Isn’t it a strange thing that we’ve been conditioned to apologize for things we think may affect others even if it’s something important to us? Consider for a moment the last time you apologized to someone — was it for something you did wrong or was it for something you felt obliged to apologize for, even though it wasn’t your fault?
I know in the past, I have apologized for things like:
- Not attending social events.
- Taking time to do things that were important to me.
- Not getting involved in other people’s personal issues.
In recent times, I have gotten better at staying true to what matters most to me. On many occasions, I have been totally comfortable to say no to others, especially when it comes to social events, and instead, choose to spend my time wisely. Such simple choices has allowed me to focus on what I do best and helped me move forward toward the things that are important to me.
While there are many reasons to not apologize for making the decisions and choices that you do, here are seven specific things that you should certainly not apologize for even though a part of you may feel guilty and want to apologize. Once you realise that you what others think of you is none of your business and you shouldn’t seek other’s approval, it will free you from any unnecessary stress, worry or anxiety.
- For saying no to new requests. One of the most powerful things we can learn is to be able to say no more often without offending or alienating others. When we say yes to someone else’s request, we are really saying no to ourselves. We should not apologize for saying no to focus on our priorities and on the things that we consider important. If that means someone else’s priority misses out because you have something better to do, that is a choice you’re entitled to make.
- For taking time off to be alone. This may be easier for males although I’m not sure. Personally, I find it important to spend time alone so that I can refocus, rejuvenate and reconnect to what my priorities are in life. Time alone can also mean doing nothing else but relaxing. With our hectic lifestyle, things can get overwhelming easily so allowing ourselves to have time alone is something we shouldn’t apologize for.
- For setting a high standard for yourself. Not everyone want to see us succeed and there will be some who will question how we are living our life. When we go too far ahead, others may want to drag us down out of fear of being left behind. We must never conform to others who may have low standards for themselves just so you can maintain peace or get their approval. Setting a high standard for yourself may inspire others to do the same. Your actions should define who you are and if you set a high standard for yourself, you will elevate your performance to a whole new level.
- For following a passion or dream. There will be times when others will not be able to comprehend what you want to do or why you’re attracted to something. And that is okay because it is not their passion or their dream. Follow what you are attracted to and do not apologize for being courageous enough to do so. The reality is only a small percentage of people will ever truly pursue their dreams or passions. Your courage may inspire someone else to follow their dreams.
- For telling the truth. The old saying, “The truth will set you free!” remains as true today as it was when it was first revealed. While telling the truth may cause pain to others in the short term, know that if your intention is to be of service and you’re coming from a place of integrity, then it is the right thing to do. We should not be pressured into not telling the truth. However, do recognise that speaking the truth may result in difficult choices needing to be made.
- For removing toxic or negative people from your life. There are people who are inherently toxic or negative, and they can bring us down if we allow them to. Being around such people can affect our thoughts and behaviours, therefore we need to be extremely selective on who we spend time with. Making the choice to remove such people from your life can do wonders however there may be repercussions especially if they are an integral part of your life. If these people are family members then one option is to spend less time with them. While that could appear to be a harsh choice, the benefits will be well worth the sacrifice.
- For not knowing something. There is an infinite amount of knowledge in the world and there is no way we can be expected to know everything, especially a topic which we don’t consider important. There will be times when others may expect you to know something especially if it is their agenda. Therefore we need to accept that we will never know everything and be okay with saying, “I don’t know.”
If we stay true to who we are and what we value most in life, then we shouldn’t be obliged to apologize for the decisions we make. The more we can be true to ourselves, the more we will attract the support we need to live our life based on integrity and truth. Be okay with the choices you make in life.
Question: What things have you found yourself apologizing for even though you didn’t want to?
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