I was raised with respect being the most important “value” I was to learn and adhere to. I pretty sure you experienced some of this yourself. I wonder if some of these situations run true for you as well:
- Respect your elders
- Let others go first
- Give up your seat to others
- Wait your turn
- Be patient
- Be quiet and listen
And so much more.
When crossing these lines, it was then expected that I would apologize for my terrible behavior, for speaking out of line, or for not paying attention. I was the culprit of all sorts of evils and must bend my knee in forgiveness.
And I learned this lesson well.
So well, in fact, that I learned to apologized out of habit.
- I’m sorry if I offended you.
- How do I take ownership of your feelings?
- Why is it important that I change, maybe even a core characteristic, because someone does not like it?
- If my intention is not harmful and I am speaking or acting from my heart, why must I feel badly for how you receive it?
- I’m sorry I am feeling sad/angry/hurt right now.
- Why do I apologize whenever I share an emotion?
- Why do I feel the need to diffuse the conversation before it even starts in an attempt to avoid conflict?
- Why do I feel nervous, uncomfortable, and insecure about expressing my emptions?
- You’re right, it’s my fault, I’m sorry.
- I take the easy road and accept that I am the one always making mistakes (when this clearly is not the case).
- In my eyes, I am incapable of being good enough, Therefore I obviously caused the problem.
- I believe it is a waste of time to play the blame game, it’s easier to just apologize and move on.
Over the years of studying our emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual connection and how our mind creates images and responses based on past experiences, I have peeled back the layers of these beliefs and let go of ownership that IS NOT MINE TO OWN.
Let’s unpack this a bit.
Usually when you apologize it is not for some transgression you purposefully initiated. In fact, it usually is because someone reacted in a way you did not expect, or you are trying to prevent a reaction you do not want.
Here’s the deal, you have zero control over others and can apologize all you want to, it probably will not significantly change their perception. In fact, it may even lower their opinion of your worthiness.
And even that is not within your control.
So, what does this really mean?
Apologies are not needed.
Let’s examine some, shall we?
I’m so sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking.
How about: Well, that didn’t go as I thought it would. How can we make this better?
I wouldn’t blame you if you don’t forgive me.
How about: I really did not think this one through and clearly crossed a line. What can I do to turn this around?
I regret what I did to hurt you and I want to ask for your forgiveness.
How about: If I could erase this from ever happening I would. What can I do moving forward?
The key here is taking responsibility is not the same as taking blame. Own your actions, own your intentions, and own the outcome. Then, move forward with integrity and a strategy for true change.
Breaking the “habit” of apologizing does not happen with a weekend retreat. It does not happen with reading books, reading blogs, or listening to videos. It does not happen with a deep conversation with your coach.
It takes allowing yourself to know you are worthy of self-care and self-development. It takes having someone at your side guiding you through the barriers that could hold you back. It takes someone who has done it and is willing to go through it with you.
Let’s talk and see if I am that someone for you. Schedule our discovery meeting today.
Please note: The information in this post is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in, or associated with these posts are for general information purposes only. Gail is not a doctor or therapist. Nothing she says should be taken as medical advice. Please consult a professional if you struggle with anxiety or any other health condition.
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