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Self-Esteem: Personal Integrity

In his sensational book The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem Nathaniel Branden discusses:

  1. The practice of living consciously
  2. The practice of self-acceptance
  3. The practice of living self-responsibility
  4. The practice of self-assertiveness
  5. The practice of living purposefully
  6. The practice of personal integrity

The sixth pillar I am going to discuss is personal integrity. This article simply includes some of the key quotes and questions from his book. You can read about the other pillars here.

Integrity is the integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs – and behaviour. When our behaviour is congruent with our professed values when ideals and practice match, we have integrity.

When we behave in ways that conflict with our judgement of what is appropriate, we lose face in ow own etes. We respect ourselves less.

When a break of integrity wounds self-esteem, only the practice of integrity can heal it.

As the simplest level, personal integrity entails such questions as:

  • Am I honest, reliable, and trustworthy?
  • Do I keep my promises?
  • Do I do the things I say I admire and do I avoid the things I saw I deplore?
  • Am I fair and just in my dealings with others?

Integrity means congruence. Works and behaviour match.

If I want people to perceive me as trustworthy…….(finish the sentence)

One of the great self-deceptions is to tell oneself, “Only I will know”. Only I will now I am a liar; only I will know I deal unethically with people who trust e; only I will know I have no intention of honouring my promise. The implication is that my judgement is unimportant and that only the judgement of others counts. But when it comes to matters of self-esteem, I have more to fear from my own judgment than from anyone else’s. In the inner courtroom of my mind, mine is the only judgement that counts.

Most of the issues of integrity we face are not big issues but small ones, yet the accumulated weight of our choices has an impact on our sense of self

If I bring 5 percent more integrity into my life…..

The protection of self-esteem requires a clear understanding of the limits of personal responsibility. Where there is no power, there can be no responsibility, and where there is no responsibility, there can be no reasonable self-reproach.

If I were to think for myself about the values I want to live by….

The higher th level of consciousness at which we operate, the more we live by explicit choice and the more naturally does integrity follow as a consequence

A moral life requires serious reflection

If I bring 5 percent more integrity into my work life…..
If I bring 5 percent more integrity into my relationships…..
If I remain loyal to the values I truly believe are right…

If any of what I am writing is true, it might be helpful if I……

If integrity is a source of self-esteem, then it is also, and never more so than today, an expression of self-esteem

Reciprocal Causation

Behaviours that generate good self-esteem are also expressions of good self-esteem. Living consciously is both a cause and an effect of self-efficacy and self-respect.

The more I live consciously, the more I trust my mind and respect my worth; and if I trust my mind and respect my worth, it feels natural to live consciously. The more I live with integrity, the more I enjoy good self-esteem; and if I enjoy good self-esteem, it feels natural olive with integrity,

The practice of these virtues over time tends to generate a felt need for them

Small improvements make a difference