How to Embrace a ‘Why Not Me?’ Attitude


You can start from where you are with what you have and go where you want to go. – Carey D. Lohrenz

In her book, Fearless Leadership, (On Amazon at Carey D. Lohrenz shares her tremendous insights on fearless leadership and the courage to chase your dreams. The Navy’s first female F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot, Lohrenz knows a thing or two about embracing fears, chasing “impossible” dreams, and having the courage to not give up in the face of overwhelming odds.

In the book she references Dharmesh Shah, the confounder and chief technology officer of Hubspot and his belief that “one of the qualities of truly confident people is their inclination to think, “Why not me?” rather than sit on their hands and wait for an opportunity that never comes.”

A casual study of any successful entrepreneur, inventor, writer, etc. will reveal a common thread of tenacity and a ‘why not me?’ attitude that started it all.

What are your goals and dreams? How long will you wait for that dream to come true before you make a decision to act on it? Here are a few tips on how to embrace a ‘why not me?’ attitude.

Embrace your gifts

Embracing your gifts and talents is the first step on your journey. For Lohrenz it was to be a Navy aviator. While that may not be your goal, you must embrace your gifts and chase your dream if you ever want to achieve it. It’s when you embrace what is unique and special about you that you can live it to the fullest. 

Embrace your fear

One of the chief obstacles you will face with a ‘why not me?’ attitude is fear. Fear will be that voice whispering in your ear that you can’t do it; that you are not talented or skilled enough, that you don’t come from the right pedigree, you are too young or too old, and the list goes on. Embracing your fear is the first step in conquering it. Don’t listen to the voices of anyone else who seeks to hold you back. 

Embrace your struggles

Any dream or goal worth achieving will be met with setbacks and disappointments. It comes with the territory. The ‘why not me?’ attitude understands that it won’t always be smooth sailing and if this is my attitude going forward then ‘it will be me’ facing down my fears and struggles on the way to reaching my goals and dreams.

Embrace your new mindset

Going forward with a ‘why not me?’ attitude will require a new mindset and a self-discipline that you must nurture and develop. It will propel you to a new level of thinking and hard work. Gone will be the days of limited thinking and throwing in the towel when rejected or discouraged. This new attitude is tenacious and courageous in the face of whatever obstacle you face. It also embraces that idea that you are indeed capable and qualified to be the leader you desire to become.

Embrace your possibilities

When you first embrace this ‘why not me?’ attitude you may have had before you some attainable goals or dreams by your own assessment. But when you fully embrace this new attitude you have now taken the lid off of your self-imposed potential. Now a whole new world of possibilities are before you. How? You are removing one of the greatest obstacles – limited thinking. That’s exactly what Carey Lohrenz did when she made up her mind to become a Navy aviator. When you embrace your possibilities and potential the sky is the limit.

Embrace your success

This is the opposite side of the coin from fear. We know how fear works: the fear of failure, the fear of what other people may think or say, etc. But the fear of success can be just as harmful. So instead of embracing our dreams, instead of stepping out and taking a risk, we settle for mediocrity. We settle for what’s comfortable. We forfeit the dream. When you embrace the ‘why not me?’ attitude you also embrace the unlimited world of possibilities and successes that can be yours.

Embracing a ‘why not me?’ attitude is a calculated risk. It’s risking the known for the unknown, the status quo for next level success. It’s embracing a life that could be for a life that is. The choice is yours. I encourage you to embrace the ‘why not me?’ attitude – the world needs leaders like you!


© 2015 Doug Dickerson



About dougdickerson

I am Certified Leadership Trainer, author, columnist, and speaker. Husband to Alicia, father to Katelyn and Kara, and "Pop" to terrific grandson Tyson. I am an avid photographer, love the outdoors, and like to travel. I'm passionate about sharing my leadership insights and helping people reach their full potential.
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