Book Review – Anxiety And Self-Esteem

This is a big topic, isn’t it!  So, how to tackle it?  I suppose there are as many ways into this area as there are people as well as specialists in mental health.  Although I’ve had plenty of issues with both anxiety and self-esteem, I am by no means an expert or mental health professional.  I am an artist and a writer.  But I’d like to take this on from a certain angle, one that I feel I can contribute from experience.  This is the world of work or what we do in our lives.  It doesn’t have to necessarily be paid work but it can help our self-esteem to do something that we enjoy and it’s even better when we can (eventually) earn some income from it.

To help me out, I am going to rely on a book called: Follow Your True Colors To The Work You Love by Carolyn Kalil.  (If you’d like to get her book the best prices I’ve found are on Abe Books (  According to this book people come in four colours and these colours represent what gives them a sense of self-esteem when it comes to the work that they do.  It is broader in scope than just work, it does go into the personality for each one of the colours as well.  It is a hopeful, positive, encouraging and inspiring book.  How so, you may be wondering.

The four colours are green, blue, gold and orange.  It is incredibly easy to ‘diagnose’ one’s self with the book.  She calls these colours the four paths to self-actualisation.  I’ll outline them briefly; Greens need power and mental competence, Blues need meaning and purpose, Golds need social status and security and finally, Oranges need freedom and spontaneity.

On p.44 she writes, ‘In order to discover and appreciate the kind of work that would be satisfying to you, you first must understand how your personality (colour) achieves self-esteem and self-actualisation.’

Don’t worry, she guides you through each colour and she fleshes out what she means in the above statement.  

If we are lucky and we know what we need to be doing in our lives and what gives us this self-esteem we may not need this book.  But I would say that many of us can use a little guidance and this book is enlightening.  Naturally, we derive self-esteem from different things, but there is something truly magical when we are able to use (or discover!) our gifts and talents.  We are not all coloured the same according to this author and to understand our natural, innate traits we may need a little help.

Perhaps many of us have some inkling of what it is that brings us joy.  But we can always learn some more about ourselves and this book is truly fun and helpful.  

As I said, there are so many things that build up or undermine self-esteem.  The environment that we’re in, the people who surround us (or don’t) all have an effect on it.  But there are always small changes that we can make.  This book may have a small piece of that puzzle for you to help you out in your life.  I really hope that if you decide to get it, that you’ll benefit from it for the rest of your life and maybe even inspire others with any change that you decide to make to enhance your life.  Living with anxiety can be challenging.  But somehow when we face some of our fears and venture out into a new pasture that feels right for us we can gain some self-assurance and healthier self-esteem.  Good luck!

By: Eszter Rajna

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