When my sisters and I were younger, my mom would always ask us “Why not you?” whenever we began to doubt ourselves.
You want to play (insert sport here)?
You want to go to (insert college here)?
You want to do x, y or z?
Why not you?
She wanted me and my sisters to believe that we could do whatever we wanted and that anything was attainable—as long as we put our mind and hearts into it. Her thought was that if someone else can do it, why can’t you? It was about teaching us that nothing should be viewed as impossible.
You can’t control the gifts or natural abilities you were given, but you can control how hard you work for something. You may not pick it up immediately or as fast as others. It may take you longer. It may take more tears and/or sweat. And that’s okay—because the end result is still the same.
There were plenty of times when we set our sights on things and came up short. My mom would ask us if we tried our best. As long as we did, it was still a success and something to be proud of.
This has been my approach with everything in my life. From playing basketball throughout my childhood and into college, to applying to and graduating from West Point, to being the Division Targeting Officer in a male-dominated environment during my last deployment to Iraq, to returning to work full time after being out of the workforce for 5+ years. Anytime I begin to question myself or doubt that something is feasible, I hear her in my mind.
If you want something, go for it. Why not you?