3 Fears We All Share With Meghan Markle — And How To Overcome Them (Like She Did)

Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock 
Meghan Markle posing in red

When Oprah interviewed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry about their decision to step back from the Royal Family, it was riveting because most of us could relate to it. 

Toxic work environment, check! Worrying about family, check! Trying to find our sanity in this insane moment in time, check, check!

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Despite royalty, they are showing us that we can be true to ourselves, create our own path forward and own our own stories. 

Here are 3 fears we all share with Meghan Markle, and how to overcome them. 

1. Showing the people around us our authentic selves. 

Women in particular are prone to fit themselves into what others expect of us because that's what we've been taught to do. Then it becomes our fixed identity and is hard to flex to incorporate new ideas of ourselves as we grow.

We internalize messages that we can’t be successful business women and good mothers, or that we are networking, leaning in (or out) and climbing the ladder wrong. 

As Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview shows, this can be depressing and exhausting.

As acclaimed activist and author, Glennon Doyle, says of living according to the core beliefs of others, "That’s how you can tell that you’re filling yourself with the wrong things. You use a lot of energy, and in the end, you feel emptier and less comfortable than ever.”

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2. Reinventing ourselves when it's time for a change. 

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are,” said poet e.e. Cummings. 

In my work helping people reinvent themselves, often after success in one area of their lives, the biggest obstacle I hear over and over again is fear. 

Stay-at-home moms returning to work worry that people will think less of their skills and talents. Corporate titans shifting to portfolio careers or retirement struggle to incorporate their past experience into something that feels valuable. Mid-career professionals worry that the status they have built up in one industry won’t translate and they will have to start over again. Even Jeff Bezos left as CEO of Amazon to reinvent himself as a global humanitarian.

Often, a shift in mindset is required from defining yourself by your last “job” to defining the value that you bring to the world. Like a Lego set, you can assemble your skills and talents in new ways for new contributions.

3. Redefining who we are without shame and owning our new narrative. 

If fear of what others think and a loss of identity are barriers to us achieving our biggest dreams, one way to counteract that is to do exactly what the Duke and Duchess have done: own your own story. 

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When I left my corporate job, this was a huge lesson for me. I was worried that people wouldn’t want to associate with me if I didn't have a big title and brand behind me.

With reflection, I realized that people would largely believe what I told them. It was, after all, my story to tell.

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After thinking about what I wanted to be (writer, speaker, educator) and putting that out into the world, the opportunities to fulfill these roles started coming my way. I wrote a book and even told people about my personal journey at a TEDx event.

The interesting thing about it was that other people began telling me their stories about their own values, hopes and dreams. Owning your authentic story can help other people unlock their stories, too. 

With all of us living longer, the possibilities for transition, multiple careers, unanticipated endings and beginnings will only increase. This will force us to consider what our own expectations are for ourselves, how we can adapt and how we can own a new story that pays homage to the many paths we have traveled to arrive in this new place.

You can be brave, be bold and be free or stay in the castle. 

Which will you choose?

RELATED: Meghan Markle Rejected Piers Morgan 5 Years Ago — And He’s Still Not Over It

A former Financial Times executive, Diana Wu David is the author of best-selling "Future Proof: Reinventing Work in the Age of Acceleration," a book about how to adopt more agile mindsets and practices to prepare for success in a fast-changing world, across a 100-year life.