Six Pillars of Self-Esteem Summary – How to live with Honour?

Author: Nathaniel Branden

Short Summary
Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (1994) is a self-help book that helps its readers live meaningful lives. The writer dedicated many years of his life to discovering the six pillars of self-esteem and sharing them with the readers in his book in order to live a purposeful life.
six pillars of self esteem

Detailed Summary

“Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.”
― Nathaniel Branden

The book Six Pillars of Self-Esteem is written by Nathaniel Branden, who dedicated many years of his life to the philosophy of self-esteem. After many years of devotion, he discovered six pillars.

The six pillars should be practiced by every individual who wants to find the true meaning of life and whoever wants to live a purposeful life.

He wrote the book about them and named it Six Pillars of Self-Esteem. The book is quite difficult to understand as the author has highly and abstractly explained the concepts. But anyone who wants to grasp the concepts of self-esteem should thoroughly read this book and indulge in it.

Six Pillars of Self-Esteem Summary – Key Points

Learn to practice the Six Pillars of Self-Esteem to find a purpose in your life.

Self Esteem is like a Calcium     

Just like calcium intake makes us healthy. Calcium makes our teeth and bones strong. But still, we can survive without calcium. Although calcium is an essential part of a healthy body, if we don’t use calcium in our daily life, our body gets weak.

The writer has compared calcium with self-esteem. Just like calcium deficiency makes our body weak, in this way, without self-esteem, you can survive, but you do not have any meaning or purpose in your life. You won’t be able to achieve your goals, and life without passion and purpose is meaningless.    

Self-esteem boosts your self-confidence and ability to do something. When you start believing in yourself, you can expect more from yourself, and so you can start working hard to achieve your dreams and goals.

So, we can say that self-esteem pushes you to live a meaningful life, and you can turn your desires, goals, and dreams into reality through self-esteem.      

“Self-esteem is not a luxury; it is a profound spiritual need.”
― Nathaniel Branden 

Self-acceptance and self-responsibility            

Another lesson that the book teaches us is that we should always accept ourselves and take responsibility for everything in life. These are also the 2nd and 3rd pillars of self-esteem. They both are connected to each other.

Self-acceptance is that pillar of self-esteem that helps a person to believe in himself and his capabilities. When you accept yourself, you value yourself and never judge yourself.

Doubting yourself and your abilities can only demotivate you. And you will never start doing something out of the box. Moreover, it’s always your choice to accept yourself. You make a choice to value yourself and your abilities, and you choose to achieve your dreams.

Let’s take an example, yesterday I was biting my nails, and I bit them very badly. I got mad at it and started regretting biting my nails. But what can happen now? If I accept my mistake and start thinking about why I was biting my nails?

I could figure out the problem that I was stressed about because, for some reason. So, I was biting my nails, which was a physical relief for me. So, this example teaches us that we always make a choice to regret or accept our mistakes.

Besides this, self-responsibility is another pillar of self-esteem which means taking control of our life. When we take responsibility for our actions, we stop complaining and focus on ourselves. In this way, we can better solve a problem instead of blaming others.

“There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity.”
― Nathaniel Branden


Do you ever prioritize your own needs first? Or are you one of those who want others happy, even if they have to sacrifice their needs and demands?

Self-assertiveness teaches that your values, demands, requirements, and beliefs are all important. It teaches us to stand for ourselves and treat ourselves with honor and respect in all walks of life.

Living purposefully and with Self-integrity 

“Integrity is congruence between what you know, what you profess, and what you do.”
― Nathaniel Branden

According to Nathaniel, self-esteem’s 5th and 6th pillars are living life with a purpose and working hard to be closer to your goals by believing in yourself. These two pillars are also connected to each other.

When you know your purpose in life, you start doing something to achieve it. It’s difficult to find out your purpose in life. People who know their purpose in life or at least have a rough idea of it in their minds take baby steps to reach closer to them.

For instance, if a person wants to be a writer but he says that he doesn’t have any good idea to start writing a novel. Then he is just making an excuse. Instead, he should start writing summaries or four-minute books to feel he is doing something in his niche and taking baby steps toward his dream.

Not only is a purpose in life important, but it’s also necessary to take action for it. That personal integrity and it’s the sixth pillar of self-esteem. Your words should match your actions.

“We must become what we wish to teach.”
― Nathaniel Branden

Although it’s hard to implement, taking a step forward and believing in yourself helps you accomplish your dreams.        

You might like to read the book Abundance Summary.                                                 

Who would I recommend the Six Pillars of Self-Esteem summary to?

A teenager who is not sure about his passion and does not know which field is best for him needs to read Six Pillars of Self-Esteem so that he will be able to find his relevant field and work hard for it. Moreover, a graduate who wants to do a lot in his professional life but doesn’t know where to start and has self-doubts should read this book.

Six Pillars of Self-Esteem Summary - February 2022

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