The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem

The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem


Book Summary

The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem

Nathaniel Branden

02 Dec, 2023

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“When we have unconflicted self-esteem, joy is our motor, not fear. It is happiness that we wish to experience, not suffering that we wish to avoid. Our purpose is self-expression, not self-avoidance or self-justification. Our motive is not to “prove” our worth but to live our possibilities.” - Nathaniel Branden

Key Takeaways

🔵 Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses.

🔵 Make choices that reflect your values and goals.

🔵 Take responsibility for your choices and actions, and live consciously.

🔵 Love yourself, respect yourself, and set healthy boundaries.

🔵 Pursue meaningful goals and values, and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships.

Big Ideas

Practice Self-acceptance

One of the most important things one can do for themselves is self-acceptance. It's the foundation of healthy self-esteem, and it allows people to be more open to growth and change. Self-acceptance is accepting yourself exactly as you are, without judgment or criticism. It doesn't mean perfection or lack of mistakes; instead, it means that you're okay exactly as you are.

Self-acceptance is the foundation of healthy self-esteem. Anyone with healthy self-esteem can take care of and treat themselves with the utmost respect. You don't beat yourself up for your shortcomings or dwell on mistakes. You're able to move on from setbacks and learn from your mistakes.

If you struggle with self-acceptance, you can start working on it by recognizing your positive qualities and accomplishments. Write them down and refer to them when you're feeling down about yourself. Give yourself some grace—we all have flaws, and nobody is perfect.

Live Purposefully

A life lived without purpose is not worth living. However, a life lived with purpose is fulfilling and satisfying. It has meaning and direction. Living purposefully, setting goals, and working towards them will give you a sense of who you are and what you want to achieve. Ultimately, you feel valuable and worthy for doing what matters the most.

How you feel about yourself is based mainly on your actions and thoughts. So, pay attention and take responsibility for them.

Live With Integrity

Many think of integrity as simply telling the truth or refraining from lying. However, it goes much deeper than that. Integrity is about being honest with yourself and others, living up to your commitments, and having the courage to do what is right, even when it's complicated.

Integrity is vital because it's the foundation of trust. When you are honest with yourself and others, people can trust you. And when people can trust you, they are more likely to work with you and want to be around you. It also allows you to look at yourself in the mirror each day, knowing that you are living a life of honesty and authenticity - which can be very rewarding.

Be Self-assertive

One of the pillars of self-esteem is self-assertiveness. It is the ability to stand up for oneself, speak up, and be heard. It is about having the confidence to say "no" when needed and to express one's needs and wants.

Assertive people know their worth and value, and they are not afraid to let others know it too. They do not allow people to treat them as lesser than they are or take advantage of them. Assertive people know how to set boundaries, both with others and with themselves.

It's never about being aggressive or pushy but having the self-respect to stand up for oneself and beliefs. As such, you gain the experience of being competent to cope with the primary challenges of life and become worthy of happiness. Finally, anyone with high self-esteem always feels confident in their ability to meet life's challenges and firmly believes they deserve to be happy.

Take Pride

Pride is the emotional experience of joy in one's achievements. It is a pleasure people take to assert their competence and worth. As soon as they accomplish something, they feel good about themselves, and it helps to increase their self-esteem.

Taking pride in yourselves gives you the courage to risk failure and the resilience to recover from it. You need to be able to take risks to achieve great things. And if you fail, you need to be able to pick yourselves up and try again. This process builds character and strength of will.

Pride is a positive emotion, but too much pride can be problematic. It can be a helpful emotion if it motivates you to achieve your goals and maintain healthy relationships. But when your ego gets in the way, it can lead to problems.

How The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem Changed Me

After reading The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem, I'm no longer the same person as I've learned to build my self-esteem in ways I didn't even imagine. I now have a sense of self-respect, confidence, self-assertiveness, and self-responsibility. Recently, I've started to live more consciously and purposefully, and I can't be happier.

Who is The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem for?

This book is perfect for those struggling with low self-esteem or just wanting to learn to boost their confidence. It's definitely worth the read. So, if you're ready to start feeling better about yourself, you should know that it's packed with valuable insights and practical advice that can help you make positive changes in your life.

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About Malcolm Gladwell

Nathaniel Branden was a psychotherapist and writer popularly known for his literary work on the psychology of self-esteem. He held self-esteem seminars and lectured worldwide.


Isak Vidinghoff is a Strategic Life Coach and Content Creator. He communicates personal development strategies to help people find purpose and meaning to live their fullest potential in life.

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