Self-esteem is one of the most important concepts that we need to understand.
After all, it directly relates to your mental and emotional well-being and dictates how you interact with the world.
Having a healthy sense of self-esteem (check our article about the fun facts about self esteem Here) can help you understand yourself better and live a much more fulfilling and successful life. It can also help you deal with challenges more effectively and motivate you to keep becoming a better version of yourself.
But, what really is self-esteem?
Well, in simple words, it is how you value and perceive yourself. In other words, self-esteem is your subjective sense of overall personal worth.
For example, you may be a talented writer, and the world may sing your praises, but if you don’t think that you are any good, none of that matters. It’s only your own measure of your worth that matters in the end.
There are various ways you can build self-esteem.
There are tons of tips and strategies that will help you along the way.
However, before you go that route, you need to first understand the six pillars of self-esteem.
These will give you a much deeper understanding of this concept and help you build and maintain healthy self-esteem.
Let’s see what these pillars are.
1) The Practice of Living Consciously
Most people live life on autopilot mode.
That’s just how it is. I mean, think about everything that you did from the moment you woke up this morning and how much of it you did consciously.
You will realize that most of your actions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors happened automatically. Your brain simply took care of all of these things.
Now, this might seem like a good thing.
After all, you don’t have to be actively involved in every single activity.
However, there is a counter-argument that can be made.
It can be said that living consciously and being conscious of every single activity can help you make intentional choices about how you interact with the world around you. Otherwise, you would simply be functioning as per your programming. You would no longer be controlled by your emotions and thoughts.
So, conscious living can help you get back into the driver’s seat and take charge for once.
This way, you can respond to any situation the way you want to, instead of how your automatic response system tells you.
It can help you look at things just the way they are instead of being compelled to look at everything through filters of different biases.
Of course, this includes you too.
Instead of looking at yourself the way you have been programmed, conscious living can help you look at yourself the way you really are.
For example, if the kids in your neighborhood weren’t kind to you when you were little, you might have developed a negative image of yourself subconsciously. As an adult, that image might still be imprinted in your psyche and that could be a reason for your lack of self-esteem.
However, if you start living consciously, you can start to take a fresh look at yourself.
You can observe yourself as if from the eyes of a third person. Doing this, you will realize that you have your own strengths and weaknesses. And the mean things the kids said don’t define you at all!
2) The Practice of Self-Acceptance
Self-acceptance is the second pillar of self-esteem.
It refers to accepting yourself for who you are, without trying to change or hide certain aspects of yourself.
It also involves taking responsibility for your own thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Of course, it is easier said than done, but it is necessary if you want to nurture a sense of self-worth.
You see, when you lack self-esteem, you tend to focus on your flaws and mistakes a lot. You constantly compare yourself to others and feel inadequate or unworthy. ( check our article to stop comparing yourself to others Here)
You also try to change yourself in order to fit into societal expectations, whether it’s about appearance, abilities, or personality.
In order to feel confident and comfortable in your own skin, you need to accept and value yourself.
And that includes accepting the not-so-good parts about yourself.
This involves weaknesses, flaws, negative traits, bad habits, and so on.
This doesn’t mean that you support these negative elements. It’s just that you are accepting that these are parts of you and you can’t be ashamed of them.
It means that you understand and accept yourself for who you are and at the same time, you are still working on self-improvement but with a more positive and realistic mindset.
Self-acceptance is the key to unlocking your potential and living a more fulfilling life.
At the end of the day, you need to remind yourself that every person on the planet has flaws. Nobody is perfect.
And if self-esteem was supposed to be measured through the lens of perfection, nobody in the world would have self-esteem.
Now, one way to develop self-acceptance is to practice positive self-talk.
As you go about your day, use positive affirmations about the various aspects of yourself. You could say things like, “I have flaws but I am working through them,” “Each day I work to improve myself,” “Yes, I am not perfect, but that’s okay,” and so on.
3) The Practice of Self-Responsibility
Self-responsibility is the third pillar of self-esteem.
And I must say, it’s quite an important one.
It refers to taking responsibility for your own actions and decisions.
It involves recognizing that you are in control of your own life and that you have the power to make changes if you are not happy with your current situation.
Many people struggle with practicing self-responsibility because they tend to blame others or external factors for their problems and shortcomings.
They feel that they are not in control of their own lives and that they are powerless to change their circumstances.
This can lead to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, which can negatively impact self-esteem.
However, when you practice self-responsibility, you are able to take ownership of your mistakes and learn from them.
Rather than constantly blaming others for your problems, your focus would be on making yourself better. It is this little change that makes all the difference in the end.
So, how can you start becoming more responsible?
