Motivational speakers all talk about the importance of having high self-esteem. They (we) stress that unless you are secure within yourself, it's hard to effectively manage or lead others, or enjoy mutually supportive relationships with others. And don't even get me started on how low self-esteem impacts how poorly we treat ourselves! I personally have worked on this one topic area more than any other for a long, long time and my work culminated in a publication entitled 12 Secrets to High Self-Esteem which, to date, has sold close to 150,000 copies. All this to say – you'd think I would be able to walk my high self-esteem talk.
I was recently the subject of a television series called "The Amazing Women of the Suncoast." The crew came out and interviewed me on camera, then scoured my website and put together a short two minute piece about me and my work which was aired yesterday on the 6:00 p.m. news. Excited to see it, I grabbed a bag of popcorn and turned on the television.
It was two minutes of sheer torture.
"WHAT is THAT??? I look ridiculous! What is the matter with my hair? What are those bags under my eyes? Who IS that crazy woman! Make her go away!!!!!!"
Yup. Me. Ms. "You can do anything in the world if you believe in yourself enough" was BRUTAL with herself. And after a period of lamenting that this piece had actually captured my hideousness on video (for all the world to see FOREVER), I pulled out of my tailspin and saw the earth return to it's rightful place – below my feet. And (thank you God) my left brain kicked in, with, "Okay, that was fun. Now what does it mean?" And here's what I concluded:
1. High self-esteem comes and goes. It's a moving target. And this is where I may have misled you. I know that I have said this in the past, adding that "you don't ever fully arrive," but what I didn't clearly state was that sometimes you are going to feel like you never left the station! And such was the case with me while watching that video.
2. It's not that you have feelings of inadequacies from time to time – it's how fast you rally. It's now a day later and I'm over it. So I didn't look on camera the way I THINK I look in my head. So what. I have bigger fish to fry today.
3. If you are a woman "of a certain age," you might want to make peace with the fact that you don't look the way you used to look. Okay, and this is the one that I have to work on. My BRAIN tells me that in many ways I am soooo much better than I was when I was younger. But some other sarcastic, cruel bitch is in there, wryly remarking (with one eyebrow severely arched), "Linda Lee – You are DONE! The fat lady has sung, the band has gone home and the party is DEFINITELY over! Give it up, sister!" AND – here's what I choose to do with that… I'm gonna love that bitch inspite of her insane talk. I'm going to put my arm around her and laugh and say, "I KNOW! It's scary, right? But don't worry! You've got ME! So we have floppy thighs and a fluffy butt – who cares?!? We are gonna rock it like it's 1999! We are in this together and I will NOT let you down! Now crank up the music – we've got to move with the groove and get down with our bad selves!!"
There are probably other lessons to be learned from this, and I'm sure they'll hit me at some point. But right now I've got some new skinny jeans to try and fit into!
I'm NOT going quietly.