During my two previous posts, I discussed the how and why behind my own “I’m sorry” tornado. This time, I am going to tell you what I wish someone had told me years ago, as well as a few things I have realized during this journey.
YOU ARE AMAZING! There is no other you out there, so stop trying to be someone else. Learn to embrace your perfectly imperfect self. Stop dulling your shine. Stop holding yourself back. Stop thinking people don’t want to see the real you! And most importantly STOP APOLOGIZING if you haven’t done something that warrants a genuine heartfelt apology. Instead start loving the quirky things that make you who you are.
You need to knock it off, seriously! You really do. I know it isn’t easy, but you need to make the conscious choice to NOT say it. It’s literally a battle of wills with yourself, and will quite possibly be physically painful to hold it in at first… I say this from personal experience. But the only way you are going to be able to stop saying you are sorry all the time, is to decide you aren’t going to do it anymore. When you wake up in the morning tell yourself that you aren’t going to apologize for things that aren’t your fault today, and mean it. Put a reminder on the lock screen of your phone. Put sticky notes everywhere. Ask a friend to tell you to knock it off using their best Batman or Darth Vader impersonation… You get the idea!
Here is a mind-blowing tidbit for my fellow over-apologizers: No one worth having in your life is ACTUALLY expecting you to apologize for 95% of the stuff you are apologizing for! Your computer running slow at work? You don’t need to apologize for that. The hotel you booked not living up to it’s online reviews? Not your fault. Talking about something you are passionate about? Nope, not that either. Rambling because you are excited about something? Nein. How you feel, the things you like or dislike, your religion, or taste in music? Also no. The way you dress? Talk? Cut or color your hair? Do your makeup? (Or don’t do those things) Absolutely not. Honestly most people are so caught up in their own little distorted bubble of reality that they don’t actually notice the stuff you are apologizing for, until you apologize for it.
If you do come across someone who expects an apology for any of the things listed above, feel free to tell them where to shove their judgmental bullshit. At that point, you are dealing with someone who is only concerned about themselves and stuffing you into their own idea of who you should be. You do not need to apologize for being who you are, and you most definitely do not need to apologize for things that are outside of your control. You don’t need to change who you are for anyone, except yourself. If you choose to change, do it for you. Only you.
If need to apologize for something, don’t gloss over it with a half-hearted, and most likely disingenuous “I’m sorry.” Take the time to apologize properly. Do it with sincerity, honesty, and conviction. If you can’t say what you are sorry for or know what you did wrong, are you even truly sorry? Or are you trying to just smooth ruffled feathers and sweep it under the rug? Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t really mean much, especially when it’s out of reflex.
Here is my unsolicited advice, go out and start being your truest, most authentic, unapologetic self. Be who you are, fearlessly. You are an incredible person with infinite value, stop hiding that. Stop apologizing for not being the person you believe you should be, instead learn to love the person you are. All of that love and compassion you give to everyone else? It’s time to start sharing it with yourself.