6 Pillars of Self-Esteem Book Review

Self-esteem is confidence in your worth and abilities, but it is much more. Nathaniel Branden, in his book “The 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem” shows us how self-esteem can be the foundation for a meaningful and enriching life.

These pillars or principles begin with the individual, empowering you to take conscious action and move to greater heights. However, we can also implement the implications of self-esteem for growing healthier, happier, and proactive individuals in homes, schools, and communities. Following are some key insights from the book and the pillars of self-esteem explained.

The 6 Pillars Of Self-Esteem

1. Live consciously

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” – Oscar Wilde

Branden states that our mind is a tool for survival, and living unconsciously is betraying our mind. Deceiving yourself makes you lose unity with your mind, leading to a loss of happiness and satisfaction. Indulging in addictions, substance abuse, and other mentally harmful activities makes us lose something essential for short-term pleasure.

2. Accept yourself

In the book, Nathaniel emphasizes self-acceptance as the refusal to be in a negative relationship with yourself. It is a process of maintaining harmony with and acknowledging yourself. This process also involves changing thought patterns of comparison, criticism, denial, and judgment. Development of our potential can only start after we recognize our feelings and stop lying to ourselves.

3. Take 100% Responsibility

Taking responsibility for everything in your life – how you act, feel, and think, can lead to a significant positive impact. The principle of self-responsibility focuses on the individual. Branden states that no one owes you the fulfillment of your wishes. It is in your hands to achieve what you desire. 

Read more: 101 quotes to boost self-confidence and embrace yourself

4. Be yourself

As explained in the book, the principle of self-assertiveness is essential to authenticity. It means being yourself and respecting who you are in all human encounters. To be self-assertive, you need to stand up for yourself, treat yourself with respect, and be who you are openly.

5. Have a purpose in life

According to Nathaniel, the purpose of life is not a mental creation but a feeling of mastery achieved by completing and excelling at tasks. While it is common to see only our work as the channel for purpose and efficacy, we can also apply this principle to our relationships. Self-discipline is essential to establishing a sense of purpose. It is the capacity to set the right goals for yourself and work on them over time.

6. Personal Integrity

Being one of the 6 pillars of self-esteem, self-integrity can be defined as living in harmony with your values. It is one of the most complicated principles to put into practice but also the most rewarding. It means not compromising on your values and holding true to your judgment. Doing something against our better judgment makes us fall in our own eyes, leading to a loss of self-esteem.

Read more: Signs of low self-esteem


The 6 pillars of self-esteem mainly focus on controlling your actions, emotions, and thoughts. You can be more confident by accepting yourself, taking personal responsibility, being assertive, living consciously and purposefully, and having personal integrity.

Practicing the 6 pillars of self-esteem or developing any healthy habit requires motivation. Not understanding or improperly applying motivation can hinder your goals, stop your progress, and waste time and energy. Here are some podcasts to help you gain insight and motivate yourself better.

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