Our Urgent Need for Self Esteem by Nathaniel Branden

About Nathaniel Branden

Nathaniel Branden “the father of the self-esteem movement”, is a leading psychologist in America and a pioneer in self-esteem development. Following the publication of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus Atlas Shrugged, Nathaniel Branden established the Nathaniel Branden Institute and gave lectures on Rand’s philosophy of “Objectivism.”

He systematised Rand’s philosophy and gave lectures on her ideas, which were published as The Vision of Ayn Rand. He then went on to promote his psychological perspective on self-esteem. He also pioneered Objectivist psychotherapy, a different approach to healing that entailed rational mastery of emotions. He taught that the first step toward change is awareness, followed by acceptance. He was a firm believer that self-esteem is the reputation we have with ourselves. He has successfully demonstrated the importance of developing self-esteem, which is the foundation of life fulfilment.

Brief Summary

Nathaniel Branden talks about how important self-esteem is. Self-esteem cannot be determined by the reactions or acceptance of others. It is a personal experience, a sense of self-acceptance. It is critical to recognise that no one can assist us in developing self-esteem. Life would be unhappy and worthless if one did not feel love and acceptance for oneself.

The most important judgement we make in life is the one we make about ourselves. The difference between low and high self-esteem is the difference between passivity and action, between failure and success. In this essay, he provides us with guidelines for strengthening our sense of self-worth through his six pillars of self-esteem. In today’s global economy, where modern businesses are thriving, self-esteem is critical because it leads to higher levels of competence and achievement. The simple, straightforward techniques dramatically improve how we think and feel about ourselves. The essay makes us realise how important self-esteem is for success in life. Its urgent need is felt in the modern world.

What is Self -Esteem?

The term self-esteem is defined as ‘our responses to events are shaped in part by whom and what we think we are’.
Self- Esteem teaches us how to competent with situations. It is the experience of dealing with the problems and the ability to tackle the basic challenges in life. It is the key to success and happiness. Self -esteem consists of two elements: 

1. Self-Efficacy:

It is the ability to think, learn, choose, and make appropriate decisions in our life.

2. Self-Respect:

It is the confidence in our right to be happy and in the belief that achievement, success, friendship, respect, love and fulfilment are appropriate to us.

The basic challenges of life include the responsibility to earn our bread and butter, to take independent care of oneself in the universe, to become competent in building human relationships, to interact with others with mutual satisfaction and ability to recover from adversity to aspirations. At the practical level, self-esteem is a basic human need. It is essential to normal and healthy development. It has a survival value. 

Types of Self- Esteem:

1. Positive / High Self -Esteem:

The self esteem which helps for the psychological growth of a person is called as positive self esteem. It provides resistance, strength, and a capacity for regeneration. Positive self esteem teaches the spirit of optimism and helps us to experience joy. It develops the sense of selfrealization and self belongingness. Therefore we should believe in ourselves. We need to identify our strengths and weaknesses. We should have a realistic confidence in our mind and value. If we feel secure within ourselves, we tend to respond appropriately to challenges and opportunities. Self-esteem empowers, energizes, motivates. It inspires us to achieve and allows us to take pleasure and pride in our achievements. (KAMALAKAR BABURAO GAIKWAD)

2. Negative / Low  Self- Esteem:

The self-esteem which prevents the psychological growth of a person is called as negative self-esteem. When self-esteem is low, our ability to recover and facing the problems is vanished.  We become pessimistic and always tend to be influenced by the desire. Such kind of mentality creates pain and suffering. If we fail in understanding ourselves, the world will become a frightening place for us. Low self-esteem seeks the safety of the familiar and undemanding. The lower our self-esteem, the less we aspire to, and the less we are likely to achieve. Either path tends to be strengthened by self or preserved and continued by self. The lower self-esteem demands the more urgent the need to prove ourselves. The lower our selfesteem, the more muddy, evasive, and inappropriate our communications are likely to be, because of uncertainty about our own thoughts and feelings and anxiety about the listener’s response. In low self –esteem, insecure women and men are also drawn to one another and form destructive relationships. Negative self-esteem creates the sickening sense of fraudulence and emptiness. Lack of self-esteem results in defensiveness, anxiety, depression and difficulty in relationships.  (KAMALAKAR BABURAO GAIKWAD)

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