The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: An Overview

The pillars of self-esteem are the features that are responsible for the outcome of an individual’s low or high self-importance. They are categorized into six as written by Dr. Nathaniel Branden

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the inner personal assessment of your worth, how you feel about yourself, and how you value and commend those feelings. It has nothing to do with your in-born or natural abilities, although it can affect it to an extent. It is just what we think about ourselves. This feeling however creates a mirror in the presence of other people.

Previously I emphasize self-esteem in some of the articles I wrote, with the topics:

Self-esteem: 11 tips to better understand yourself

High self-esteem: 10 Traits of Overconfidence people

Low self-esteem: how to overcome and improve rapidly

Self-esteem could either be high or low while the two significant things that differentiate both are happiness and sadness. It is either you believe in whom you are and you are happy about it or you do not understand your worth, thus you are always sad.

It is possible to ascertain where we belong and we can probably change it if we are not satisfied with the result. It is just a matter of our own decision. However, the decision is based practically on the things we do which are the six pillars of self-esteem

I give credit to Dr. Nathaniel Branden who wrote a book in psychology about the six pillars of self-esteem. In this book, Nathaniel points out the factors that could involve a raise or a low in an individual’s self-esteem.

Living consciously

Here we tend to be more aware of the present activities that happen in our life. we assimilate information, instruction, and advice. We also react to them positively or negatively. It is being aware of the present situation and what is happening around us. This could help us focus more on the present and think less of the past or future.


This second pillar which is self-acceptance means admitting who we are regardless of the good and bad traits we possess. Even when people say negative things about us, we still see a reason for doing it. But it does not change the fact that we value and respect ourselves.

We try to embrace the hopes we have about our future rather than trying to settle for our weak points. Again, we recognize the weak point in us and try to accept it by also trying to change it.


This pillar practices accountability for oneself. We are in control of our choice and doings. We do not allow other people to dictate to us or subject us to do otherwise. Even when we make mistakes, we do not blame others for the wrong step we make.

We are simply in charge of our happiness. It is being answerable for every action we take purposely or unwillingly. Rather than blaming others for those faults we accept them and use them as a yardstick for amendment.


This is the practice of giving interest to our needs and desires. The ones we can afford we do not tend to deny having. For those, we cannot afford we request the best procedures. Then whatever we desire that demands other people’s knowledge we do it appropriately. It is almost like applying confidence and in all, acknowledging your true self.

Living purposefully

This is the practice of achievement. We try to identify those abilities we have, devise a way of being creative, and bring them to reality. We set goals and make plans toward achieving them. Amidst difficulties and controversy, we struggle to make them achievable. It is to live each day having the motive of achieving a plan. Using the determination in us to achieve every objective we set to accomplish.

This practice stresses further how determined we are in being undependable towards others. We simply want fulfillment in life and the goals that can lead to those achievements

Personal integrity

This simply means practicing etiquette. What we know and feel is the right thing to do, we do it. When we preach good things, we do what we preach. Sometimes when we search for our conscience and believe it is the right thing to do, we go ahead regardless of what people might say.

We do not live to please others. We do not allow them to rule our sense of right and wrong judgment that may deprive us of doing the right thing.