As long as I can remember I’ve said “I’m sorry” for things I got guilted into doing. It’s a daily habit of mine. When someone bumps into my grocery cart or I have to squeeze myself around someone in an aisle, the words, “I am sorry,” instantly fly out of my mouth.
Recently, I typed the words, “I am sorry” in an email. Why am I apologizing for turning down a last-minute invite when I have other commitments that day? That isn’t a thing I should be “sorry” for. That’s when I saw the light and realized it’s time to stop being sorry for everything!
Unapologetic: My 2019 Word of The Year
Unapologetic: I can’t think of a better word to describe my focus for the new year. It may come across as brash and selfish, but it’s a choice I will not apologize for.
The word “sorry” will be limited from my vocabulary. I am who I am, my priorities have changed. Life is too short to feel guilted into things or trying to be someone you are not.
Can you attend a birthday party on XYZ?
2018 Me: “I am so sorry, I really wish I could make it but I have this thing I already committed to. Ugh! I hate that I will miss your event.”
2019 Me: “Thank you for the invitation. I will not be able to attend this time. Have a great event!”
Sometimes less is more. I tend to over-explain myself.
A work-related example:
Would you be willing to work on this opportunity for free?
2017 Me: Yes
2018 Me: I am sorry, but right now I am only taking on paid work due to demand.
2019 Me: I only provide my services for compensation.
We must change our mindsets no matter how difficult it may be to break bad habits in both our personal and professional lives. It’s time to start thinking like a business person and remove emotion from the equation. That being said, the opportunities I do choose to do for free have to make sense to me and my business plans. (Note: I don’t judge those that do take on free work, but for me it has to make sense in the larger scale of things)
Far from perfect
Of course, I will say I am sorry when I am in the wrong. I am far from perfect and I know I have my faults. I will make mistakes and when I do, I will own up to them and say, “I am sorry.” I want my apologies to be meaningful and not something I say multiple times a day.
As women, I believe we have been conditioned to be quiet or feel guilty for doing things or making decisions that benefit ourselves. Whether that is the decision to ask your boss for a raise or go back to work forcing you to put your kids into daycare. I know at times I feel guilty for asking for things that will make me a happier and better person, but why? At the end of the day, when I lay my head on my pillow, it’s myself and my family that has to deal with the consequences – not an acquaintance, friend or internet troll that has nothing better to do than spew judgment and hate across my feed.
When we as women voice our opinions and decisions strongly, we can be viewed as bitches instead of the secure, confident women we hope to be. We don’t ask for things that we deserve because we feel unworthy. We aren’t ourselves in fear of what others think of us. We commit to activities and pour our hearts into toxic relationships because we don’t know how to stop and we say we are sorry way too often for things we should NOT be sorry for.
That ended in 2018.
I will no longer apologize for simply being.
Not everyone will get what I am doing and that’s okay
I get it, I am not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I am driven to a point that could be annoying and I have big dreams and goals I wish to accomplish.
I take on too many projects. I am not afraid to try new things and to some, it appears my life is always perfect, but it’s not. I struggle with anxiety and depression. I yell at my kids at times. I forget to plan date nights with my husband because I am too tired. I am far from perfect.
I spend minutes analyzing if I should post something on social media in fear that I am “sharing too much” and I might “annoy some folks.”
Sometimes I fear what some people think when I voice my opinion. As a writer, this type of thinking brings my work to an abrupt and complete halt. With each passing day, I am becoming more comfortable with the skin I am in. This is my journey that I choose to share with the world.
It’s okay to unfollow
Now is the time to start living and stop apologizing for sharing the good, bad and ugly (if you feel comfortable) parts of our lives. If what I do, say or publish makes you feel uncomfortable, I encourage you to unfollow. The decluttering challenge is great, but it doesn’t include decluttering our social lives. If something or someone is not providing value and joy to your world it’s okay to let it go.
(Please don’t read between the lines and try to figure out whom I am talking about because there isn’t one person I can think of. In general, it’s society.)
I am giving you permission to let go of my social feed if it’s not a good fit. I am an “over-sharer” who loves to create content and share my life experiences with you as writing is what brings me joy.
More energy into the ones that deserve it
Why do we put so much effort into people that don’t put effort into us?
It’s not just me feeling this way.
I have had multiple conversations with successful women who are quick to see the negative over all the positive feedback and support they receive. We dwell on the bad, ignore the good and get stuck in a cycle of self-pity. Believe me, I have been there multiple times in both my personal and professional career.
We forget about all our cheerleaders and focus on that one negative comment or look of judgment that came our way. May our struggles strengthen us and show us who we don’t want to become and who we were meant to be. Remember that every relationship has a season and a reason.
I will continue to work hard to live the life I have always envisioned without regrets. For that, I will not apologize.
I encourage you to do the same and I am NOT sorry if this article wasted your time.
Cheers to the New Year and THANK YOU for all your love and support.
What is your 2019 word of the year?