Michelle Obama Reveals the Self-Doubt She Felt Before Releasing 'Becoming'

Amy Mackelden
·2-min read
Photo credit: Paras Griffin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Paras Griffin - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

It would be easy to assume that Michelle Obama doesn't struggle with self-doubt. However, the best-selling author of Becoming has revealed that, before the release of her book, she regularly doubted herself.

Writing in The Sunday Times, Obama revealed, "I’m proud of this book, truly, because of what it means to me. And hopefully, what it will mean to you." She continued, "I knew from the outset that if I was going to write a memoir, it had to include more than the shade of blue I chose for a china pattern or who was or wasn’t invited to a State Dinner. ... This isn’t to say any of this was easy. Particularly the experience of baring this truest version of myself for the entire world to accept or leave behind."

The night before her book was released, Obama was overcome with nerves. "The following evening, I was scheduled to discuss my memoir with Oprah Winfrey in front of 14,000 people in a professional basketball arena, an event that would kick off a worldwide tour. I laid awake anxious in my bed, worried that these little stories couldn’t bear the enormous load. What if the book just isn’t any good? What if people hate it? Or what if they just don’t care at all? My husband [Barack Obama] stays up much later than me, and thankfully, he was still awake when my fears came to visit and wouldn’t leave. ... Barack put his arms around me and placed his forehead on mine. 'It’s good, Miche,' he told me. 'It really is.'"

However, as Michelle revealed, everyone experiences self-doubt, regardless of their achievements. "We all have our tender spots, and our instinct is to keep them protected," she wrote. "This book affirmed within me the value in bucking against that instinct, in stepping into our fears."

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