If you want to raise your self-esteem I recommend the “The six pillars of self-esteem” book by Nathaniel Branden. See also the previous post. Here I will elaborate on the six pillars of self-esteem, namely Living Consciously, Self-Acceptance, Self-Responsibility, Self-Assertiveness, Living Purposefully and Personal Integrity.
I love that Branden recognizes this as the first pillar. Living consciously is the basic principle for me. It covers so many aspects and facets of life. It is about your conscious evolution of Self in relation with the other conscious Selves.
Conscious living of Self is about being present in every moment, open to learning and discovery.
It is about studying and knowing the Self.
It is about awareness of how you feel, who you are and what you want.
It’s about noticing your feelings and levels of energy; what drains you and what supports you.
It is asking you about your own interests, values, beliefs, morals and goals.
It is about your willingness to learn and grow. It is about joyful experimentation and self-reflection.
It is about understanding your inner world as well as the world of others and external phenomena.
It is about life in respect and love for others.
It is about accepting yourself and the reality around you as much as you can understand it. This includes your personal traits, features and skills, your look, your health, your education, your family, your relations, your financial situation, etc. This is simply about facts.
Self-acceptance is not only about owning and taking responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions, but about being at ease to with your feelings and thoughts. It is about recognition of the patterns in your life. It is about your readiness to receive feedback, both complements and criticism, without being shy or adversarial. It is about accepting yourself with understanding and no judgments as being in a continuous process of learning.
It is a deep realization that you are the author of your choices and actions. If you need cooperation and collaboration with others, you offer value in exchange.
You are the one who is responsible for your life even though you may not have got the best initial conditions, the smartest parents, the best education, the health or the money. You are not the only one. However bad your circumstances in life, however miserable you are, you can start a transformation by taking responsibility for your attitude to what is and what happens. In every situation it is up to you to choose joy over sadness, love over fear, peace over war, trust over suspicion, or acceptance over judgement.
How to do that?
It is very simple. You need to ask your consciousness to make you aware of the choices you are making. In any situation, pay attention to your feelings and thoughts.
What do they communicate to you? Is it love or fear? Is it the language of peace or the language of aggression?
If you recognize the thoughts of fear and limitation, you need to flip them instantly into the thoughts of love and abundance. If you recognize the feelings of fear you need to pause, breathe for a second and internally develop a new feeling of love. This can be done by remembering loving events from your life or by practicing gratitude. It difficult to practice in the beginning but it gets easier if you are persistent.
If there are circumstances you don’t like, you are the one to become aware of them and take action to change things for the better. If you are unhappy in your family, relation or job, you are the one communicate your feelings and seek for satisfying solutions. You are responsible for your life and your well-being.
The transformation to go through may be painful but there awaits a life of blessings.
It is about your authenticity in relation with others. You stand up for yourself but you also create the space for others to be. You respect yourself and others and you recognize the values of yourself and others. You communicate your needs clearly and openly and you take the needs of others into account. You always look for the win-win solutions.
It is about knowing who you are and what you want to achieve in your life. It is about defining your focus. It is about finding your short-term and long-term goals and taking actions needed for their achievement. It is about a cycle of learning which includes theory (thinking, ideas and abstractions), active experimentation, concrete experience and reflection (learning points) and recognizes when goals need to changed, updated or even abandoned.
Living on purpose is about your life story, a journey of growth and evolvement of Self. It is about having a message to share, a practice to do or an example to set up. It is about something much bigger than you are so that your life is in service and serves other conscious beings to grow.
Personal integrity is very important for building trust and successful relationships.
Personal integrity is about congruence between what you know, what you say or teach and what you do. It is about walking your talk, telling the truth and respecting your commitments. It is also about aligning your thoughts, feelings and actions so that you become a balanced Self.