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The Six Pillars of Self Esteem (Part 1 of 3)

The First Two Pillars Of Self Esteem

Over the past year, I’ve really increased the amount of men I personally coach.  Whether it is through my Social Training Lab program, or through my Protégé phone coaching sessions, I have begun to notice a pattern developing.

The biggest obstacle men face in their journey towards getting better with women is usually an underlying sense of low self esteem. This means, that even though many of us have the skill, knowledge, and ambition to get really good at attracting women, we don’t, because deep down inside we don’t feel like we are worthy.

You're a ferocious lion

You're a ferocious lion

Trust me. I battled this for many years, in many different areas of my life. I struggled financially for years because I always thought I was lacking something that other’s possessed in regards to creating wealth. With women, I always wondered “Why would a girl choose me?” And whenever a woman did like me, I was constantly paranoid that when she got to know me she would leave me.

All of these sorts of feelings stem from low self esteem.

Why do so many of us suffer from low self esteem? It is a mixture of mass advertising imposing unrealistic standards of beauty, intelligence, and charm on us. Maybe our parents didn’t do a good job of making us feel special. Maybe we had a bully living next door to us growing up who was constantly picking on us. Or maybe we have some sort of personal limitation that we’re overly insecure about.

Whatever the cause of your low self esteem is, I want you to know that until you increase your level of self worth and acceptance, you’ll likely always be facing a losing battle in life. There are many great teaches out there on the concept of self esteem. I’ve read great books like Erroneous Zones, Psycho-Cybernetics, Fountainhead, and The Book of Est. But for this article, I am going to reference one of the most practical books on the subject: The Six Pillars of Self Esteem by Nathaniel Brandon.

The reason that I found Brandon’s book so helpful was because he provides are real blueprint on how to live your life in a way that maximizes your sense of self worth.  He calls these the six pillars of self esteem and in this article I am going to walk you through each pillar, and explain how to implement each concept into your life.

The Six Pillars of Self Esteem

1. The practice of Living Consciously
2. The practice of Self Acceptance
3. The practice of Self responsibility
4. The practice of Self Assertiveness
5. The practice of Living Purposefully
6. The practice of Personal Integrity

Let’s examine each of these and how they can apply to your life.

The First Pillar: The Practice of Living Consciously

The idea of “living consciously” means that you do not hide from the facts. I spoke earlier about how I struggled financially for years. A big part of this was the fact that I was hiding from the truth. And the truth was I didn’t understand money. Nor did I have a plan for acquiring it. Instead of facing my situation, I wallowed in self pity about my circumstance. And instead of noticing opportunities to learn and grow, I was closed off to the facts, and relied on my emotions to support my erroneous beliefs. Think about how you might be doing this in your own life?  Are you hiding from the facts?

Here are some tips for living consciously:

  • Always look for relevant facts about your situation. Avoid letting your opinion or beliefs get involved. Only look at the facts.
  • Notice your impulses to avoid or deny painful or threatening realities.  Are you hiding from your fears?  Do you avoid making changes but lie to yourself about the reason why?
  • Always search for feedback.
  • Become aware of the stories you’re telling yourself and the excuses you’re making.

Brandon states that “your loyalty is to truth, not to making yourself right.” Think about that sentence. Have you ever avoiding approaching a woman and then rationalized that “it isn’t appropriate to approach a woman in a grocery store.” And you temporarily felt better about your decision because you rationalized it.

The keys to self esteem

The keys to self esteem

While you may temporary feel better, this is doing a number on your self esteem. You can’t fool yourself. Deep inside you know the truth. And it is better to accept the truth and deal with it then to constantly be hiding from it.

The Second Pillar:  The Practice of Self Acceptance

The idea of self acceptance means that you accept everything about yourself. Yes, even your flaws, fears, and insecurities. You see when you begin to live consciously the reality that you were hiding from becomes clear and obvious. Maybe for years you hid from the fact that you were grossly overweight. Or you hid from the fact that you don’t know how to talk to girls. Or maybe you hid from the fact that your attitude caused people to not like you…

Well, now that you’re living consciously and recognizing all of these things it is important that you accept them about yourself.  *This doesn’t mean that you don’t strive to change or improve* Right now I’m coaching a student who is constantly beating himself up over the fact that he is painfully shy. And even though his change has been dramatic and is probably the most outgoing he’s ever been, he still can’t accept the fact that he was born more introverted then most guys.

My question to him is “how can you expect to make an honest run at improving when you’re constantly rebelling against yourself?” Before you can work at changing something, you must first completely accept this about yourself, and feel that you’re still worthy.

Yes, you are overweight. But that doesn’t make you any less of a person. It simply means that it’s time for you to get this area of your life handled.  It means you need to work out more, and eat less.  It is not a reflection on “you.” Here are some tips for practicing self acceptance:

  • Accept everything about yourself (even the stuff you plan on changing)
  • Own all of your feelings.  If you’re feeling fear of talking to a woman – own the fear.  And accept that it is what you’re feeling in that very moment.  It is not “you” though.
  • Search for you “core feeling.”  Ask yourself, “What am I really afraid of?”

A lot of times we rebel against some particular trait of ourselves like our height, our weight, our big nose, our shyness, our baldness, our stuttering problem, our laziness … but we are hiding deeper, more “core” fear.  For instance, maybe you’re struggling to lose weight because you really fear that after losing the weight, you’ll also lose the friends you have who identify you with a certain persona.

So, these are the first of the six pillars of self esteem.  In the next article we’re going to examine the concept of practicing self responsibility and the practice of self –assertiveness.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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