“There is overwhelming evidence that higher the level of esteem, the likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness and generosity.”-Nathaniel Branden
Nathaniel Branden is one of the most well-known psycho-therapist famous for his works in the psychology of self-esteem. Born on 9th April, 1930, in Canada he acquired his BA in psychology from University of California, Los Angeles. After that, he did his MA from New York University. He earned a Ph.D. in psychology from California Graduate Institute.
Nathanial Branden’s close association with Rand developed his interest in her philosophy of objectivism. He worked to propagate her philosophy of objectivism. Ayn Rand was a Russian-American writer who used the concept of objectivism in her novels. This philosophy is based on the fact that the existence of reality is independent of consciousness. Branden founded the Nathanial Branden Institute (NBI) in 1958 to spread the Rand’s concept of objectivism. NBI flourished widely till 1968 offering a wide variety of courses across 80 cities. The institute also established an office in the Empire State building. The association of Rand and Branden did not last long, and Rand split apart from him in 1968. One of the most ground breaking works on the concept of self esteem is done by Nathaniel Brandon. According to his concept of self-esteem it is one of the most significant human psychological needs and the lack of adequate self-esteem results in anxiety, depression, defensiveness as well as difficulty in maintaining relationships. According to his definition of self esteem it is,” “the disposition to experience oneself as competent to cope with the fundamental challenges of life and as worthy of happiness.”
Braden proposed six most important pillars of self-esteem that are living consciously, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living purposefully and personal integrity. Living consciously is one of the most vital aspects of a healthy level of self-esteem. It is the concept of living mindfully, the concept of becoming aware in mind of the things that one is doing in present. Living consciously also means letting go the past and start living and doing things in the present. The other most important part of a healthy self-esteem is self-acceptance. It is the second stage of building up a good level of self-esteem. Self acceptance means being true to oneself in terms of a person’s emotions, thoughts, behaviors as well as respecting oneself in terms of treating oneself kindly and respectfully. Self-responsibility is the third most important aspect of self-esteem. It incorporates taking responsibility for one’s actions, behavior, thoughts as well as outcomes. Self-assertiveness is the fourth factor that contributes to a healthy self-esteem. It is the ability to express oneself in terms of needs and interest in better ways. The fifth foundation for a healthy self-esteem is living purposefully with impressive and massive goals. The last factor is maintaining personal integrity in one’s behavior and actions.
Nathaniel Branden is considered the father of the self-esteem movement. He has also written numerous books on self esteem and other areas of psychology.