As they say, practice makes perfect.
And you can start by taking ownership of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. You need to understand how they influence your behavior. This will help you realize that you are responsible for your own thoughts and emotions and that you have the power to change them.
Another great way to practice self-responsibility is to take action toward achieving your goals.
Set goals for yourself, both short-term and long-term, and take active steps to reach them. This will help you to develop a sense of purpose and control over your own life, which is essential for building self-esteem.
4) The Practice of Self-Assertiveness
This pillar talks about being able to express your needs, desires, and wants in a clear and direct manner.
However, it implies that you need to be respectful of others while doing so.
Practicing self-assertiveness also involves setting boundaries and communicating your thoughts and feelings in a non-aggressive manner.
As such, when you practice this quality, you are able to stand up for yourself and be true to who you are.
A lot of people are not able to assert themselves because they fear rejection, ridicule, criticism, or conflict.
They may feel like they don’t have a right to express their own needs and wants, and as a result, they may compromise their needs to please others. This can lead to feelings of resentment, frustration, and dissatisfaction. These negative emotions and feelings can ultimately impact your self-esteem.
However, if you respectfully learn to be assertive, things become a lot easier. You feel confident in asking for what you want and saying no to what you don’t want. ( learn how to say NO with our article here)
When it comes to practicing self-assertiveness, you need to start with a show of confidence. Even if you don’t actually feel it, you need to show it as if you’ve got it. With time, you will actually develop confidence and self-assertion will become more natural.
Also, while practicing self-assertiveness, you need to manage your emotions effectively.
You need to be able to express them in a way that is appropriate and not harmful to others. This means learning to take a step back and evaluating your emotions, before responding to a situation.
This is important because you don’t want your practice to hurt those that are near and dear to you.
To that end, you need to make sure that you are aware of your body language and tone of voice when communicating assertively.
5) The Practice of Living Purposefully
The practice of living purposely involves setting meaningful goals and taking action toward achieving them.
When we have a sense of purpose and direction in our lives, we are able to feel more fulfilled and satisfied, which can positively impact our self-esteem.
Thanks to this practice, we are also able to identify what is important to us and set meaningful goals that align with our values and passions.
This further helps us feel like we are living a fulfilling and authentic life, which is essential for building self-esteem.
So, you should begin by taking the time to reflect on what is truly important to you, what are the things you feel strongly about, and what is the purpose behind your actions. This reflection can help you set more meaningful goals in life.
Another important aspect of living purposely is setting goals for yourself, both short-term and long-term. Set realistic and specific goals and take active steps to achieve them. It’s important to create a plan, and a to-do list, and work towards your goals with dedication and persistence. ( check our article on how to be more consistent Here)
Taking action toward your goals is one of the most important aspects of living purposely. It may be hard at times, but taking action will make you feel like you are in control of your life and that you have the power to make positive changes.
This will help you develop a sense of personal accountability, which is essential for building self-esteem.
In addition to all of this, it’s important to be adaptable and open to change. It is also important to be willing to adjust your goals if needed because life is anything but things set in stone….
6) The Practice of Personal Integrity
The practice of personal integrity is the sixth pillar of self-esteem.
It involves living in alignment with one’s values and principles.
Personal integrity is the foundation of self-esteem as it makes you capable of staying true to yourself and being consistent in your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
When we have personal integrity, we are able to live a fulfilling and authentic life, which can positively impact our self-esteem.
People usually struggle with personal integrity because they feel the pressure to conform to societal expectations or to please others.
They find themselves compromising their own values and principles in order to fit in or to be liked. This can lead to feelings of dishonesty, insincerity, and inauthenticity, which can negatively impact self-esteem.
So, it’s important to practice personal integrity if the opinions of others or society as a whole matter a lot to you.
One key way you can do that is by taking the time to reflect on what is truly important to you and what you stand for.
Once you have this clarity, aligning your actions to your values will become easier.
Another important aspect of personal integrity is being honest with yourself and others. Honesty is key to building trust and healthy relationships.
It’s important to admit when you make a mistake, to be open and honest about your thoughts and feelings, and to be accountable for your actions.
Personal integrity also involves standing up for what you believe in, even when it may be difficult.
This means having the courage to speak up for what you think is right and being willing to defend your values and principles. This will help you to feel more confident and self-assured, which is essential for building self-esteem.
Finally, personal integrity means being consistent in your actions and words, if you say you are going to do something, make sure you follow through. This consistency helps to build trust and reliability in you, and it also helps in decision-making, as it can be easier to make choices when you are in line with your values and principles.
If you want to learn more about the 6 pillars of self esteem, we recommend you the great book of nathaniel Branden, you can find it on amazon HERE.