Love, Advice

I’m totally afraid of going after my dreams, because what if I don’t succeed?

Here's a fun fact: everyone's been in the point that you're in now.

Hey Laila,

I need help. I graduated from college this past year, and I’m still struggling to figure out what I want to do in life. I’ve passed up a lot of opportunities because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and now I’m at this point where I’m just worried all the time. I’m worried I won’t be successful. I’m worried I won’t do things right. I’m worried my parents won’t be proud of me.

I keep reading those articles about successful characteristics of millionaires or whatever, and all they do is make me feel completely inadequate about what I can accomplish.

It’s pushing me to completely be paralyzed, to the point where I’m afraid of applying for fellowships and opportunities because what’s the point anyways?

I don’t know what to do.


What is Life


Hey What is Life,

First off: breathe. I wish someone had told me that the last time I was feeling exactly what you’re feeling, but here’s a fun fact: everyone’s been in the point that you’re in now. If not already, the moment’s coming. And it’ll hit hard – so if you’re getting bullshit from people who aren’t sympathetic to what you’re dealing with, tell them to leave you alone. You’re going to push through this.

[bctt tweet=”Here’s a fun fact: everyone’s been in the point that you’re in now.”]

I’d recommend cutting out those advice articles that tell you exactly the habits that this or that millionaire did in order to become so successful. Why? I used to consume them myself, and it’s a form of “almost-successful crack.” You’re reading each one, and you can’t stop at just one. As a result, you’re left feeling like you have so much you aren’t doing yet, you feel unsuccessful and you don’t know where to start. I remember reading somewhere that successful people actually laugh at those who keep reading those “how-to” articles – why? Because there’s a difference between consuming and doing.

[bctt tweet=”You’re going to push through this. “]

In your however-many years of life, you’ve amassed multiple successes of different sizes. One thing we’re taught to do as women is to downgrade exactly how awesome we are – to pretend that everything we’ve done is nothing. I’ve faced this exact situation and I can tell you it’s absolute shit. It’s hard to remind yourself, but when you’re feeling down – like right now – I want you to write out the following:

I am amazing. I am capable. I am more than capable. I can do this. I am successful. I am success.

I have pages upon pages in which I’ve written those words, and while writing those words might not work, you can try recording yourself and listen to your own pep talk – or just saying the words aloud. You know how they tell you that if you force yourself to smile, you’ll get happier? Well, this same tactic works to pull yourself into a healthier space, one where you can plan your strategy of attack.

[bctt tweet=”Guess what: your life is exactly what you decide it to be. “]

Once you’re in this better place – where you’re taking it easier on yourself, and you’re taking a breath – it’s possible for you to lay out your goals for life. I’ll note, here, that if you’re still struggling to breathe, to seek psychiatric help. Anxiety is a real issue, and not resolving it will only make it worse.

Now’s when the fun starts. Guess what: your life is exactly what you decide it to be. Grade school, college, whatever – all that was stuff that society laid out for each of us. Sit yourself down with a drink (my nectar of choice is coffee) and some music to pump you up – and a blank page. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been at this point, now’s your chance to figure out where your life’s going to go. That’s an important first step – and you want to start at Step A instead of jumping to D or E.

Kick some ass,



Do you have any questions for Hey Laila? She’ll answer your questions on personal development, kicking ass, and anything that falls under taking over the world. Send over your urgent (and not-so-urgent) questions to our anonymous form here.