Kelly Ripa on Feeling 'Unstoppable in My Job' After Once Being 'Riddled with Insecurity'
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Kelly Ripa is embracing confidence.
The Live with Kelly and Ryan host, 52, says she now feels "unstoppable" in her job — but that wasn't always the case.
"I come from a place of hopefully I don't crash and burn today," she said on Monday's episode of Dear Media's Dear Gabby podcast. "Because it's a tremendous amount of responsibility. I understand what my assignment is. I understand that people are counting on me sometimes."
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David Russell/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa in 2011
Ripa recalled feeling not so self-assured during her early days on Live after teaming up with Regis Philbin after the departure of his longtime co-host Kathie Lee Gifford.
"I always go back to this a really long time ago, and it was one of these dark times at work where the job was riddled with insecurity," she shared. "There was a lot of insecurity for all of us, not just myself. When I talk about the job, I talk about myself and all of the people that I work with because it's quite a group."
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Ripa revealed that she considered leaving the show when she was feeling "very down at the job."
"I was really contemplating whether or not I should leave the job, And it was a constant drumbeat," she said. "I was talking about it so much that it started to make my coworkers nervous. They were coming to me with feeling scared. Are you going to leave us? I don't lie. And I said, 'I don't know.' I really have to consider my options because I'm not sure if this is a good fit for me."
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However, Ripa had a change of heart after a chance encounter with a fan.
"I was at a restaurant with a group of friends, and I was still eating," she recalled. "But a woman approached me and she handed me her business card and she said, 'I didn't want to disturb you during your meal, but there's a note written on the back of the card for you.' And she said it's very nice to meet you.'"
The note revealed that the woman's mother was living in a nursing home and suffering from dementia. However, she considered Ripa to be her "best friend" after watching her on television.
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Ripa tried to find the woman who gave her the note but was unsuccessful. Still she recalled, "She didn't even know what she gave me, what she gave us. In that moment of struggle, I really found that silver lining that this woman needs her best friend. Especially when you're dealing with dementia and there's so much, there's so much pain in that."
She continued, "She sees me as the thing she can count on, the consistent thing she recognizes."
She affirmed, "That's the moment where I was like, 'OK, it matters, it does matter. This is bigger than me.'"
Last month, Ripa told PEOPLE that there were "good and bad days" co-hosting Live! With Regis and Kelly from 2001 to 2011.
"I don't want to feel like I'm slamming anyone or that I'm being disrespectful. But I also want people to know it was not a cakewalk," she said. "It took years to earn my place there and earn things that are routinely given to the men I worked with. Including an office and a place to put my computer."
Ripa recalled her early struggles after joining the daytime talk show in 2001: "The biggest misconception is that it all came easily. People think I just showed up one day and was handed a job and I lived happily ever after and now everything's perfect. But it never is that way."
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Live with Kelly and Ryan airs weekdays (check local listings).