One’s self esteem has the capability to make or break his/her life. Thus one can either live in the shadow of his/her self value or use it as a tool to rise on the top. Self esteem is layman’s term is how we value ourselves. Self esteem can also be defined as the manner in which a person tends to perceive himself during day to day matters. Canadian-American Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden in his infamous work on self esteem, Six Pillars of Self-Esteem set forth various ideas regarding this phenomenon. Here’s more on the six pillars of self esteem determined by Branden and how this approach can actively improve our quality of life;
1. Living Purposefully
A large majority of us tend to have certain expectations associated with our lives. Our aspirations and the goals that motivate us add a certain purpose to this long life. They provide us a never ending direction to a certain extent and keep us on track. Some of these goals could be; the maintenance of health, the sustenance of a heathy/loving household, career related success, academic aspirations, the urge to standout or become popular etc.
In his infamous literary work, Branden argues that the practice of living purposefully is among the very first pillars of self esteem. Every now and then one must question himself/herself as to what his purpose of living is? All of us possess the untapped potential that remains within us and gets energized as a result of this cross examination we hold with ourselves. Additionally, while revealing that untapped energy and analyzing our purpose we should make sure that this purpose is true. Consequently, it should be something that resonates with us instead of being a fake idea that we’re adapting to please others.
2. The Essential Role Of Integrity
Haven’t we all heard; walk it, like you talk it. There are certain beliefs and values that are individually important to us. These are the ideas that serve as precursors to our integrity. Yet, simply claiming them to be important isn’t enough we should also be able to keep them in practice and acknowledge it when we are failing at doing the latter.
How we hold these integral views during day to day lives, determines how much we value whatever is important to us. Thus, its is necessary that we determine which ideals, beliefs, standards, limitations are integral to us on a core level. The next task is to maintain them in practice and through our actions.
3. The Importance Of Self Acceptance
This particular pillar highlights the importance of living life with complete responsibility and the absence of denial. At various points in our lives its absolutely essential to take things as they are. If there’s a need to hold yourself accountable for an error then one must be able to do that. Any individual who tends to deflect from a situation likes this or opts for excuses or denial, would possibly struggle with their self esteem.
Those who claim their errors and own up to them tend to claim these very mistakes as learning experiences mostly. Consequently they own their thoughts, feelings or emotions from the get go. This prompts them into taking any action without any biases or without any tainted beliefs. To understand this better, imagine yourself in a scenario in which you are hiding a truth from someone you love. The act of hiding facts negatively impacts your self esteem in the long run because you are not owning up to something that has happened by denying self acceptance.
4. The Role Of Assertiveness
During various phases of our lives we’ve all been in situations in which we were inferior to others. The lack of your assertiveness in those situations impact the way you share your personal ideas or own up to your standards. With regards to assertiveness, one must know how to purposefully and ideally present their own takes on things.
Being assertive in a manner that retains to social regulations ensures that deep down you don’t feel any regret. Even if you agree with someone’s else’s take to maintain appearance, deep down you’ll know that you’re lying and simply trying to get by. Or perhaps in a situation in which you’re being bullied among others, your inability to stand up for yourself saves you on the surface but leaves a toll on you at a deeper level.
So, just imagine how any of these circumstances can impact your self worth pr self esteem. It’s also necessary to remember that being self assertive doesn’t mean that you must neglect all chances of growth. There’s no such as the ultimate real you. Yes, you reserve the idea to be true to yourself but not restrict yourself to a final form as people grow with time or with changing circumstances.
5. Insight On Self Responsibility
In his book, Branden establishes the concept of self responsibility and how one’s supposed to view it. Self responsibility is the act of claiming one’s role in his own life. Along the way we make many choices in integral stages of our lives. These choices can either bring forth desired outcomes or push us onto an even darker trajectory.
Whenever it’s the case of the latter, some tend to assume the role of a victim who’s simply being tested. Being self responsible doesn’t solely mean that you have to be responsible for the guilt that results in the end. It also extends to the act of claiming your role as the only causal agent behind your life and its choices.
