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The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: What They Are and How They Help

Olivia is a freelance content marketer and a reading enthusiast.



✔️ What Is Self-Esteem and Why Is It Important?

✔️ The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

✔️ How Can We Use These Pillars to Improve Our Self-Esteem

✔️ Final Thoughts

Self-esteem is one of the most important aspects of our lives. It can affect:

  • how we interact with others,
  • how we view ourselves,
  • and how we live our lives.

According to Nathaniel Branden's book "Six Pillars of Self-Esteem", there are six pillars that support healthy self-esteem, and understanding these can help you build a stronger sense of self-worth. In this blog post, I'll discuss what these six pillars are and how we can use them to improve our self-esteem.

Self-esteem means:

1. a feeling of personal confidence,

2. a feeling of personal worth

— Nathaniel Branden

What Is Self-Esteem and Why Is It Important?

Self-esteem is a term that is often used but may be difficult to define. It can be described as a feeling of personal confidence and personal worth that we have about ourselves. It is the way we see ourselves and how we feel about our own worth.

People with high self-esteem:

  • tend to be more confident
  • have a positive outlook on life
  • are more likely to take risks and pursue their goals
  • tend to be more resilient and can bounce back from setbacks more easily

On the other hand, people with low self-esteem:

  • may be more likely to give up on their goals
  • avoid taking risks
  • may be more affected by negative experiences

Many factors can impact our self-esteem. These include:

  • our family and friends,
  • our culture,
  • our achievements,
  • and even our physical appearance.

It is important to remember that self-esteem is not static – it can change over time and is influenced by many different factors.

Luckily, there are strategies that we can use to build and maintain healthy self-esteem. This includes:

  • focusing on our positive qualities,
  • setting realistic goals for ourselves,
  • and learning how to cope with failure or rejection.

Ultimately, by cultivating a strong sense of self-worth, we can live happier and more fulfilling lives.

Your responses are shaped by who and what you think you are. Self-esteem is the key to success or failure, it is also the key to understanding yourself and other people...Of all the judgements you pass, none is as important as the one you pass on yourself.

— Nathaniel Branden

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

Nathaniel Branden's book "Six Pillars of Self-Esteem" identifies six key components that contribute to healthy self-esteem. These are:

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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

Each of these pillars provides a foundation for building and maintaining healthy self-esteem, and understanding their importance can be key to improving our sense of self-worth.

For example, practicing living consciously involves developing awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and actions, which can help us to make better decisions and take responsibility for our own lives.

Similarly, self-acceptance involves cultivating compassion and understanding towards ourselves, even when we make mistakes or fail at something.

Self-esteem pertains to how you experience yourself. How you think and feel about yourself, not how other people think and feel about you.

— Nathaniel Branden

How Can We Use These Pillars to Improve Our Self-Esteem

Besides reading the book and doing Branden's exercises,there are several strategies that we can use to build and maintain healthy self-esteem based on these six pillars.

One strategy is to focus on our positive qualities and actively work to cultivate them. This could mean:

  • setting goals for personal development,
  • taking time to appreciate or acknowledge our strengths, or
  • simply spending time with people who support and encourage us.

Another strategy is to learn how to cope with failure or rejection. This involves:

  • accepting that we will not always be successful and
  • that we cannot control everything that happens to us.

It also means learning how to deal with setbacks in a healthy way, such as by:

  • seeking support from others or
  • using positive self-talk.

Finally, it is important to set realistic expectations for ourselves and avoid comparing ourselves to others. This can mean:

  • being mindful of the "compare and despair" trap,
  • focusing on our own goals and progress rather than others', and
  • prioritizing our physical health, mental well-being, and overall quality of life.

Overall, by understanding the pillars of self-esteem and adopting strategies that support these, we can work to build and maintain a strong sense of self-worth. With this foundation in place, we can live happier and more fulfilling lives, free from negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves.

If you don't love yourself, it's really difficult to fully believe or accept that another person loves you...The first love affair you have to consummate successfully is the love affair with yourself, because only than you are really ready for relationships.

— Nathaniel Branden

Final Thoughts

If you want to learn more about self-esteem and how to build and maintain a healthy sense of self-worth, I recommend doing some further research or speaking with a therapist or coach.

There are many resources available that can help you to understand the importance of self-esteem and learn strategies for improving your sense of self-worth. Whether you are struggling with low self-esteem or just want to learn more about how to build a healthy sense of self-worth, these resources can be extremely helpful.

If my aim is to prove I am enough, the project goes on to infinity because the battle was already lost the day I conceded the issue was debatable.

— Nathaniel Branden

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Olivia Mills

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