Six Pillars of Self Esteem – The Practice of Living 6
As a coach, I often get asked the question “What do you think the biggest take away is for the people that you have coached?” Obviously it varies from person to person, and the most common feedback I hear is coaches say they have more self confidence and a higher level of self esteem. I know for me personally this is true as well. Several years ago I read the book “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” by Nathaniel Branden. The information in this book has stayed with me and has helped influence my coaching style. The June blogs will highlight each of the pillars and provide an exercise at the end of each one.
Six Pillars of Self-Esteem – The practice of living:
- The integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs and behavior. When our behavior is congruent with our professed values, when ideals and practice match, we have integrity.
- When we behave in ways that conflict with our judgment of what is appropriate (hypocrisy), we lose face in our own eyes (not self-accepting.). If it becomes habitual, we trust ourselves less or cease to trust ourselves at all.
- When we breach our integrity, we wound our self-esteem. Only the practice of integrity can heal it.
- Integrity is the reputation we acquire with ourselves. The more you live with integrity, the more you enjoy self-esteem.
- Integrity does not guarantee that we will make the best choice but we must stay conscious, stay connect with our knowledge, call on our best rational clarity, take responsibility for our choice and its consequences and most importantly, do not seek to escape into mental fog.
- Most of the issues of integrity we face are not big issues but small ones, yet the accumulated weight of our choices has an impact on our sense of self.
- We start to not trust our judgment.
- The higher the level on consciousness at which we operate, the more we live by explicit choice and the more naturally does integrity follow as a consequence.
Exercise for Pillar #6
Complete the sentence: Integrity means to me…
Complete the sentence: If I think about the areas where I find it difficult to practice full integrity…
Behaviors that generate good self-esteem are also expressions of good self-esteem. Living consciously is both a cause and an effect of self-efficacy and self-respect. And so is self-acceptance, self-responsibility and all the other pillars. Surrounding all this is the love for experiencing your life! Self-esteem is the immune system of consciousness.
The philosophy of self-esteem
Practices (actions) and convictions (beliefs) both play a role in supporting self-esteem
- Convictions are important because they give rise to emotions and actions (practices). They are a crucial factor in the development of an individual’s self-esteem.
- Beliefs are convictions deeply grounded in our being.
- Our beliefs may be so implicit in our thinking that we are hardly aware of them or not aware of them at all. Yet they clearly lie behind our actions. These are beliefs about our self or beliefs about reality.
- Our self-esteem – high or low- tends to be a generator of self-fulfilling prophecies.
- We will either sabotage our route to success (what we want) or sabotage our sustainment of that success because our self-esteem is not worthy of the results we produce.
- If a self-concept cannot accommodate a given level of success, and if the self-concept does not change, it is predictable that the person will find ways to self-sabotage. We are in an adversarial relationship with our well-being.
Self esteem and peak performance
- When you have a healthy self-esteem, you become unstoppable in your achievements.
- If you live consciously and consciously live the pillars of self-esteem you have achieved your peak performance.
- We can run not only from our dark side but from our bright side – from anything that threatens to make us stand our or stand alone or that asks that we break through to a higher level of consciousness and reach a higher ground of integrity.
- We live productively – making ourselves competent to life.
Look at long term – what you do today is planting seeds for the future – not immediate gratification
- Think in terms of small steps. Small improvements make a difference.
- Only need to raise one’s average level of performance a little to experience growth in self-efficacy and self-respect.
- Fear and pain should be treated as signals not to close our eyes but to open them wider.
- We must be self-disciplined which requires the ability to defer immediate gratification in the service of a remote goal. This is the ability to project consequences into the future – to think, plan and live long-range.
- You have respect for the present that does not disregard the future and respect for the future that does not disregard the present – you must live consciously!
You are never going to be perfect
It’s the action of trying to be the best we can that builds self-esteem (as long as you live consciously to the fact that you will never be perfect).