All my life I have always been a people pleaser. I would purposely go out of my way for people whether they really deserved it or not. Or, whether or not I actually had the time or energy to do so! Along with that would come extreme guilt for the occasions where I couldn’t help or when I had to say no. With that, there may be things that you as well are apologizing for, feeling guilty about, or not allowing yourself to overcome in fear of hurting someone’s feelings or causing an inconvenience for someone else.
However, in many of these situations, where you feel the need to constantly apologize, this may be causing you a lot of emotional harm and preventing you from living the life that you want to live, freely and joyfully! With that, these are the top 4 things you need to stop apologizing for in order to take control of your life and your well-being!
1. For creating your own path
Let me start off by saying, you do not need permission from anyone to strive for what you are passionate about! Whatever your goals, dreams, or aspirations are, they are yours! Nobody else’s! If you want to take time off from school – whether it’s to travel or if it’s because you want to focus on your growing side hustle – it is nobody else’s decision except your own. No one has to like or agree with what you are doing or with what you want to do, and that’s perfectly okay! Everyone has different goals and dreams. And people may not understand what you want to do. But honestly, they don’t have to! Nobody else has to understand or agree with what your goals are or what is important to you in order for them to be important and worthy to you.
You do not need anyone else’s permission to have the things that are important and worthy to you. And you do not need to apologize if your dreams or your passions are not liked or understood by someone else. Focus on what is important to you and worthy of your time and effort unapologetically. Don’t focus on what your parents, relatives, friends, or even your partner’s dreams are for you. This is your life, your dreams, your passions, and your goals. You do not need anyone else’s approval or permission to achieve what you want or what you need.
2. For taking care of yourself
This is a big one that I know many people struggle with! And perhaps you can relate to this on a personal level. Many of us are running around and exhausting ourselves trying to be there for everyone, meet everyone’s needs, make sure everybody else is happy, and make sure that everyone else is taken care of. But then, what happens to us in return? At the end of the day, you are left feeling as though you are a shell of yourself. You feel depleted, exhausted, and possibly over-stressed because you spent your day running around and doing everything for everyone else, and putting other people’s needs before your own. Sound familiar?
Now I am not a mom, but to all of the mom’s who are reading this, I know that you can most likely relate! Am I right? And for many of us “people pleasers,” we need to stop apologizing for taking care of ourselves for a change. I know that I too have felt guilty or even selfish for putting myself first in situations. But, my friend, it is so incredibly important that we take time for ourselves and quit saying “sorry” about it!
We need to stop apologizing for considering our own selves in the equation and stop viewing it as a selfish act!
If anything, it’s more selfish to not take care of yourself, at all! Because if you keep spending each day constantly putting your needs at the bottom of your to-do list, you’re either going to end up feeling depressed, stressed, depleted, and just emotionally empty. Then, you aren’t going to have the energy to take care of anyone after that! Or, commonly, many people become bitter, angry and resentful. Nonetheless, that negative and over-stressed feeling is going to end up surfacing at some point sooner or later. Either in a very aggressive way or in a passive-aggressive way.
Moreover, if you don’t start taking care of yourself, and stop apologizing for taking care of yourself, you’re just going to end up burning out altogether. And to my fellow “people pleasers” remember that you cannot give from an empty tank! That is why you need to make it habit to remind yourself every single day that Your Needs Matter Too! And there is absolutely no shame in that what’s so ever!
3. Saying no
This goes back to being a “people pleaser” and constantly putting the needs of others before your own. If you are like me, saying “no” can be a very difficult fete. For many of us caring, kind-hearted, and helpful people, the thought of saying no worries us. We anxiously anticipate the fear of letting other people down or creating an unnecessary upset. However, similar to tip #2, in order for you to begin taking time for yourself and taking care of yourself, you need to start respecting your own limitations and boundaries. For the sake of your overall health and wellness, and to show others that you value your time and the energy that you give.
You should never apologize for saying no to something or someone if you know that you cannot give 110% to the situation. Not to mention, the ability to say no is a great sign of leadership, integrity, and self-respect.
Here are 4 examples of saying no, without apologizing, that you could use. Especially if saying no is a struggle for you:
- “I already committed to other plans, but thank you for thinking of me!”
- “I would love to help, but I’m not able to dedicate the time necessary to give it my 100%.”
- “Thank you for thinking of me! But right now is not the best time for me to take on anything else.”
- “I wish I could, but my schedule is so booked up at the moment. Maybe another time!”
Related Post: “How to Say “No” Without Feeling Guilty”
4. For who you are
This one is a given, but, I feel as though many people still need to hear it time and time again. You need to stop apologizing for what makes you authentic, unique, and YOU. Stop apologizing for your quirks, for what makes you different, and for everything that makes you perfectly, imperfectly you. I think we all need to stop apologizing for not being “perfect,” because the truth is, none of us are! If you think about it, we all have our own definition of the word perfect anyway! What looks “perfect” to one person may not “perfect” to another. And that is absolutely fine! We need to start accepting ourselves for who we are and not for what others want us to be, or for what we think others want us to be!
If you are ready to accept yourself for you who are, then you need to be okay with the fact that not everyone is going to accept you.
This goes back to what I mentioned above that nobody has the same definition of perfect. I know this is a hard one, especially for my fellow people pleasers out there, but you need to be okay with the fact that not everyone is going to like you. People have different preferences. I’m sure that you do too! For instance, I’m sure there are people in your life that you have been introduced to that you didn’t really make a connection with. Or maybe they just weren’t your cup of tea, am I right? It’s not that there was anything wrong with them, they just aren’t for you.
So with that, you need to get over the fear that not everyone is going to approve of you or understand you. Especially if you truly want to accept yourself and love yourself for who you are! If you let yourself stay in this negative and prison-like mindset, you’ll eventually realize that it’s not fair to you, or anybody else for that matter. This mindset is only going to keep you feeling small and hidden. Not to mention, it ultimately prevents you from living the life that you want to live. We can’t be our true selves and be liked by everyone. Unfortunately, it’s just not possible. So instead,
Allow yourself to not be for everyone else.
Because honestly, trying to get everyone to like you and trying to be everything to everyone is probably one of the biggest reasons that are causing you to not like yourself. The more you try to fit and be liked by everyone, the more disconnected you will become from your true and genuine self. In fact, Brenè Brown, who is a professional researcher social worker, once said:
“Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect. When we don’t have that, we shape-shift and turn into chameleons; we hustle for the worthiness we already possess.” (source)
In our attempt to fit in, we end up feeling lonely and disconnected from ourselves and everyone around us. And because of this, people don’t know who we really are. Making it very difficult for them to connect with us at all. Essentially, belonging means that who I am, my true authentic self, is accepted and loved by me. And that’s all that matters.
Repeat these four tips and remind yourself of them every day! As soon as you stop apologizing for these 4 things, you will find just how free your life and soul will instantly feel!
What are you ready to stop apologizing for?
Let me know in the comments!