You are special and you have achieved a lot. You are just down on yourself. As someone who has never been successful or fulfilled at work I'm always interested in people's careers, their achievements and sense of fulfilment. And I know some people are dynamic and visionary and all that - but what strikes me is most people at some point have been given a chance or a lucky break by other people. You can strive all you want (and I do) but you can't do it all alone. Not one of those women did it all in a vacuum. That's my theory.
PS - and another thing - a few of those cases were bloggers. I'm always surprised to see how popular some American bloggers are, when they are not as sharp or entertaining writers as our bloggers - I wonder if that is because it is just a bigger country, or because over there it's more about making links and promoting yourself than it is here?
I second what Annie said. Everything I've achieved (and it's not much), is at least partly due to being in the right place at the right time or being given a chance by someone more powerful than me. Yes, it's important to work hard and be ready to take opportunities should they come along, but whether or not they happen to come along is mostly beyond our control. It's not a given that talent or hard work will result in success, so lack of success does not necessarily indicate lack of talent or hard work. Those women undoubtedly are hardworking and all that, but also lucky (and possibly good at self-promotion). That, rather than any inherent worth, is probably the main difference between you and them.
The thing is that in conventional terms I have been given a lot of chances, lucky breaks and so on. I went to public school and Oxford. In theory at least I'm supposed to be very clever. I'm white and my family was relatively well off. I also have a life long record of squandering chances, being too scared to take up opportunities and making absolutely horrible life decisions. While the RSI has been a constant hinderance and is not my fault, the rest of it is. And I'm now getting to the stage in life where opportunities dry up. It seems like downhill from here on in and given how awful here feels at present that is not alluring.
Just popping in to tell you that you are my favourite commenter on my blog. You're brilliant and I take more notice of your comments than anyone else because you don't sugarcoat it; you just say it as it is. And thank you so much for the artist corrections.. you're invaluable really. xxx