“The”Six Pillars of Self Esteem” by N.Branden: Book Summary

1 Line Summary

Six Pillars of Self-Esteem is a book that teaches you how to build a strong and lasting self-esteem.

This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to improve their self-esteem and live a more fulfilling life. It is full of practical advice and exercises that can help you to develop a positive self-image and live a more authentic life.

What Will You Learn

Here are some of the benefits of reading “Six Pillars of Self-Esteem”, you’ll learn:

  • what self-esteem is and why it is important,
  • the six pillars of self-esteem and how to develop them in your own life.

how to:

  • overcome negative self-talk and self-doubt,
  • set and achieve your goals,
  • live a more authentic and fulfilling life.

Best Quotations from the Book

  • The first step to self-acceptance is to be aware of our attempts to avoid it.
  • Self-esteem is not your potential. It is not what you are capable of becoming. It is the accurate estimation of your worth as a person.
  • Accept who you are, don’t be in an adversarial relationship with yourself. Accept your mistakes and learn from them. Accept your negative feelings and your disturbing thoughts. Be a friend to yourself.
  • No one is coming to save you. You are responsible for your emotions, choices, actions, behavior with other people, achievement of your goals.
  • Express your thoughts, feelings, and needs honestly and directly, while respecting the rights of others.
  • The practice of purposeful living: Live your life in accordance with your values and goals. Don’t drift through life aimlessly.
  • Be true to yourself and your values, even when it’s difficult.
  • Develop your skills and abilities in order to achieve your goals.
  • Be aware of the impact of your actions on others and strive to act in a way that is ethical and responsible.

Book Summary

What is Self Esteem

Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves. It’s about knowing that we are worthy of happiness and able to handle life’s challenges.

Self-esteem is not just about our childhood experiences or how others treat us. It’s also about how we treat ourselves. When we live consciously, accept ourselves, and act responsibly, we build our self-esteem.

High self-esteem means feeling confident and comfortable in our own skin. It means knowing that we are good enough, just as we are.

Self-esteem is like the reputation we have with ourselves. When we have high self-esteem, we think of ourselves as being capable, worthy, and deserving of happiness.

What are 6 Pillars of Self Esteem

Six Pillars of Self Esteem are:

  1. The Practice of Living Consciously
  2. The Practice of Self Acceptance
  3. The Practice of Self Responsibility
  4. The Practice of Self Assertiveness
  5. The Practice of Living Purposefully
  6. The Practice of Personal Integrity

We will elaborate each of these pillars in the lines to come.

1. The Practice of Living Consciously

To live consciously is to be aware of ourselves and the world around us. It means paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and to the impact they have on others.

Living consciously also means being honest with ourselves and others. It means facing reality head-on, even when it’s difficult.

When we live consciously, we take responsibility for our own lives. We make choices based on our values and goals, and we accept the consequences of our actions.

Living consciously means being objective. We don’t let our emotions cloud our judgment, and we don’t assume that our own perspective is the only one that matters.

What are the Requirements of Living Consciously

Living consciously requires:

  • A mind that is active rather than passive.
  • An intelligence that takes joy in its own function.
  • Being “in the moment,” without losing the wider context.
  • Reaching out towards relevant facts rather than withdrawing from them.
  • Being concerned to distinguish among facts, interpretations and emotions.
  • Noticing and confronting impulses to avoid or deny painful or threatening realities.
  • Being concerned to know “where I am” relative to various (personal and professional) goals and projects, and judging whether being succeeding or failing in the overall scenario.
  • Being concerned to know about the actions in alignment with the purposes.
  • Searching for feedback from the environment for adjustment or correcting the course when necessary.
  • Being receptive to new knowledge and willing to reexamine old assumptions.
  • Being willing to see and correct mistakes.
  • A concern to know external and internal realities, the reality of needs, feelings, aspirations and motives.
  • A concern to be aware of the values that move and guide, specially when the values are irrationally adopted or uncritically accepted from others.

2. The Practice of Self-Acceptance

Without self-acceptance, self-esteem is impossible. Self-esteem is something we experience, self-acceptance is something we do.

Self-acceptance is loving yourself unconditionally. It’s about embracing all of your strengths and weaknesses, and knowing that you are good enough, even when you make mistakes.

Self-acceptance is an important part of a happy and fulfilling life. When you accept yourself, you are more likely to be confident, assertive, and successful. You are also more likely to have healthy relationships and to enjoy your life.

First Level

An attitude of basic self-acceptance is what an effective psychotherapist strives to awaken in a person of even the lowest self-esteem.

It entails the declaration: “I choose to value myself, to treat myself with respect, to stand up for my right to exist.” This primary act of self-affirmation is the base on which self-esteem develops.

Second Level

Self-acceptance entails our willingness to experience—that is, to make real to ourselves, without denial or avoidance—that we think what we think, feel what we feel, desire what we desire.

It is our willingness to experience rather than to disown whatever may be the facts of our being at a particular moment.

Self-acceptance is the willingness to say of any emotion or behavior, “This is an expression of me, not necessarily an expression I like or admire, but an expression of me nonetheless, at least at the time it occurred.” It is the virtue of realism, that is, of respect for reality, applied to the self.

Third Level

Self-acceptance entails the idea of compassion, of being a friend to self.

Accepting, compassionate interest does not encourage undesired behavior but reduces the likelihood of it recurring.

The greatest crime we commit against ourselves is not that we may deny and disown our shortcomings but that we deny and disown our greatness—because it frightens us.

3. The Practice of Self Responsibility

The relationship between self-esteem and its pillars is always reciprocal. The practices that generate self-esteem are also natural expressions and consequences of self-esteem.

The practice of self-responsibility involves these realizations:

I am responsible for:

  • the achievement of my desires,
  • my choices and actions,
  • the level of consciousness I bring to my work, and my relationships,
  • my behavior with other people—coworkers, associates, customers, spouse, children, friends,
  • how I prioritize my time,
  • the quality of my communications,
  • my personal happiness,
  • accepting or choosing the values by which I live,

Overall, I am responsible for raising my self-esteem.

In taking responsibility for our own existence we completely recognize that other human beings are not our servants and do not exist for the satisfaction of our needs. We are not morally entitled to treat other human beings as means to our ends, just as we are not a means to theirs.

4. The Practice of Self Assertiveness

Self-assertiveness means honoring personal wants, needs and values; and seeking appropriate forms of their expression in reality.

Self-assertion does not mean anger or inappropriate aggressiveness; it does not mean pushing to the front of the line or knocking other people over; it does not mean upholding personal rights while being blind and indifferent to everyone else’s.

It simply means “I want to be myself and treat myself with respect, even if other people don’t like it. My life is mine, and I don’t have to live up to what others expect of me.”

5. The Practice of Living Purposefully

To live without purpose is to live at the mercy of chance—the chance event, the chance phone call, the chance encounter—because we have no standard by which to judge what is or is not worth doing.

To live purposefully is to live productively, which is a necessity of making ourselves competent to life.

Productivity is the act of supporting our existence by translating our thoughts into reality, of setting our goals and working for their achievement.

Self-responsible men and women do not pass the burden of supporting their existence to others.

Purposeful men and women set productive goals proportionate to their abilities.

To live purposefully and productively requires cultivating a capacity for self-discipline within ourselves.

Self-discipline is the ability to organize our behavior over time in the service of specific tasks.

Self-discipline requires the ability to defer immediate gratification in the service of a remote goal. This is the ability to project consequences into the future—to think, plan, and live long-range.

Living purposefully encapsulates:

  • Taking responsibility for consciously formulating personal goals and purposes,
  • Being concerned to identify the actions necessary to achieve the aimed goals.
  • Monitoring behavior to check its alignment with one’s goals.
  • Paying attention to the outcomes of one’s actions and to know where they are leading to.

6. The Practice of Personal Integrity

Integrity is the integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs—and behavior.

When our behavior is matching our perceived values, when ideals and practice match, we have integrity.

Integrity means congruence. Words and behavior match.

Most of the issues of integrity we face are small ones, yet the accumulated weight of our choices has an impact on our sense of self.

Five steps are needed to restore our sense of integrity with regard to a particular breach:

  • We must admit that we are the ones who did it. We must face and accept the reality of what we did, without denying or avoiding it.
  • We must try to understand why we did what we did. Do this with compassion without making excuses.
  • If other people are involved, as they often are, clearly acknowledge the harm we have done to the relevant people.
  • Take all available actions to make amends for or minimize the harm we have done.
  • Firmly commit to behaving differently in the future.

The challenge for people today is to maintain high personal standards while feeling that one is living in a moral sewer.

It takes effort to live consciously. Every time we choose to be more aware, we are going against the flow. We are swimming upstream, against the natural tendency of everything to become more disordered.

Two Enemies of Self Esteem

  1. The first enemy of self-esteem we may need to overcome is laziness.
  2. The other obstacle is the impulse to avoid discomfort. Living consciously may obligate us to confront our fears; it may bring us into contact with unresolved pain.

The root of our self-esteem is not our achievements but those internally generated practices that, among other things, make it possible for us to achieve.

Do you want to learn how to build a strong and lasting self-esteem? Then read “Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” by Nathaniel Branden today!

Click to know “How to Develop and Improve Personal Charisma“and if interested in knowing “Self Awareness, Its Barriers and How to Improve Self Awareness for Personal Growth

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