How often do you think, “I know the way I’m eating is wrecking my health.” Yet you go ahead and do it anyway?
For the past 3 months my team and I have been reading a very thought provoking book about self-esteem. I find it intriguing to learn why people have more confidence in some situations than others; what factors from our childhood impact our self-esteem as adults; and the fact that conflict between thoughts and actions is sabotaging to our self-esteem… even when we don’t know it.
Self-esteem, as defined by Nathaniel Branden in his book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, is simply the reputation we acquire with ourselves.
Branden has outlined six pillars of self-esteem. They are:
The Practice of Living Consciously
The Practice of Self-Acceptance
The Practice of Self-Responsibility
The Practice of Self-Assertiveness
The Practice of Living Purposefully
The Practice of Personal Integrity
Now, at first glance, these seem pretty self-explanatory. However, have you ever considered what living consciously means? Or more importantly, what it means to you?
What would happen if you brought 5% more awareness to your most important relationships? (Click here to read more…)
These questions just skim the surface of the complexity of self-esteem. When our thoughts and our actions contradict, this leads to destruction of our self-esteem. Once self-esteem is damaged, the only way to re-build it is by practicing thought-action congruence in the specific area which has suffered.
The extent to which the pillars of self-esteem are integrated into our daily life is the extent to which self-esteem is strengthened and supported. The converse is also true.
One of the most powerful tools I’ve ever seen for strengthening self-esteem is sentence completion. Branden created this exercise to increase the connection between subconscious action and conscious thought. Here are some examples I encourage you to try.
For each of the following sentence stems, write down 7-10 endings as fast as possible. This is not a think-and-ponder type of exercise. Rather, a quick instinctual response is best.
If I bring more awareness to my life today…
If I take more responsibility for my choices and actions today…
If I pay more attention to how I deal with people today…
If I boost my energy level by 5% today…
Then consider: If any of what I wrote is true, it might be helpful if I…
So tell me this, how important is your self-esteem to you? Even if it’s great, could it be better? If you’ve been intrigued by any of these questions, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Branden’s book, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem. Branden asserts that self-esteem is not a gift, but rather a possession over time that represents achievement. If you raised your self-esteem by 5% today…