Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem – Nathaniel Branden

We’ve reached a moment in history when self-esteem, which has always been an important psychological need, has also become a supremely important economic need. Identity, competence and worth are key, especially with the turbulence of our times as it is a dangerous time in history not to know who we are or not to trust ourselves. Self-esteem fully realized is the experience that we are appropriate to life and its requirements. It is the confidence in our ability to think and cope with the basic challenges of life and in our right to be successful and happy. Self-esteem has two interrelated components: A sense of basic confidence in the face of life’s challenges (self-efficacy) and a sense of being worthy of happiness (self-respect). To have high self-esteem is to feel confident and appropriate to live. When self-esteem is low, we are often manipulated by fear.

The 6 pillars of self-esteem according to Nathaniel are: The practice of living consciously that is living responsibly toward reality. It entails an active mind, an intelligence that takes joy in its function, being in the moment without losing the wider context, reaching out (rather than withdrawing) to relevant facts, interpretations and emotions. The practice of self-acceptance. Self-acceptance simply means to be on my side or for me. Self-acceptance entails compassion; being a friend to self. Self-esteem suffers if we are in a rejecting relationship with our physical being. The practice of self-responsibility. Self-responsibility is not only essential but also a manifestation of self-esteem. What one needs to know is the difference between what is within their control and what is not.

The practice of self-assertiveness. Self-assertiveness is honouring my wants, needs and values and seeking their appropriate expression in reality. It is tested by what we stand for, not what we are against. The practice of living purposefully; to live without purpose is to live with the mercy of chance because we have no standard by which to judge what is and is not worth doing. The practice of personal integrity. When our behavior is congruent with our professed values when ideals and practice match, we have integrity. Perseverance and courage are necessary for the road map to building good self-esteem. The energy for this commitment can only come from the love we have for our life. This love is the beginning of virtue. The seventh pillar of self-esteem!

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