I wrote this a long time ago. Recently, I’ve realized how much of an issue this continues to be for so many people I know. I see this most often in my women clients, but I have also felt it myself. I see it in entrepreneurs and I see in those who could never imagine owning a business. Seems like it’s time to share it with you again.
If you’re a strong woman who knows how to take charge, lead a group, manage a project and get things done, you apologize for being too picky or too forceful. What’s the matter, are you a control freak?
If you’re a worker-bee who’s quite happy to be a solid and productive part of a team but would rather not run the show, and you’re asked to lead the planning for an event, you apologize for saying no. What’s the matter? Can’t you handle responsibility?
If you’re a left-brained analytic who’s always early, loves organization and likes to have everything just so, you apologize for being obsessive. What’s the matter? Can’t you lighten up?
If you’re a right-brained creative who’s always late and is quite happy with a certain degree of artful chaos, you apologize for being a mess. What’s the matter? Can’t you get your act together?
If you’re an introvert, who has plenty of friends but treasures your time alone, you apologize for skipping the tailgate party or the meet & greet at the conference. What’s the matter? Don’t you like people?
If you’re an extrovert who does just fine on your own but really loves high energy and action, you apologize for talking too much or being too outgoing or being on the go all the time. What’s the matter? Can’t you handle being by yourself?
If you’re a college-educated professional who wears yourself out, putting in long hours so you can provide for your family AND follow your calling in the world, you apologize for working too late and for serving too many frozen pizzas. What’s the matter? Don’t you care about your family?
If you work at the plant or have some other honorable, steady job that pays less than stellar wages, you apologize for not making more money or going farther in school. What’s the matter? Didn’t you try?
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s just getting started, and not making much of a profit yet, you apologize for not being more successful – even though it sometimes takes years to build a successful business. What’s the matter? Don’t you know what you’re doing?
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s doing well, but is always looking for new ideas, or ways to expand, stretch yourself, grow your financial bottom line or build your company’s footprint, you apologize for being restless. What’s the matter? Aren’t you ever satisfied?
If you’re a single mom who’s doing a darn good job thank-you-very-much at doing more with less, you apologize for not buying your kids designer labels or sending them to that great-for-college-apps summer camp. What’s the matter? Don’t you care about your kids?
If you’re a stay-at-home happily married mother of many you apologize for not having the cleanest house or the most organized children. What’s the matter? Can’t you manage your home?
Doesn’t that make you tired?
Yeah. Me too.
And yet, there’s more.
Southerner. Yankee. Christian. Muslim. Republican. Democrat. Gay. Straight. Tall. Short. Older. Younger. Alabama. Auburn. Experienced. Newbie. Dark. Light. Religious. Spiritual. Athletic. Bookworm. Passive. Passionate.
And on – and on – it goes.
Whatever “It” is that we see as a key part of our identity or personality, we hide it rather than claim it. Fight it rather than use it.
Apologize for it rather than build with it.
And all that apologizing wears us out, drains our energy. We exhaust ourselves, running in circles, forcing ourselves into a skin that doesn’t fit, trying desperately to ignore who we are – and be something we’re not.
That does nothing to serve the world.
So…what if we tried something else instead?
Something completely different?
What if we tried on some….
Radical. Hard core. All the way. Crazy. Real. Loving. NON-apologetic.
Isn’t that, like, selfish?
It’s accepting the reality that we are all characters in our own right. It’s taking a HUGE first step towards real confidence. It’s showing others that you are worth loving, quirks and all. It’s setting a beautiful example for our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, best friends and co-workers.
Because they’re all characters too.
It’s POWERFUL, and practical, because we ARE who we ARE. The sooner we learn to acknowledge, accept and — dare I say it? — enjoy that reality the better we’ll all be.
I loved the way one of my clients put it, when I asked her how she was doing. She said it had been kind of a tough week, then smiled as she said: “I’m having acceptance issues.” Yeah. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. :)
Let’s change all that, shall we?
If you’re tired of apologizing, tired of pretending — tired of swimming upstream against your powerful, natural Self…
Make a decision today to adopt a brand new perspective. Embrace a brand new world view.
Claim your Self.
As is. :))
What could you stop apologizing for?
What perfectly imperfect part of yourself could you decide to own?
Because when you stop apologizing for who you are, creative energy is set free, and everything becomes possible – for you.
You may also like:How to Cope When You (Really) Screw Up
How One Daily Habit Helps Sustain Your Success
The One Thing You Must Protect – No Matter What
How to Keep Going When You Want to Call It Quits…