Stop apologizing for your past decisions.
Why Do We Apologize?
Have you ever wondered why we (especially women) are so apologetic? Were we born this way or were we socialized this way? Maybe it’s not either/or but both/and. Do you feel like you always need to apologize for who you are or the decisions you make?
Or, have you ever felt you needed to apologize for interrupting someone who is being rude or dominating a meeting or conversation? Or, if you’re like me, maybe you apologize for something as small as asking someone to repeat something they’ve said because you’re not tracking or you’ve unintentionally tuned out. ” I’m sorry. What were you saying? I am totally not tracking. Would you mind unpacking that a bit more?”
Stop Apologizing for Deciding on “Me Time”
To be honest with you, one of the things I always feel like I have to apologize for is needing ‘me time” to refresh, rejuvenate and re-energize myself. As a wife and working mother of two (and introvert), this is something I feel like I always have to apologize for. Not because my kids or husband make me feel guilty for it (because they don’t. They actually encourage it). But for some reason, I feel sorry for needing “me time.”
Stop Apologizing for Deciding to Disagree
Another thing I personally have apologized for is not agreeing with someone else’s perspective or opinion. Why do we say ‘I’m sorry, but I disagree with you.” Is it because we’re afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or create tension or conflict? Why should I have to ‘fake’ agreement with someone or hold back my true thoughts and opinions in order to avoid potential conflict or relational tension? What do YOU think?
Should you have to apologize (of course respectfully) for disagreeing with someone? How can you agree to disagree respectfully but unapologetically? How can you express your disagreement in a way that not only demonstrates respect, but also gives voice to your ideas, feelings, thoughts, and opinions honestly and unapologetically? What are some areas of disagreement you find yourself always apologizing for and what can you do to disagree well?
Girl Just Stop Apologizing
In her recent book Girl Stop Apologizing, New York Times best-selling author and entrepreneur Rachel Hollis empowers women to stop apologizing for being their authentic selves, being ambitious, being a go-getter and a dreamer. She tells women to accept themselves as they are and to love their sarcasm, awkwardness, weird habits, unique sense of humor, talents, and appearance.
Now to be clear, this concept of being unapologetic isn’t about giving people permission to be wild’n out, be rude, or do whatever they want at the expense of others. Nor is this about being a mean girl or ‘hater’ that is inconsiderate and disrespectful toward others.
“Girl Stop Apologizing” is a call (or maybe even a movement) to empower women to be confident in who they are and to pursue their dreams and ambitions unapologetically. Rachel’s big message is “You are enough. Today. As you are.” And you know what? I couldn’t agree with her anymore at this point. BUT there is one statement she made that I disagree with.
Stop Apologizing for Past Decisions
“Who you are is defined by the next decision you make, not the last one.”
I’m so sorry my dear Rachel but I am NOT defined or marked by any decision I have made or will make in the future. Who I am is defined by God because my identity is found in Him alone. And regardless of any bad decisions I’ve made (or will make in my future), those decisions will never define me. This thought reminds me of some Scarlet Letter nonsense.
Start Extending Grace to Yourself
Personally, I’ve had to stop believing I was defined by what I didn’t know or didn’t do in the past. I did this by forgiving myself for past mistakes. And even if others fail to forgive me and recognize my growth, I (like Demi Lovato) will not apologize for not knowing what I didn’t know.
Forgiving myself reminds me of when Jesus asked His Father to forgive those who were crucifying him because they truly had no idea what they were doing (Lk. 23:34). We need to extend this same type of forgiveness and grace to ourselves because we won’t always know what we’re doing. Can I get an amen? So what about you?
Now You Know Better
Have you been stuck apologizing to yourself or others for the poor decisions you’ve made in your past? Apologizing will do nothing but keep you stuck in feelings of regret and defeat. But acknowledging past lessons learned will help you to make better decisions today and tomorrow.
The reality is all of us have made poor decisions in our past but what really matters is applying what we’ve learned from them. It’s like Maya Angelou said,
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
So Please. Forgive yourself for what you didn’t know. You’re human and you will make mistakes. Give yourself permission to extend grace to yourself. You are learning. And while you’re at it, extend grace to others. We are all on a journey of growth and it’s not about being perfect (which is unrealistic and impossible). It’s about making progress.
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Loving Yourself Unapologetically
Over the next 3 weeks, I’ll be blogging about 3 other things I believe we all need to stop apologizing for. So be sure to follow me on social media. Just click the social media icons below!
Grab your Unapologetic Reflection Guide Today!
Looking for a new jam to rock out to? Check out this song called Unstoppable by Koryn Hawthorne
Need a visual reminder of how to respond to your past decisions? Check out this clip.