well, that is a lot of seriousness to answer with Disney.
I think it’s true that you might always doubt yourself a little, but in my experience, this is not a bad thing? One of my painting professors once told us that that was what makes artists who they are, why they keep creating piece after piece: they’re always chasing a perfection they haven’t achieved yet.
I mean, basically what I’m saying is, while it’s possible you one day get to a place where you have 100% faith in yourself, it’s also okay to just accept that you will doubt, because worrying about future doubt is a roadblock in itself. But actually it can help you push yourself in a way.
Anyway, this is reminding me of Toy Story. Woody has a lot of fears that seem to parallel yours. He’s afraid of being abandoned by Andy; he’s afraid of being replaced by Buzz (both as far as Andy, and the other toys are concerned). He worries that he’s going to stop have meaning as a toy.
Woody: This is a perfect time to panic! I’m lost, Andy is gone, they’re gonna move to their new house in two days, and it’s all your fault!
Buzz: My… My fault? If you hadn’t pushed me out of the window in the first place…
Woody: Oh, yeah? Well, if *you* hadn’t shown up with your stupid little cardboard spaceship and taken away everything that was important to me…
Buzz: Don’t talk to me about importance! Because of you, the future of this entire universe is in jeopardy!
In the movie, though, Woody’s fears are his own undoing. Andy has no plans to abandon him but Woody’s fears almost separate him from Andy and all his friends forever. If he had just shook off those fears and looked at what he had — the other toys trusted him as a leader, looked up to him, and Andy loved him — he perhaps wouldn’t have made the mistakes he did. And that’s basically what eventually happened — he’s able to save them and get back because he stops thinking about what he’s not doing and thinks forward to what they can do to escape Sid etc.
But it’s also worth noting that even when Woody failed — and he failed pretty bad at being a good sheriff for the new toy, and at being a good friend, etc — he was still able to bounce back. It wasn’t the end of everything. I would recommend not being so hard about yourself when it comes to “failing.” What does failing “in life” even mean??
Your dream school might not accept you, but that doesn’t mean you failed at life. Or even at school. My “dream school” at the time (UF) wait listed, then rejected me. I went to SUNY Geneseo instead feeling pretty “meh” about it… and it was the perfect school for me in the end. If you went back in time and offered me a million dollars not to go, I would say “go spend it on a worthy charity instead, my friend!” I worried about the feminism thing too, and who can really quantify “making a difference?” But so long as you live out the truth you know in your actions and words, and volunteer your time to help when you can, that seems like more than just “aspiration” — that’s doing.
When you’re too hard on yourself, you basically turn into Woody constantly trying to cut Buzz down — but you’re also Buzz. It doesn’t help you to do this to yourself, and you need to remind your Woody side that no one knows the future. Buzz can be the hero he aspires to be. Note: re-watch the ending of ToyStory.
Everyone fails, and not to be a giant slobbering cliche but people define themselves more through how they react to failure, than in how they react to success.