In psychology, self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in their capacity to act in the ways necessary to reach specific goals.
An individual with high self-efficacy views challenges as things that are supposed to be mastered rather than threats to avoid. Conversely, psychologists have found that if a person has lower levels of self-efficacy they are more likely to focus on feelings of failure rather than success.
The good news is that self-efficacy isn’t a fixed trait; it’s a mindset that you can cultivate and strengthen over time.
The definition of self-confidence often refers to it as simply believing in yourself while self-efficacy is rooted in beliefs about your capabilities to handle future situations. In this sense, self-confidence is more of a present-focused belief while self-efficacy is more of a forward-looking belief.
In the workplace, leaders with high self-efficacy are more inclined to take on difficult jobs, persevere in the face of challenges, and recover from failure faster. They also inspire trust and confidence in their team, who are more willing to follow their vision and direction and exert extra effort and creativity. Self-efficacy can also help leaders deal with stress and uncertainty, as they can rely on their resources and capabilities to overcome challenges and adapt to changing situations.