Assess My Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy is your belief in your ability to accomplish a particular task. Remember: it is not the same as your self-esteem. Self-esteem is global and about your entire person.  Self-efficacy, by contrast, is specific and about a specific behavior.

Boosting self-efficacy requires an honest assessment of how confident you feel about maintaining self-change in certain situations. For instance, you might feel very confident about resisting desert when at home because you have emptied your kitchen of all sweets. In this case, your self-efficacy would be high. But when hungry, stressed, and visiting a bakery, you might feel very tempted to buy an alluring piece of pie. In this case, your self-efficacy would be low.

To help you gauge your self-efficacy in different situations, we’ve created a Self-Efficacy assessment that will measure your confidence on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the lowest, or not confident at all, 5 being moderately confident, and 10 being the highest, or extremely confident).

Below is an example of a table completed by one of Dr. Norcross’s nephews, Gregory.

Gregory’s Self-Efficacy for Eating More Healthful Food

Situation or Feeling

Confidence Rating (1–10)

Preparing dinner at home


Eating lunch at work


While relaxing at home


While working


Eating a quick breakfast before work


Offered a desert or snack by a friend


Grocery shopping


Eating out at a restaurant


Afternoon snack


At a movie theater


Feeling tired


At a friend’s house


Note that Greg included a wide range of situations, feeling states, times of day, and people involved. That’s what you desire—identifying particular triggers of low and high self-efficacy. If you desire examples of potential items for particular goals, such as exercise, alcohol use, weight, or stress management, go to the home of the stages of change at and click on Measures on the left-hand column. You will find about a dozen self-efficacy measures, from which you can borrow or adapt the standard items.

Below is a blank Self-Efficacy form for you to complete as many times as you like – and for as many behaviors as you desire to assess.

’s Self-Efficacy for

Situation or Feeling

Rating (1–10)

Check that your self-assessment includes a host of realistic situations. And double-check that it includes both high and low self-efficacy ratings. Of course, as you complete the final step (Persist), you may report high confidence in meeting your goal in nearly every situation – exactly what we desire!

Completing this self-assessment will prove helpful throughout your self-change. It will show you which situations deserve the most work and which situations can be considered relative “safe zones.” Remember to consult Step 4 (Persevere) and Step 5 (Persist) for ways to boost your self-efficacy.