In the midst of recent debate about sexism and pay gaps in Hollywood, The Washington Post wrote about the difference in perception between what and HOW women say things vs. how men say them.

They then go on to produce 10 famous quotes renditions, as if said by a woman in a meeting (the socially accepted way, anyway).

And while this topic mostly relates to women, I was actually primarily concerned with the aspect of apologising for everything, which relates to equally men and women.

You know, how some people (maybe you?) when they walk into a room they’re more likely to start with “I’m sorry” than “hello”?

To truly paint the picture of how apologising unnecessarily in life has a completely different undertone, here’s one of the famous quotes from The Washington Post and its version:

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

became

I have to say — I’m sorry — I have to say this. I don’t think we should be as scared of non-fear things as maybe we are? If that makes sense? Sorry, I feel like I’m rambling.”

Do you see the difference?!

Who would you listen to? Whether that’s advice given on the street, a book you’re reading or an inspirational quote you see on social media. Would you even stop to pay attention to something which starts with “I’m sorry”?

By apologising profusely for… well… taking up oxygen, it seems, we make ourselves small, we undermine our strength and actively put ourselves in the position of being unheard, unnoticed and ignored.

So next time you have something to say, say it with gusto. Defend your opinion. Don’t apologise for the fact that you’re there.

Recognising how much of this life journey you’ve travelled already in order to get to where you are might help you feel this: you have the right to speak up and have an opinion.

And technically, you’ve always had this right to be you, just as you are. But if it helps you to look for justifications, make a list of everything you’ve been through and achieved – this is your proof that you deserve to be heard (we’ll deal with not requiring any proof and loving yourself unconditionally later – if you’re already there, great!)

So let me wrap up this “Sorry, not sorry” edition.

If you start stating your opinions from apologising, the chances of your opinion being taken into account are falling drastically. If you want to improve the quality of your life by being heard, feeling noticed and regarded, then pay attention to this one thing.

Are you sorry, or not sorry?

I think I know what you want to be.

Lots of love,

lara young business coach

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