entire childhood.

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