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Michelle Obama On Her Struggle With Self Doubt: ‘It Doesn’t Go Away’

Michelle Obama was in London last week to discuss her bestselling memoir, “Becoming,” with author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

The former First Lady spoke candidly about her life growing up with her family on the south side of Chicago: “My parents believed my voice was relevant, that was the gift they gave me. You have to value a girl and let her speak”.

She was also open about her relationship with Barack saying, “He doesn’t play games. That’s a very attractive quality”.

As noted by, Mrs. Obama then revealed that she still suffers from self-doubt that appears to “never go away.”


It doesn’t go away, that feeling that you shouldn’t take me that seriously. What do I know? I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is. If I’m giving people hope then that is a responsibility, so I have to make sure that I am accountable.

My advice to young women is that you have to start by getting those demons out of your head. The question I ask myself— ‘am I good enough?—that haunts us, because the messages that are sent from the time we are little is: Maybe you are not. Don’t reach too high. Don’t talk too loud.

Obama then shared a workforce secret to the young women in the audience.

I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.: They are not that smart.

During the discussion, she also touched on the progress her husband made while in office.

We mistakenly thought that Barack Obama was going to erase hundreds of years in history in eight years—that’s ridiculous to think that could happen. So, we’re putting down marbles and going backward doesn’t mean the progress wasn’t real.


Written by How Africa

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