The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (Initial Take-aways)

I am reading a book called ‘The Six pillars of Self Esteem’, a best-selling book by renowned psychologist and self-esteem specialist Dr.Nathanial Branden. I purchased this book about 4 months back and started reading it, however because of the high level of diction and deep concepts, I shelved it for future reading. A few days back, I reattempted reading this book, and I must say that after reaching the 50th page, I realize how profound and effective his concepts and ideas are.

Listed below are some take away that I have had until now:

·         Raise you level of Consciousness:  Just because we ignore an issue that is affecting our physical, social, mental, economical or spiritual life, it doesn't mean that the issue disappears. Although at first, it might be difficult, we must strive and work towards increasing our levels of consciousness. Only if we are conscious about a particular issue can we take measures to solve the problem.For eg. At times, we have relationships that need working upon, and although we receive certain signals, we choose to neglect them or be oblivious to them. As a result, the relationship worsens and we come across unforeseen situations.

·         There are broadly, two types of beliefs and values: The first one consists of those beliefs and values that we truly and fully believe in. Invariably, these are values that we have learnt through personal experience or encounters. The second one consists of those that we ‘acquire’ through various influences in our lives such as religion, society, peers and family. Upon thinking and introspecting, at times, we might realize that we do not really have the values that have been, over time, indoctrinated in us. When this happens, we have a break through.

·         High self Esteem is not something one is necessarily born with. It is something that is developed over the years. Moreover, levels of self-esteem within an individual vary depending on the time of the day, month or even year. As opposed to common beliefs, self-esteem is not something that is beyond our control.drastic improvements in life.

With the help of certain exercises and techniques, one can gradually raise his/her level of self-esteem and see

·         In order to improve one’s self esteem, it is very important to understand what self-esteem is exactly. Self-esteem can be broken down into two aspects, one is self-efficacy and the other is self-respect.

o   Self-efficacy is the feeling or the conviction in your ability to get a job or project done irrespective of whether you have the exact skills to complete the task. It is the confidence one feels in the ability that he/she knows where to look for and who to consult with in order to learn the skills necessary that ultimately will lead in the completion of the given task. For eg. A CEO who has just taken up the role in an IT company, with an experience from an FMCG company, might find it very challenging if not impossible to drive the work force and run the company without a high level of self-efficacy. Using this quality, many individuals have taken company from loss to over flowing profits.

o   Self-Respect is the feeling of ‘yes, I deserve this’ and ‘I am worthy of it’. Without self – respect, a person may be a high achiever but still have a notion somewhere in his mind that he doesn’t deserve his awards or recognition. A lack of self-respect can at times cause a self-fulfilling prophesy and lead a person into a downward spiral, if corrective action is not taken.

·         Pride, unfortunately, has been given a very negative connotation by many religion and social institutions.
Pride, in reality, is very integral to healthy self-esteem. Pride doesn’t mean unnecessary showing off of one’s self or assets for others to look at and envy.Pride means ‘ I am confident because I HAVE DONE X,Y,Z’ and on the other hand Self efficacy means ‘ I CAN DO X,Y,Z’. So pride comes after the action has been taken and success has resulted and self-efficacy comes before taking action. In other words, pride reinforces confidence in one’s ability to do something and builds long lasting self- esteem.

o   You can be proud of your achievements at school or your work place
o   You can be proud of your parents for teaching you values that have molded you as an individual.
o   You can be proud of your kids for behaving well at school and setting examples for others to follow.

So these were some of the concepts that I have learnt from this revolutionary book and I wonder why I hadn’t read it before. This has definitely helped me rethink certain incidences in life, and has made me walk on the path of self-discovery and growth. In case you are wondering whether this book is really worth it, I suggest you read at least till page 40 till you begin to digest the concepts and idea presented properly; Once that is completed, you will automatically become eager and hungry to learn about factors that have been stopping you from becoming the individual you were meant to be.

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