Being confident in every situation, who wouldn’t want that? Living without insecurities sounds great. But how do you do that?
Self confidence is a bit like calcium. A lack of calcium isn’t deadly, but after a while it does weaken your body. If you could use an extra dose of power, Nathaniel Branden’s six pillars of self esteem might give you the right boost.
In his book, ‘The six pillars of self esteem’, Nathaniel Branden (AKA the originator of the self esteem movement) explains what he thinks are the most important elements that help you to strengthen your self esteem.
1. Practice living in the moment
Improve the things you are able to change, and learn to accept the things you can’t. Live in the moment, without wishing you were somewhere else. If you focus completely on what you’re doing, you add meaning to your life.
2. Practice self acceptation
Self acceptation means self improvement. Everyone has their good and less wonderful features, but if you keep comparing yourself to others who are better at the things you’re not so great at, you keep losing – all the time. There’s always someone who’s better at something than you are. But if you accept who you are, and if you’re willing to look your lesser qualities in the eye, you can make choices based on who you are – not who you would want to be.
3. Practice responsibility
If you have a bad condition and eat unhealthy food, it affects how you feel. You get tired more easily, are less able to focus and you develop all kinds of afflictions. Is treating the symptoms the best solution? Or is it wiser to do something about the underlying problem?
4. Practice assertiveness
If it’s your goal to be nice to people all the time, they will take advantage of you.
5. Practice living with a purpose
Dreaming big is fine, but how do you reach the goal of your fantasy? Most of us have goals we would like to reach. But we tend to forget that we need to act in order to make them happen.
For instance, if you want to write a life changing book, how do you make sure you publish it in the end? Do you keep waiting fot The Big Idea? Or should you keep practicing in the meantime, and increasing the skills you need to make your dream come true?
6. Practice integrity
When it comes to having self esteem, it’s all about learning how to listen to the voice in your own head. That’s not because you have to live according to the rules others impose on you, but because you want to live according to the rules you impose on yourself. Do you walk your talk? Do you lie to yourself and others, or do you do your best to speak the truth – even if a little white lie is much easier?
This is the most difficult pillar of all, but if you follow your own integrity, you’ll find you become much happier and more self confident.
Photo: Autumn Goodman