If there were a motto for humanity today one of the most serious contenders would be, “I’m sorry.” We say it repeatedly over the course of the day and only a few times, out of the many times we say it, is in an instance in which we need to apologize. An article in the Daily Mail reported that the average Brit apologizes eight times a day – we say it when we ask a question, reveal a feeling, take in someone’s comment and even when someone walks into us. It’s become an integral part of our culture – just something we say. Except, is it? Is it just something we say?
Words are some of the most powerful weapons in the world, with them we wield unbelievable power, so what happens when we point them at ourselves. If we constantly apologize eventually we’re going to feel like we have something to feel guilty for. Even if that something is taking up space in the world. While we use sorry to generate more guilt in ourselves it loses its external power in the world. Sorry should express our regret and remorse at something we did that negatively affected someone else, it shouldn’t be used because we want to order a coffee from a distracted barista.
I know people who bombard you with apologies the moment you try to discuss an issue, making it sound like an appeasement rather than a heartfelt apology. People who genuinely feel like everything is their fault and and seem to apologise for their very existence. I myself used to apologise after every joke or witty comment I delivered in an undertone – as though the mere idea of me being funny or joining the conversation merited an apology. I know people who apologise to furniture when they bump into it. The common factor is the hair trigger we seem to have with apologies. At Conquering Life we believe the root of excessive apologies is intricately connected to our self esteem as well as to a culture that encourages self shame and guilt. It’s so very apparent that the more confident we feel – the less we feel the need to apologise for ourselves.
The truth is we all have a right to interact with the world and we shouldn’t feel like we need to apologise for that desire. At Conquering Life we understand the impact of our words and importance of self-esteem. We believe that apologies should be used when necessary not to keep us in a state of perpetual guilty shame. So next time you apologise pause for moment and examine whether you have anything to be apologising for. The more you do this the more you’ll realise that it isn’t always necessary. Awareness is the first step in positive change and here at C.L. we want you to lead life as your most confident and unapologetic self (unless of course you do something that requires one!). Don’t apologise for being you, embrace it!