Stop Overusing the Phrase "I'm Sorry"


As I mentioned my Off the Mat training was an amazing experience. I left feeling inspired, invigorated and above all else, empowered. Something that came to light during the training is actually something that I've been working on for a long time, which is to stop apologizing for things that are not my fault.

There are many times when I find myself saying "I'm sorry" when there's really no reason for it. Yes, I am mature enough to admit when I've done something wrong and will give my apologies to the other party if it is necessary. But when I find myself apologizing for things that are beyond my control (like most things in life, right?), I realize that all I'm doing is giving away my power to that other person or situation. I am effectively dis-empowering myself right before my eyes!

I never thought about it until a few years ago when I was working at the National Gallery of Art as an event planner. If you know anything about event planning, then you know that something inevitably goes wrong. No matter how much you prepare or how many plans A, B, C and D you have, there's bound to be something that doesn't always go as seamlessly as you'd like. It's one of the thrills of event planning.

The quick-thinking and problem solving is an adrenaline junkies dream! While working at the NGA I was tasked with lots of detailed work and sometimes, things just didn't go right. Instead of understanding that I did my best and moving on, I found myself apologizing for the most minor things. It wasn't until a colleague confronted me saying "quit apologizing already" that I realized I had been doing all along.

Saying I'm sorry in this situation meant I was internalizing all of these mishaps as something I did wrong rather than dealing with the ups and downs of the job and the situation. This put undue stress on me and most likely my co-workers as well. If I had bypassed the "I'm sorry" when it wasn't necessary and stopped taking on those mistakes, than I could have let go and moved on much more smoothly.
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