By: Brianne Hogan, Guest Blogger
Lately, I’ve been saying “I guess,” and “maybe” a lot. I’ve noticed (because I’m a super self-aware person) that there’s been a definite decrease of confidence and assurance and expectation when it comes to my life goals, both short-term and long-term.
Take for instance an apprenticeship program to which I am in the midst of applying. The program itself seems way up my alley in terms of my career goals. It also takes place in nature, and I’ve been jonesing for a mini-retreat for a while. Basically, it has my name written all over it. It’s the perfect opportunity for me. My mom also knows this because, after I told her about it, she exclaimed, “That sounds perfect!” Before adding confidently, “You’ll get in.”
My response? “We’ll see.” (Which, by the way, is just another way of saying, “I guess” and “Maybe.”)
It’s not that I was simply diffusing my mom’s overzealousness, either (we all know how encouraging moms can be). No, I was being a straight-up Debbie Downer. I was hesitant instead of being excited for my new endeavor. Doubt replaced confidence. Clarity was clouded by uncertainty.
I can easily chalk up my response to self-protection. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, only for them to come crashing down in disappointment. Been there, done that, and it sucks. But there’s another piece to my dubious nature: I had forgotten to expect the best for myself.
When I was thirteen years old, I planned to go to New York University for college. It was not only my dream school, but it was the only school, as far as I was concerned. I knew it was. I felt in my bones. Despite the fact I had never visited New York City before, let alone toured NYU’s campus, I knew with every fibre of my soul that it was the school for me. So, when senior year of high school came, and all of my friends were frantically applying to any and every college and university (even though their grades were quite high), I coolly and calmly, and confidently, applied to only one: yes, NYU.
Let me clarify something: it’s not that I was genius smart. It’s not like NYU would beg to have me at their school like I was Mark Zuckerberg or good Will Hunting, or something. I was a good student, but there wasn’t any reason why I assumed NYU would have to accept me. In fact, I was an international student with a not-so-great SAT score. The odds were stacked against me. But I was so passionate about NYU, so excited by the prospect of going there, so sure that it was where I belonged, that I expected an acceptance letter.
And guess what? Yes, I was accepted into NYU.
It was a big, BIG moment in my life. Not only because I was going to study at my dream school, but also because I realized how powerful I could be when I was self-confident and so clear about what I wanted. And I wasn’t just a little bit confident. I was, like, oozing and dripping with it. I visualized what I wanted, loved it, owned it, and surrendered it with trusted knowingness.
I’ve been thinking back to this time in my life as I struggle with my present insecurity, including this apprenticeship application. I find myself wanting to be that high school girl again who was so sure of herself and her abilities, who never doubted her worth or value.
Okay, I’m sure there was a bit of destiny involved with my attending NYU, but I also believe when we get clear on what we want and go after it with assurance and positivity, then magical, powerful, things can happen.
Mindy Kaling has said that she’s kept the motto, “why not me?” subconsciously throughout her life. I kind of think that when I was seventeen years old and applying to NYU that I, too, was adhering to the same phrase. It’s an awesome maxim to live by. And one that I am trying to implement more of into my life in place of “I guess” and “maybe” and “We’ll see.”
Because, really, why not me? And why not you?
Let's Chat! "Why not me?" is a great mantra to adopt. Give it a try and tell us what you learn!
Brianne is a writer based in Toronto. Her instincts and love of adventure have led her to interesting jobs (grass cutter and wine seller, to name a few), as well long-terms stays in beautiful cities (New York City, Vancouver and Florence). Follow Brianne on Twitter: www.twitter.com/briannehogan & check out more on Tumblr briannehogan.tumblr.com