Before women’s circles both my career and personal life looked a lot like a swing high and swing low graph.
I went through stages of over achievement, being completely lost and fluttering around like a butterfly looking for the next vibrant flower to land on. The consistent element was my lack of self worth and low self-esteem. This meant I could only be successful in increments.
Eventually, the lack of self worth would win and I would ultimately contract again. I would move out of the light and into a safe cocoon or cave, a safe place away from everyone.
Despite a somewhat successful career in the entertainment industry, I always struggled with my self-esteem. My weight goes up and down depending on how I feel and it’s not necessarily directly related to food or exercise. If I feel like I want to hide or feel nervous or stressed my body begins to swell.
Before women’s circles I found myself tumbling around in a constant swirling ocean of questions like: “Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Am I smart enough? Am I confident enough? Will this be enough? Will I be enough? Surely there is someone better at this than me?”
This would happen with every job, every project and every relationship. I struggled with eating disorders and anxiety and those who know me well would tell you my social skills in crowds could be far from great. I would be able to talk myself into giving a speech in front of five hundred people as long as I didn’t have to speak to anyone one on one.
My fiancé and I have a little in-joke about this that involves my arms suddenly looking like robot arms and me not knowing what to do with my hands in social situations. It is very awkward but also very funny. Women’s circles have taught me how to laugh at myself.
LISTEN: Rebecca Sparrow and Robin Bailey discuss the life changing magic of not giving a f*ck about what others think. Post continues after audio .
I awkwardly hid behind my career for a very long time. The entertainment industry allows you to create buffers and protective boundaries. It also becomes an easy way out of social events. “Sorry, I am so busy” was a line I used a lot. This was in the early years of my career when it was at its peak. The peak was lost (several times over) because my lack of confidence helped my career to bottom out.
I wanted to do more acting but I wasn’t great at auditioning and I once had an agent tell me that it was painful for him to see my lack of self-esteem sabotage what should have been a flourishing career. At the time this hurt immensely but in retrospect his honesty helped me change my direction for the better.