The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
The capacity to trust one’s mind and feel worthy of happiness
In my life, I’ve read all kinds of books. From Russian classics to chick-lit, from fantasy to reportage. “From Fifty-shades of Gray” to “Before the night falls” by Reinaldo Arenas.
Lately, I’ve become more and more interested in self-improvements books. The more I grow the more I seek quality and worthiness. As I approach 30, I feel angrier about the world around me and, as I said, the responsibility to change it.
The six pillars of self-esteem to self-improve
If I know one thing is that it is impossible to change the world if we’re not willing to change ourselves first. That’s why I consider myself an ongoing project to improve.
I discovered Nathaniel Braden’s The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem thanks to a Podcast, and I was urged to buy the book. I sensed it was the next step in my growth process.
When I told my mom, she commented “It’s not like you needed such a book.”
But I did need it, for there are parts of my life where I don’t have self-esteem at all. And lockdown is not helping.
To be honest, I opened this blog because it seemed the only way in which I could grant myself readers.
Before the blog, I considered myself a writer with no readers. And whenever I’ve asked for an opinion on my stories, I’ve always received the worst answer ever: no answer at all.
To this day, I still can’t make up my mind about my writing abilities.
Then there’s my body. Not a day passes when I’m not fighting against weight and I’m feeling I’m the right size.
Lockdown has not helped. I have been working from home since March 2020 and in this year of isolation, I’ve often felt encaged in my own home. As lockdown proceeds in hiccups, I lack incentives and I’ve noticed my self-esteem getting lower and lower.
So, I thought that this book could help.
Branden was one of the most eminent psychiatrists who focused his work on self-esteem. Actually, he’s known as “the father of self-esteem” and “The six pillars of self-esteem” is his most prominent work.
Self-esteem is the foundation of happiness
According to Branden, self-esteem is the capability to trust one’s mind and feel worthy of happiness.
Self-esteem is not something that is injected from the outside, but the way we react to life’s facts. It’s a practice, rather than a feeling. It’s something that we need to strengthen every day.
Most of the time, we self-sabotage out of love for others. What we fail to see is that the first step to support those in need around us is self-love.
The six pillars to raise self-esteem
The six practices that can help us raise our self-esteem are the following:
- The Practice of Living Consciously
“Living consciously means seeking to be aware of everything that bears on our actions, purposes, values, and goals — and behaving in accordance with that which we see and know.”
- The Practice of Self-Acceptance
“We can run not only from our dark side but also from our bright side […]. The greatest crime we commit against ourselves is not that we may deny or disown our shortcomings, but that we deny and disown our greatness – because it frightens us.”
- The Practice of Self-Responsibility
“To be ‘responsible’ in this context means responsible not as the recipient of moral blame or guilt, but responsible as the chief causal agent in my life and behavior.”
- The Practice of Self-Assertiveness
“To practice self-assertiveness is to live authentically, to speak and act from my innermost convictions and feelings — as a way of life, as a rule.”
- The Practice of Living Purposefully
“To live purposefully,” Branden explains, “is to use our powers for the attainment of goals we have selected: the goal of studying, of raising a family, of starting a new business, of solving a scientific problem, of building a vacation home, of sustaining a happy romantic relationship. It is our goals that lead us forward, that call on the exercise of our faculties, that energize our existence.”
- The Practice of Personal Integrity
“Integrity is the integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs — and behavior,” writes Branden. “When our behavior is congruent with our professed values, when ideals and practice match up, we have integrity.”
My opinion on The Six Pillars of Self Esteem
While I read once again the six practices, I realize that what I told my mom was right. I’m halfway there to have great self-esteem. I master three of the pillars while there’s still plenty of work to do on the other three.
In the meantime, I have already gifted the book twice.
As a bookworm, I consider gifting books the greatest expression of love and if the book can be of help to the person I give it to, all the better.
As for me, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem was the book that raised my self-awareness on the topic. Now that I know what to work on, I guess I’m gonna buy all Brené Brown’s bibliography. But that’s another story.
Are you into this kind of books? What other books do you recommend? Has lockdown affected your self-esteem as well?