I was lucky that my Inner Self esteem kicked in when I was five. My outer self-esteem is still a work in progress.
As a child I was often referred to as “Pleasingly Plump.” The definition is "slightly fat." This label has stayed with me for my entire life. No matter how successful I have been on the inside, I was always pleasingly plump on the outside. Maybe not always so pleasingly!
Like most women I have always felt I should have been a little shorter, a lot slimmer, straight hair, blue eyes, polished nails and on an on. Our outer self is very time consuming. The time spent making choices each day in how we look is extraordinary.
Hair up or down? Curly or flat ironed? Color? Highlights? Low Lights?
Heels or Flats or Boots?
Nails long or short? Natural or Gel? French?
Dress or skirt or pants?
Blouse or sweater?
Earrings? Rings? Necklace? Bracelet?
Now add in just our physical body, of being too fat or too thin, too fit or not fit enough, too tall or too short. The Outer Self-Esteem is crazy with moving parts.
It’s amazing how much time we spend getting our Outer Self ready for an important meeting or event. We often invest more time finding just the right pair of shoes, than on preparing the meeting content. We don't do this intentionally, it just happens and then our Inner Self makes us stay up late, to cram, and then the Outer Self has dark circles and giant bags under her eyes but with just the right shoes.
It’s a battle to get both of these esteems to align but it is essential for real success to occur. The good thing about the outer self, is that once the meeting or event begins, the Inner Self takes over and the Outer self stays quiet until after the meeting or event. It then comes creeping back to life as we reflect upon the day. Suddenly we see in our minds-eye all of the problems with how we looked and what we will do different next time.
I used to think that the "together" women did not have these issues but I learned over many years that we are all "together" women. The women we aspire to be should be the one looking back at us in the mirror.
What’s the point of all this? Its time to acknowledge we have two self-esteems to work on and the one that provides the best ROI is the Inner one. It will win every time, life is not a beauty contest.