Ever found yourself over apologising?
When that person bumps into you at the supermarket and the words “Sorry” slip out of your mouth.
When you have to leave a meeting ‘early’ to pick your children up from childcare and you find yourself saying “Sorry” to your boss and colleagues?
When you’ve taken a few days to respond to someone’s email and you start the message with “Sorry it’s taken me a little while to get back to you.”
Or you want a moment of someone’s time and you start your request with “Sorry to ask, but can you just help me with this please?”
I decided a while ago now I wasn’t going to apologise.
Let me be clear, apologising when you’ve genuinely done something wrong, and reparation is needed, is an honourable act and shows strength.
But over apologising unnecessarily can be compulsive and gives away your power.
It also means you’re telling yourself and others that you’ve done something wrong.
Or worse……that you’re wrong.
Compulsive apologising sends a message to your inner core that you’re constantly not good enough.
That you’re not enough and you should apologise to others for it.
And that’s a toxic way to live.
It was a powerful lesson I learned during my recovery from burnout.
When I started to get clear on what actions, habits and strategies helped me to thrive I also noticed that I felt like I needed to apologise for them. Or justify them to others.
Apologising to my mother-in-law for asking if she could look after my baby while I went to that restorative yoga class.
Apologising to colleagues that I wouldn’t be available for that full-day meeting in London which would mean me getting a 5.30 am train and not getting home until 9 pm.
Apologising to friends that I wouldn’t be able to meet for a late dinner as I was too tired.
It was only when I started to own my needs that I realised I didn’t need to apologise for them.
In fact, I needed to be unapologetic about what it took for me to thrive.
If I was going to move from surviving to striving to ultimately thriving, then I needed to get clear on what it was going to take.
And own it.
I mean really own it.
That meant not apologising for it and not minimizing it. But respectfully and powerfully communicating it.
And now I’m unapologetic about what it takes for me to be at my best.
I’ve dropped the judgement of my inner critic and other people at my feet….well most of the time anyway.
When I did this I started to reclaim my power.
Not only did life start to get easier.
But I felt better about myself.
Not just in terms of my health and wellbeing, but in terms of my self-esteem and self-worth too.
I started to take my power and inner authority back.
And that’s what I want for other women too.
It’s not a matter of eliminating the phrase, “I’m sorry” from your vocabulary but only using it when it’s warranted.
That’s when we take our power back and use it to help us to thrive.
So here’s to you being unapologetic about what it takes for you to be at your best.
Because, in the words of that well-known cosmetics company, you’re worth it!
P.S. Want to hear how other women are not apologising for what it takes for them to thrive? You can hear all about How She Does It from five inspiring working mothers – revealing the secrets, strategies and lessons they’ve learnt to thrive.
We’re genuine, like-minded women, just like you!
We’re a community, reinventing how we combine work and motherhood without sacrificing our sanity and wellbeing.