The 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden | Book Summary
Not only is self-esteem important in order to become successful in both our personal and professional lives, it’s one of the most important parts of living a fulfilled and happy life.
If your goal’s to become a person who’s happy and independent of external circumstances, self-esteem is key.
This is the reason so many books and articles deal with the topic of self-esteem, with much of the material based on the works of Nathaniel Branden’s “The 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem”.
A psychotherapist and one of the most established writers on the topic of self-esteem, Branden was a pioneer in the field of self-esteem research, developing his own psychological theories and forms of therapy.
In this book, Branden presents what he considers to be the most important aspects that’ll help you increase your self-esteem.
Rather than giving you an intellectual overview of the book, we’ve pulled out some of the big ideas we can immediately implement in our lives…
- Live consciously
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the first pillar of self-esteem is the practice of living consciously.
In any area of life, we have to be aware of what’s going on in order to improve ourselves. If you’re not aware of your behaviours, tendencies and usual response to certain events, how can you change and develop?
Our “natural” response isn’t necessarily the most beneficial, therefore, we should become more aware of our thoughts and behaviours, so that we can assess our actions.
Awareness is always the first step, but in order to improve ourselves, we need to correct our behaviours if necessary.
We experience self-esteem, but self-acceptance is something we do.
Have you ever been in a situation where you’re full of self-esteem? More often than enough, this happens when you’re in your comfort zone, doing something that puts you in your element.
Take a professional soccer player for example. They’re likely to be full of self-esteem on the pitch, but might not feel very confident in a sales negotiation.
The lack of experience has a lot to do with the level of self-esteem we experience. Whilst we might not be able to “choose” to be self-confident in certain situations, we can always choose to accept ourselves.
Accept that you think what you think, you desire what you desire, and that you are who you are.
In order to gain self-esteem, we have to stop seeing ourselves as victims. If your personal fulfilment lies in the hands of others, you don’t have a chance of gaining self-esteem.
Stop relying on other people and start relying on yourself and your own power and abilities. Take responsibility for your life, self-fulfilment and well-being.
Assertiveness can be described as getting what we want. Self-assertiveness, on the other hand, is a little different. It’s more about owing who we are.
Honour your needs and wants, and live and express your values. It’s easier said than done, but don’t live to fulfil the expectations of others.
- Living purposefully
The importance of having a goal in life can’t be stressed enough. By doing so, you give your life a direction.
Rather than wasting your time being unproductive, you’ll become a high-achiever, something which itself will lead to increased self-esteem.
Don’t forget, give your goal numbers and a finishing date, as it’s important to be able to measure progress. Only by measuring results are we able to track results and adjust our actions accordingly.
- Personal integrity
It’s simple. Having a goal and sticking to it ensures we can rely on ourselves. In fact, we should make it our daily practice. It’s equally important that we always make sure our behaviours are congruent to our values. In doing so, you’ll gain more self-esteem.
If, like us, you’re passionate about business, the books you read and ideas you adopt, we strongly recommend reading this book. If you never read another book on self-esteem and stick to Branden’s model, you can reach a very high level of self-esteem. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it!