top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrandi Nikkale

Being Accepted Into A Doctoral Program Made Me Feel Inadequate

Over the summer, I was accepted into a doctorate program at USC. Imagine my excitement.

The first words out of my mouth were "Oh my God! They can't be serious! They're letting ME in?!?" I felt so proud and yet so unworthy.

I immediately began to doubt myself. I felt my heart drop to my knees as I seen myself failing in my mind. There was no way that a girl like me could possibly achieve this. Impossible.

In the world of perfect social media lives, we don't talk enough about feelings of inadequacy.

We all put our game faces on and present to the world our very best selves and there is not a single thing wrong with that.

However, someone has to say what needs to be said and today that someone will be me.

Sometimes, you will feel like you are just not good enough.

No matter how much you have accomplished, how much you make, how gorgeous you are, how much inner work you have done or how proud other people are of you.

Every now and then, doubt will creep up.

Every now and then, you will feel undone.

Every now and then you will feel like you could be doing more…like you should be more.

You are not alone.

I am embarking on a new journey and I am experiencing feelings that I haven’t felt in years creeping in.

"Am I good enough?"

"What if I can't handle it?"

"What if I don't measure up to my peers who may have been afforded different opportunities or inherently have more privilege?"

"What if they determine that allowing me this opportunity was a mistake?"

"What if I simply do not belong here?"

Having a seat at the table does not guarantee that you will feel at home there and creating your own table can often feel lonely.

I'm just being honest when I say that no journey is perfect. No journey is without road blocks of self-doubt.

So what does this all equate to?

What am I getting at?

Follow the journey that means the most to you and find ways to validate your belonging in those spaces.

Don't look for a way out because you think an alternate path will be easier.

An alternate path will only leave you with a major void of what could have been if you had followed your truth.

These feelings of inadequacy have not disappeared for me.

They likely will not disappear overnight.

Even if they never disappear, I will keep showing up.

I am showing up for my future self.

I am showing up for my past self who never knew I could reach these heights.

I am showing up for the other black girls from urban communities who will enter spaces that they feel unworthy of.

I am showing up for my future descendants.

I am showing up for those who will be impacted by what I contribute to the world…even if it is one person.

Even if the one person is me.

I am showing up.

Not good enough? How do you know if you don't try?


Brandi Nikkale

36 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All


1 Comment

Oct 12, 2021

"How do you know if you don't try?" That's it for me! I want you to know that even in your doubts that you are enough! You have what it takes & the people who encounter you in this next season of your life are so damn lucky! :)

bottom of page