A womans self esteem 2000-07-04
Nathaniel Branden’s A Women’s Self-Esteem gives an inside view to helping women improve their self-esteem and begin to live a healthier, happier life. Self-esteem is the ability to experience ourselves as being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and to be capable of seeking happiness. It consists of two components: self-efficacy, or the ability to chose, learn, think and make appropriate decisions, and self-respect, the right to be blissful, the belief that achieving, making friends, succeeding, loving and fulfillment are deserving for us. Self-esteem is essential to all humans to have healthy development. If one lacks a positive self-esteem, psychological growth would be staggered.
Branden describes a woman’s self-esteem as a building of six pillars; without any one pillar the whole building would collapse. The pillars include each of the following: living consciously, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assurance, living purposefully, and living with integrity. Each matter is discussed in detail, and personal stories are narrated to give evidence of unique case studies in which these topics are found. In the conclusion of each explanation of the topic, Branden includes a sentence completion exercise in which sentence stems are given and the reader is directed to quickly respond by adding an ending to each stem. This exercise is an excellent method of thought processes and is terrific for releasing one’s ideas through writing. The work later depicts special circumstances in which self-esteem plays a key role.
These exceptional issues include: romantic love, the fear of selfishness, jealousy, expressing anger, defensiveness, and success anxiety. Each subject is covered specifically and these chapters also comprise of case studies and additional sentence completion exercises. Branden consoles the reader by assuring her or him that although one may often feel guilty for these feelings, they are normal, and without them one would become ruthless in their own happiness. This area of the book, if appreciated, is clustered with many valuable, lifelong lessons and instructions. Branden then goes on to enlighten the reader with empowering strategies to aid in unraveling the mysteries behind some of these exceptional issues, which one may be able to apply to their own life. The conclusion leaves the reader with a sincere desire to strive to perfect his or her self-esteem.
Rather honestly, I found Branden’s contemplation of a woman’s self-esteem to be somewhat bothersome at first. I found it difficult to read a work intended for a female audience yet written by a male. Although this opinion may be slightly sexist, I felt only a woman knows a woman’s feelings and therefore would be more qualified to express her opinion on such a matter. I quickly overcame this bias the further I read Branden’s work. Although he is male, he is very knowledgeable and insightful; he knows an enormous amount on this topic, making him just as suitable to write such a book as any woman may be. While reading this work I began to critique my own self-esteem, hoping that it will hold up to the standards set by Branden.
It is difficult to accept the fact one’s self-esteem is not perfect and will not possess all of the qualities cataloged in the work. The reader must accept the idea that like everything else, improving one’s self-esteem will take work, dedication and time. Changing a quality as integral as self-esteem can be extremely demanding. One is obliged to become conscious of the reality that we are not perfect, but at the same time we must strive to purify and rid our self-esteem of all impurities; in essence strive to achieve a powerful, confident and strong self-esteem. Branden’s foundation, from which the entire book is built, is the six pillars our self-esteem is constructed upon. We must obtain all six pillars to indeed have a healthy and strong self-esteem.
I have found it difficult to attempt to fulfill all six aspects, yet with some work it is possible. To live consciously I try to accept the facts of reality without avoidance or denial. To be self-accepting I must realize the reality of my thoughts, emotions and actions. I try to be respectful and compassionate to others and myself and hold all relationships with great .