Six Pillars of Self Esteem – The Practice of Living 1 & 2
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:
What must an individual do to generate and sustain self-esteem?
What pattern of actions must be adopted?
What determines the level of self-esteem is what the individual does and the choices they make within the context of their knowledge and values. It is the discipline of acting in a certain way over and over again day by day in big issues and small. It is a way of behaving that is also a way of being.
- Basic tool of survival – the ability to be aware of the environment in some form, at some level and to guide action accordingly or being aware of some aspect of reality.
- If we do not bring an appropriate level of consciousness to our activities, if we do not live mindfully, it will result in a diminished sense of self-efficacy and self-respect. We cannot feel competent and worthy while conducting our lives in a mental fog.
- To live consciously means to seek to be aware of everything that bears on our actions, purposes, values and goals – to the best of our ability, whatever that ability may be – and to behave in accordance with that which we see and know.
- To operate consciously does not mean always to be in the same mental state but rather to be in the state appropriate to what I am doing.
- You respect the facts of reality – inner (needs, wants, emotions) and outer world.
- Specifics of living consciously (examples):
- Mind is active rather than passive.
- Being aware if your actions are aligned with your purpose/intention.
- Being open to facts and re-examining and understanding them.
- Seeking always to expand awareness – a commitment to learning – a commitment to growth as a way of life.
- If we are lazy, we choose not to be conscious.
Exercise for Pillar #1
Complete the sentence: Living consciously means to me
Complete the sentence: If I bring 5% more awareness to my activities today
Pillar #2 – Self-acceptance
- Self-acceptance is my refusal to be in an adversarial relationship to myself.
- Choose to value yourself, to treat yourself with respect, to stand up for your right to exist.
- Our willingness to experience what we think, feel, desire, have done and what we are – to think our thoughts, own our feelings, be present to the reality of our behavior.
- When you have negative feeling – acknowledge and accept/admit them. Only then can we experience and absorb our feeling into consciousness that we can let them go.
- Focus on the feeling or emotion
- Describe where you are feeling it in your body (how it affects your body) and exactly how it makes you feel.
- Acknowledge this – now you can learn from it so you won’t make the same mistake again.
- Accept the resistance if you need to – accept where you are right now.
- You cannot be truly for yourself, cannot build self-esteem, if you cannot accept yourself.
- Accepting, compassionate interest does not encourage undesired behavior but reduces the likelihood of it recurring.
Exercise for Pillar #2
Complete the sentence: Self Acceptance means to me…
Complete the sentence: If I am more accepting of my actions…