For years, especially when I was starting my business and walking through my divorce, I experienced regular bouts of self-doubt and imposter syndrome. I got hammered with uncertainty, fear, and insecurity. Seeing other people enjoying success in their businesses and relationships left me wondering if I could ever achieve either of those.
The battle raged in my head, and self-talk was my greatest enemy. My definitions of myself ended up being my most significant stumbling blocks. I was the one telling myself that I was not enough… Then, I started asking myself something different instead.
“Why not me?”
Those three simple words were powerful. “Why not me?” As in, what was stopping me from running a successful business and enjoying a great marriage? What was preventing me from doing anything I wanted to do? And why was I not being my greatest defender rather than my worst enemy?
“Why not me?” has been the catalyst for so many recent break-throughs, professionally and personally.
When we do hard things, like launching a business or a new career, confidence is our greatest asset. The same can be said for trying to create healthy, strong relationships. Sometimes confidence feels natural and comes easily – other times, we need to fake it till we make it.
I know the concept of “fake it till you make it” is cliche. I’m also aware that “fake it till you make it” can be associated with lying and deception. I get it. I also know that there are times when you need to have enough confidence in yourself that you can look at an opportunity and say, “Yes, I can do that.” even when you’ve never done it before.
Twenty years ago, when I was younger and just starting my career, I sat in an interview and was asked, “Do you know how to ____ ?” I didn’t know how to do what I had been asked, but I had enough confidence in myself to answer with a quick, “Yes.” You could say that I lied, and I would tell you that you’re correct. I would also tell you that some areas in life aren’t so black and white and that maybe this fell into a gray area of sorts.
No, I didn’t know how to accomplish the specific task. Yes, I was confident that I could figure it. Twenty years later, the woman who interviewed me for that job is my business partner. I’ll let you decide if I was justified in my answer.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve had other moments where I questioned myself and wasn’t so confident. As I shared earlier, my divorce and starting a business both challenged my certainty. In fact, there were moments where my confidence was shattered. Looking at the pieces, I’d question everything I thought I knew about myself, what I was capable of, and what my future held.
It wasn’t until I started asking, “Why not me?” regularly that things shifted. I’d see someone who I perceived as being more successful, further along in life, or just plain happier, and I would ask myself, “Why not me?” I’d see a couple holding hands together, and I’d ask, “Why not me?” I’d see someone speaking boldly in front of a room, and I’d ask, “Why not me?”
Writing pieces like this has played a massive role in my “Why not me?” journey. I’d read something someone else had written, in a blog or on LinkedIn, and I knew I could write like they did. Maybe even better. Then, I’d catch myself starting asking all the usual questions…
“Who would care what I have to say?”
“What if they laugh at me or talk about me behind my back?”
“What gives me the right to write about anything?”
“What if I write something and no one reads it?”
Given a chance to roam freely, thoughts like that would play tag in my mind for hours… long enough for me to give up on my idea of writing. I’d move on to safer things, the things I already knew I’d proven myself in, things people had told me I was “good” at. is Writing was risky, and my self-talk reminded me of that every time I’d entertain the idea.
Then one day, as I was reading something by Simon Sinek, I thought to myself, “Why not me?”
I know, that sounds brassy – comparing myself to Simon Sinek or anyone else who has ever written something successfully or become a thought-leader in their space. Even writing this now, I’m tempted to delete this paragraph, step back, and slide into that negative self-talk. But then I catch myself going there, and I come back to this question that keeps me on track. “Why not me?”
The answer I’ve come up with to that question? It’s simple. “Yes, you can.”
I have no idea where my business will take me, writing will take me, or my relationships will go. Reality check… There are no guarantees in life. What I can guarantee is this — not trying guarantees that you’ll never accomplish anything. “Why not me?” opens the doors to exploring, risking, stretching, and seeing what’s possible. I prefer the latter.
Someone needed to read this today. Maybe it was you. If it was, let me ask this simple question.“Why not you?”
What’s that thing you keep wanting to do or try or learn that you’ve been sabotaging with unhelpful self-talk? What’s that risk you want to take? What’s that dream you’d like to make a reality? What’s that thing, that if you don’t try it, will keep you up at night wondering?
And why not you?
Sometimes we’re our own greatest enemy. The voices in our heads can get loud, and their chatter can distract us from what we’re really capable of. Those voices feed off of fear, doubt, and insecurity. That is truth. Want more truth? You’re capable of more than those voices are telling you.
Find someone you look up to, that you respect, or that has accomplished a goal you’re chasing, and ask yourself, “Why not me?” Then, remember this. People “make it” in this world every day, and many of them come from places where the world was stacked against them. They didn’t have the right skills, the proper upbringing, the right education. So how’d they do it?
They asked themselves, “Why not me?” Then, they did it.
Now, go do the same…
Why not you, and why not me? Subscribe here and let’s take this journey together.