How to Push Through Self-Doubt and the Fear of Failure

Every day I struggle with feeling inadequate and yet, every day I fight to keep going rather than give up.

From the outside people see me as strong, brave, and courageous yet they don’t realize every damn day is a struggle for me to fend off feeling like I don’t measure up. Living with anxiety, depression, OCD, and now midlife challenges: menopause, body aches and pains, brain fatigue, and identity crisis is overwhelming. How do I keep my head above water when I feel unworthy, talentless, hopeless, and filled with fear of judgment? What mind sorcery do I conjure to keep the pity parties at bay?  

I fight the urge to feel defeated. I make a daily decision to muster up strength and courage despite what the voices in my head tell me about the choices I’ve made in life. I will not give up or give in because I refuse to be powerless. I choose to be fearless in the face of obstacles.

There are days when it’s easy for me to tell myself how awesome I am, and yet there are other days where it’s a greater struggle than I care to handle. What helps me overcome the dark days is to remember that I come from a long line of fearless, brave, and courageous women. Being awesome is in my DNA.

Following an Inheritance of Strength and Courage

As a child, I had a very troubled relationship with my mother. Among other things, she left me in the care of others for years at a time which had a profound effect on my life. My mother’s absence created a void that I could never fill.

As a young woman, I didn’t agree with my mother’s choices but I can’t deny that her decision to leave a home life that didn’t align with her truth was a brave choice. I get it now, she needed to stand on her own to live life on her own terms. I inherited the same mindset; my mother’s strength (or stubbornness) has been passed down through generations.  

My great-grandmother Viola was a force to reckon with. Before joining the military I went to visit her in South Carolina and when I arrived, Grandma was nowhere to be found. I wasn’t the least bit surprised to find her sitting on the roof with nails and a hammer in hand, shimmying her way along to fix broken shingles. She was alone on the roof with no help at all … and she was in her late 80’s at the time!

That was great-Grandma, feisty and unstoppable, you wouldn’t dare tell her there was anything she couldn’t do. That is my heritage; I am a part of her legacy.

Use the Gifts Passed Down to You

I worry that I should have accomplished more with my life, I fear that I’m not living my purpose, and I constantly second-guess my decisions but I won’t let those thoughts stop me. If I can push through and choose to be strong in the face of fear and self-doubt then so can you. It’s not magic, it’s a decision.  

When my inner strength wanes and the dark days of feeling like a failure linger, I reflect on the lives of the amazing women who have come before me. I can see my great-grandma’s face and hear her voice so clearly when she tells me to, “Get up and go!” which was her admonition for life.

When you feel small and afraid of what others think of you, stop. Instead, think about a time when you felt strong, see yourself and hold that memory, draw on that energy and bring it into your present. And when you have times where it’s difficult to call on your own strength, reflect on the fortitude of a woman you admire, if not someone in your own family, consider the lives of inspirational women in history.

Don’t allow momentary fears and self-doubt to keep you down. We are boundless, brave, courageous, strong, resilient, and resourceful; we are the daughters of every great woman who came before us. How will you use your inheritance in the face of fear and self-doubt?    

Thanks for reading #RealTalk, your access to my midlife musings + some motivational badassery.

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