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The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field Paperback – May 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Self-esteem expert Branden outlines the six characteristics that define his guide to better living, emphasizing personal responsibility and self-reliance.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Branden, who has already explored issues of self-esteem in The Psychology of Self-Esteem , LJ 2/1/70, and How To Raise Your Self-Esteem, LJ 3/15/87, argues that acquiring high self-esteem is essential to a person's survival in the world. His core assertions are believable enough , but he does not outline the six pillars until well into the book, which is too late to hook the reader. Ultimately, this is a repetitive, verbose, and somewhat rambling book. Better choices would be Richard Bednar's more scholarly Self-Esteem: Paradoxes and Innovations in Clinical Theory and Practice (American Psychological Assn., 1989) or, for public libraries, Matthew McKay, Self-Esteem (New Harbinger, 1992). Not recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/93.
- Jennifer Amador, Central State Hosp. Medical Lib., Petersburg, Va.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This interests me to reread this, because having first read this book in 1994, I wrote so many detailed introspective notes that I too can say, I've learned a lot from thinking and writing about the "learning lessons" of my life.
And this is a life-time process.
So, what are the 6 Pillars of Self-esteem?
First, I'd like to say that a healthy dose of self-esteem is thinking for yourself, no matter what is going on around you; while you maintain the belief that you deserve to be happy.
And happiness is when you can say that you have more joy than pain in your life.
The 6 pillars are:
1. Live Consciously
This requires us to be fully in the present moment. And for
most, this takes a bit of practice, because many of us are
conditioned to disown the here and now, to survive what we
have thought that we cannot handle.
2. Accept Yourself
Yes. You have flaws and attributes. You also have the
opportunity to enhance who you are, by accepting everything
about yourself. In fact, the only way to enhance who you
are is to accept yourself.
3. Take Responsibility for Your Experiences
Through my journey, I have learned to be in conversations
where I say to myself, "It comes down to 'this is where you
end, and I begin,'"
Saying such an affirmation has helped me to congruently say
what I will and will not experience. And this is quite
liberating not only to myself, but also to my interlocutor
(most of the time)
4. Assert Who You Are
Honor what you think, feel, believe, need and want. Yes,
for many readers this may be a challenge. But the results
of accepting this challenge are wonderfully fulfilling.
5. Live Purposefully
Make an agreement with yourself to reach your highest
potential, while you maintain balance in your life.
6. Maintain Your Integrity
Know exactly what your principles are. And stick to them,
no matter what others think or do.
This is an easy to follow book that is also between the caliber of a "self-help" book and a "psychology" book.
The heart of this book is the sentence-completion exercises which Branden has developed during his decades as a practicing psychologist. The exercises are designed to bring about change gently. Because the effect is gradual and cumulative, you will begin to notice subtle positive changes in your thinking and behavior without having to summon superhuman resources of willpower. The exercises take about fifteen minutes a day to do and there are about a year's worth in the book. The most profound beneficial effect this book has had on me so far is to make me more aware of my own values and desires and to keep me honest with myself; this awareness of who I really want to be has served as a reminder when it comes time to make choices, and has helped me to make the right choices for myself.
Branden's 'Six Pillars' is the leading example of this presently, in my life.
After an insightful look at the roots of self-esteem, the sentence-completion exercises he leads you thru start stirring up powerful stuff.
(NB: I didn't believe mere sentence-completion exercises could achieve much before I began them.)
My first reaction was horror, at how low my self-esteem had sunk over the years. I'd bet that's a common response.
Then some new stuff started to be 'installed': in small practical ways I started feeling better about myself, and life.
Simultaneously I saw bad, old ideas dissolving - bad, old patterns breaking up.
Some are still there, of course: you have to keep at it.
Seven weeks now, and I'm still game for quite a bit more. Tho I don't want to become a lifelong therapy junkie - that's one of the more subtle form of addiction IMO - so will pull the plug at some stage.
I also exprienced (once) hitting bedrock: low self-esteem stuff that would not be moved, and felt it was as old as the cells in my body.
Just coming thru that now: it seems the exercises will shift that stuff too, or at least some of it.
All up, this is the most powerful therapeutic method I've employed. That might be because self-esteem is the most basic, or all-embracing, psychological phenomenon I've yet worked on.
I can't imagine anyone not benefiting from this book, tho the more assiduous you are in absorbing its message and doing the exercises - that is, the more desperate you are to change - the more you'll get out of it.