When you intend upon making a life decision, you must find a way to truly believe that you have a strong hold over your life. Everyone owes it to themselves and its an initial step towards a healthy self esteem. One would rarely value himself/herself ideally if they’re aware of the lack of ownership on their life from the get go.
6. Living Consciously
While expanding on this particular pillar, Branden joins the concept of conscious living with the practice of sentence completion. Lets first establish that we all have untapped potential inside us. If we’re accessing a decent part of our wisdom and knowledge then there has to be a reserve of excellence that remains unused to this day. When a person starts living consciously his/her moves reflect that he/she has activated these ‘hidden tools’ inside themselves.
The practice of sentence completion is one of the many ways one can live consciously. Simply imagine a scenario in your mind and then leave it incomplete. Now’s the time to come up with multiple situations that can complete the incomplete scenario. In this manner you can recreate a whole lot with the little chunk of information you have been provided with. Living consciously opens you up the idea that you can create and recreate something new at any point of your life.
Why Having Good Self Esteem Is So Essential?
Our self worth plays a significant role in our development as well as during the later part of our lives. Thus possessing unhealthy self esteem can really set you on a downward spiral. Here’s more on good self esteem;
Those who often struggle with their self esteem rarely get to enjoy healthy, personal relationships. How we interact with those that are around us can both impact and be a result of our own self worth. If someone has always felt like he/she isn’t ‘enough’ then they would probably never take a chance on dating. The idea of being judged by others for certain lackings can really trigger them.
Even if they do end up finding love or friendship through hook or crook, things don’t remain that stable. For instance; the always feel like they’re being judged by their partners even when they’re not. Its entirely possible that their lack of self esteem fuels the fear of infidelity every time their significant other interacts with someone of the opposite gender. Additionally, low self esteem can also cause them to lash out at the ones that do adore them.
The Probability Of Abuse
People with low self esteem are among the most targeted by abusers of any sort. A person who inherently lacks the ability to stand up for themselves is more than likely to stay mute under dire circumstances. A person of this sort already considers himself unworthy of proper love or attention. This in turn can warp their definition of love, leaving them at the mercy of an abusive parent, sibling, partner or friend. Thus having low self esteem leaves you in a delicate spot where you can be more than likely the victim of a person taking advantage of this liability.
Confidence and Success
Although this might be the most probable answer in your mind when it comes to the cons of having low self esteem. Yet, there’s still room to explore this facet of the discourse. The lack of healthy esteem often comes in the way of those that have aspirations in life. Low self esteem prompts you into taking much safer paths that would guarantee success without the involvement of any risks.
Following the aforementioned plan can ensure a secure life in some cases but sometimes you have to open yourself to new things. For instance; as a person who aspires to be a successful media personality one ought to be more emotionally grounded. Those who possess healthy self esteem usually wither away pretty quickly when faced by criticism in a highly competitive space.
Insecurities and Mental Anomalies
Our insecurities usually stem from something that has happened to us in the past. This in turn can impact one’s self worth and the way he/she values himself. For instance; a person who lacks self esteem could’ve been bullied for his/her appearance in the past. Thus prompting them into being extra reclusive and skipping on any social events.
Additionally, these insecurities can increase the probability of contracting a mental anomaly. Those who are overtly critical of their physical appearance and struggle with self esteem due to that can also struggle with body dysmorphia. According to a survey; On average, 75% of women struggling with low self-esteem tend to engage in negative/disordered activities including; self harm, substance abuse, disordered eating etc. Furthermore, one’s inability to socialize can leave them reclusive. Consequently, this loneliness can also leave them depressed while longing for real connection with another person.
None of us are blessed with healthy self esteem from the get go. The early stages of development, out upbringing, social factors and many other facets decide whether or not things will be in our favor. So, before you turn and admire the most confident person in the crowd, take time to consider how much effort they must’ve put in. Have you ever struggled with your self esteem in the past? If yes, let us know what prompted this struggle in your case and how you ended up relieving yourself from this scenario.