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Six Pillars of Self-Esteem Paperback – May 1 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (May 1 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553374397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553374391
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.4 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
I am a psychologist who works with self-esteem issues and almost from page one I had problems with this book. It is full of overgeneralizations and concepts that are inaccurate.
Brandon says, for instance, that "medium-self-esteem individuals" (his words) are "typically" attracted to others with medium self-esteem and that low-self-esteem-individuals are "typically" attracted to low-self-esteem-individuals" which, as a psychologist, I haven't found to be true. Instead I have found that individuals with low self-esteem may, indeed, be MORE COMFORTABLE with others who have a similar level of self-esteem, but they are most definitely ATTRACTED to those with higher levels of self-esteem, those who portray a strong sense of confidence, those who are independent, those who are positive, secure, upbeat, and have a sense of purpose in their lives. In fact, people with low self-esteem routinely attempt to attach themselves to people with healthy self-esteem, people others admire, because they enjoy a sense of self-importance and feel more secure themselves, when around people who seem to "have it together". Thus, I have found that people with low self-esteem only tend to gravitate to others who have low self-esteem AS A LAST RESORT, when they feel others are not accepting them, when they feel they don't fit in anywhere else. They definitely ARE NOT "ATTRACTED" to others who have low self-esteem. It's common, for instance, for young people who feel they don't fit in with the popular kids at school, to form their own groups--they ban together because they feel like outcasts. Inside, however, they would like to be friends with the same kids others admire.
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Format: Paperback
An interesting passage from this book reads, "Some of the most important things I learned came from thinking about my own mistakes and from noticing what I did that lowered or raised my own self-esteem."
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)
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Format: Paperback
Read this book.
This is not like other psychology or self-help books. It does not provide easy answers, quick solutions, or relatelively useless academia. It DOES provide you with a very solid understanding of human psychology and motivation, with very, very thorough and logical explanations for its statements.
You do not need to be miserable; you do not need to be in a major depression or time of crisis; you do not need to feel like you "need" a self-help book. If you can say that you would like to have a higher level of happiness in your life -- and who wouldn't? -- then this book is for you.
Odds are, at the very least, it will help you realize some things about yourself you didn't know before, thereby giving you the power to make positive change. And there's a decent chance it will outright change your life, as it did mine.
Regarding some of the criticism in other reviews -- suffice it to say that I feel I understand Branden's concepts pretty well and definitely see some misunderstandings the reviewer had. This is not to say that I agree with every last word Branden says, but the vast majority of his work has a ring of truth far beyond anything I have ever, ever read about human nature.
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Format: Paperback
As a self-esteem coach, virtually every day I thank God (if there is such a Being) for Nathaniel Branden. Up to this point in his evolution as a writer, self-esteem was considered a semi-mystical attribute of character, that was known to be an *effect* of good parenting or good therapy. It was maintained that there were only certain "turning points" in our lives which, if negotiated skillfully, could yield enhanced self-esteem. After the publication of this book, it became clear that we have many many such turning points every day. These insights, allied with the directed sentence completion techniques he developed earlier in his career--a kind of quick burrowing into the subconscious for information and feelings not ordinarily accessible to the conscious mind--can yield enhanced self-esteem in a fraction of the time possible to the earlier forms of psychotherapy at the time. For me the big problem, as a self-esteem coach, is that clients who read "Six Pillars..." often only get help when I put out 100% effort dredging up all I learned over the past 5 decades. If a client does not already have a base of knowledge that needs to be integrated, in my experience using the techniques of "Six Pillars..." leads to confusion. This is not to denigrate Branden's achievement--he is perhaps the most underrated psychologist in the history of psychology, being one of the great generalists whose discoveries are rarely mentioned in counseling texts--but rather to gently chide him (should he read this little epistle) to *please* write a book about what he must contribute, as therapist and as man, in addition to the theory and exercises written about here to achieve the wonderful results he has achieved with his clients.
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