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If First Lady Michelle Obama had it all to do over again, she would be more fearless.

When we see, Michelle we see an intelligent, impeccably stylish woman who is in complete control of herself. She commands attention no matter where she goes, and people everywhere look up to her! She confessed in the People magazine’s 40th anniversary double issue, though, that she wasn’t always so confident in her utter flawlessness.

“If I could give my younger self just one piece of advice, it would be this: Stop being so afraid! That’s really what strikes me when I look back,” Michelle mused.

Michelle can pretty much do anything, so what was it that she would have been so afraid of? The same things that scare the crap out of most young women.

“I was afraid of not knowing the answer in class and looking stupid, or worried about what some boy thought of me,” she confessed, “or wondering whether the other girls liked my clothes or my hair or angsting about some offhand comment someone made to me in the lunchroom.”

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With maturity came more self-confidence and the wisdom to discern who and what should actually be important in one’s life.

“What matters are the true friends you make, the activities you throw yourself into, the books you read, the skills and knowledge you acquire,” Michelle said, advising that people walk away from the tenuous friendships that make them feel small or less than. “Focus more on learning than on succeeding…and for heaven’s sake, let yourself really fail once in a while.”

And if you’re going to fail, the first lady suggests that you do so boldly because those are the lessons that lend the most to your future successes. “Not some tiny little mistakes here and there but big, glaring, confidence-shaking, dark-night-of the soul-inducing failures,” she said, assuring that even people at the top of their game have fallen short at one time or another. “The most accomplished people in the world fail and fail big.

She said in conclusion, “Stop trying to be someone who will impress everyone else and just focus on being and becoming fully, sincerely and passionately yourself.”

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