My self-esteem as a woman and my self-doubt as a writer are two completely separate entities. I compartmentalize them much the same way I separate the fantasy world I live in while writing a book from the real world around me. Like anything, it gets easier with practice.
Self-Esteem (noun): a confidence and satisfaction in oneself, self-respect.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
― Lucille Ball
If you met me for the first time today, you'd greet pretty, put together, polished. You would meet the woman I have spent my life becoming, not the girl I used to be. You would, most likely, not even care about the girl I used to be. But I can't seem to shake her...
Our society has this dreadful habit of equating physical beauty with self-love. We're given unattainable standards to live up to with the promise that once we look like that, we'll have it made. What we're not told is there's a very skilled person behind a computer screen weaving magic to make those women appear stunningly flawless. Those women don't even look like those women in real life.
Self-esteem, at its core, is choosing to embrace myself, to truly, completely love every part of who I am regardless of my shell. It's not the outside that feverishly loves writing, music, film, and sarcasm. My appearance is subject to change, but I've put a lot of work into making sure the woman inside does not.
While I may at times struggle as an artist, it does not in any way reflect how I feel about myself as a woman. I am strong, and confident, and unafraid. I am exactly who I dreamt of growing up to be. It's because of that, because I completely love who I am, that I have the confidence necessary to share the not-so-easy parts about being a serious writer. But more on that later...
“When I accept myself, I am freed from the burden of needing you to accept me.”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience