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Here is an excerpt from Nathaniel Branden’s work on his foundational self-esteem research.  According to Branden, self-esteem is the cornerstone of a healthy mind and attitude.  Without self-esteem, potentially, our lives would feel listless and without meaning. 

Branden goes on to say that…“Over three decades of study and of working with people have persuaded me that there are six pillars on which health self-esteem depends…”

  • Living Consciously: To live consciously is to be present to what we are doing; to seek to understand whatever bears on our interests, values, and goals; to be aware both of the world external to self and also to the world within.
  • Self-acceptance: To be self-accepting is to own and experience, without denial or disowning, the reality of our thoughts, emotions and actions; to be respectful and compassionate toward ourselves even when we do not admire or enjoy some of our feelings or decisions; to refuse to be in an adversarial or rejecting relationship to ourselves.
  • Self-responsibility: To be self-responsible is to recognize that we are the author of our choices and actions; that we must be the ultimate source of our own fulfillment; that no one is coming to make our life right for us, or make us happy, or give us self-esteem.
  • Self-assertiveness: To be self-assertive is to honor our wants and needs and look for their appropriate forms of expression in reality; to live our values in the world; to be willing to be who we are and allow others to see it; to stand up for our convictions, values, and feelings.
  • Living Purposefully: To live purposefully is to take responsibility for identifying our goals; to perform the actions that allow us to achieve them; to keep on track and moving toward their fulfillment.
  • Personal integrity: To live with integrity is to have principles of behavior to which we remain loyal in action; to keep our promises and honor our commitments; to walk our talk.


Cited from Nathaniel Branden Institute



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