Six pillars of self esteem

Healthy self esteem is experiencing oneself as being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and of being worthy of happiness. Persons of high self-esteem are not driven to make themselves superior to others. Their joy is in being who they are, and they genuinely like themselves. Simply put, self esteem is a measure of how much one values his own self. Our academic and professional success, relationships and mental health are all significantly impacted by how good our self esteem is.

Bach flowers remedies, a system of alternative medicine developed by British doctor and homeopath Dr Edward Bach, can help us stretch our limits and restore greater self-esteem. The Bach Flower Remedy Larch helps raise self-esteem and self confidence in those who feel unworthy, inferior and incapable.

According to a book called The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden, one of the most established writers on the subject, self esteem is not a blessing, but a practice. What determines the level of self-esteem is what the individual does consistently. He says there are 6 pillars or practices that we can build into our everyday lives to build and enhance self esteem –

1. The practice of living consciously

“Those who believe they have thought enough and learned enough are on a downward trajectory of increasing unconsciousness.”

Based on our experiences, we are predisposed to some behaviours and tendencies. Certain situations may trigger an emotional reaction in us, and we may act out of that emotion instead of using our intelligence to respond effectively and appropriately.

Living consciously involves focusing on the hear and now. It is living with an open mind and with flexibility. We must develop a habit of responding after gathering facts and feedback and assessing each situation for what it is, and correct our instinctive behaviour where required.

It also means knowing ourselves, our goals and values, and letting them guide our way through life. What’s important to us may change with time and experience, and we should be comfortable with discarding our old values and goals for new ones.

The Bach Flower Remedy Wild Oat helps us to identify our paths and goals and helps gives direction whenever we are at the crossroads of our life.

2. The practice of self acceptance

“To be self-accepting is to be on my own side.”

Self acceptance is to allow ourselves to be who we are. It is to accept our thoughts and feelings and actions, without liking or disliking them – without judgement. It is to understand that real people have unique strengths and weaknesses, and both positive and negative tendencies.

Acceptance is knowing all is okay in this moment and can be changed in the future once we decide to work on it.

Bach flower remedies Crab Apple, Pine and Rock Water help us to be more self accepting. Crab Apple counters feeling of self-dislike, Pine of unworthiness and self blame and Rock Water for extreme self denial and discipline.

3. The practice of self responsibility

“If there is a problem, men and women who are self-responsible ask, ‘What can I do about it?… they are typically solutions oriented.”

At some point, most of us have blamed someone or something for a problem or failure, whether its parents, a boss, a friend or a stranger. Practicing self responsibility is to stop seeing ourselves as victims.

Each one of us is responsible for our life and well-being, and for the attainment of our goals. No one is coming to change our life, and no one can prevent us from living a fulfilling life.

The Bach flower remedy Willow stops us from wallowing in self pity and playing the blame game. It helps us  to instead  experience  the joy and satisfaction of letting go of blame, bitterness and resentment, and in taking responsibility for our own actions and their consequences – be it success or failure.

4. The practice of self assertiveness

“To practice self-assertiveness is to live authentically, to speak and act from my innermost convictions and feelings.”

To practice self assertiveness is to stand by and express our values and beliefs in appropriate ways, instead of modifying them to give a response thats more acceptable or appealing to others. It is to honour our needs and wants.

The Bach Flower Remedies Centaury, Mimulus, Larch and Walnut can be considered here. Centaury helps us to say ‘no’ gently but firmly when a little assertiveness is the need of the hour. Mimulus makes us bold and that in turn helps us to hold our ground when required. Larch gives us the confidence to speak up . And Walnut would help us to not get pressured or influenced by others.

5. The practice of living purposefully

“To live purposefully is, among other things, to live productively, which is a necessity for making ourselves competent in life.”

The first question to ask is “What are my goals and what deeply inspires me?”. The second question is “What must I do to realize them?”.
Branden reminds us, “Purposes unrelated to a plan of action do not get realized. They exist as frustrated yearnings.” If we don’t do anything nothing is going to change. We must also monitor our action and progress, and do course correction as and when required.

Bach flower remedies Hornbeam, Clematis, Vervain and Honeysuckle would be helpful for this. Hornbeam for energy and to deal with procrastination and laziness. Clematis for helping one to not just dream but also work towards it. Honeysuckle for wistful yearnings and regrets and Vervain for frustrations.

6. The practice of personal integrity

“Integrity is the integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs- and behaviour.”

The practice of personal integrity is congruence in what our values are and what we say and do. It is telling the truth and honouring our commitments.

Being unauthentic in order to gain somebody’s approval might feel good in the moment, but as we feel accepted by somebody else, we are rejecting ourselves. Every time we do this, we tell ourselves “We are not good enough”.

The first step in building self-esteem is having the willingness to embrace change and to challenge ourselves to grow beyond our current comforts. The Bach Flower Remedy Walnut helps one to adapt to change, and will help you get started.

Olive Tree promotes wellbeing through healing with and learning Bach Flower Remedies. As practitioners of alternative medicine our aim is to enhance wellness and healing by restoring the mind and body harmony.

Our services include Bach Flower Therapy consultation (at our centre in New Delhi, and online worldwide) and a Bach Centre UK certified short distance learning programme which can be taken from any place in India and will empower you to heal your family and friends and also to start a fulfilling career in alternative medicine. We also sell Bach flower essences. To know more call us on 9717146337 or write to us on