Hiking alongside our clients in the Grand Canyon last month, my co-leader, Bronwyn and I were shocked by the number of “I’m Sorry’s” and unnecessary apologies being used in conversation. Here, these amazing and strong-willed women were apologizing for hiking too fast or being too slow, for intensely sharing emotions, thoughts, opinions and life stories. They apologized for laughing too loudly, being too quiet and for simply  … being themselves.

The apologies became so noticeable that we all agreed to put a halt on anyone saying, “I’m Sorry” because we found no reasons warranting apologies in the first place! We were there to be our authentic selves, supporting one another along the way.

We found that our constant apologies were not supporting who we were needing to be.

What a lesson noticed, learned and talked about while on the trail. What a lesson that also relates to life.

All of this over-apologizing led me to my own experiment when I returned home. I began tracking how many times a day that I was using those same two words in my own life: “I’m Sorry.”

The results were astounding!

I found myself pre-cursing conversations with, “I’m sorry for…” in ways that condemned me for caring, for not being perfect and for simply living my life on my terms. I apologized for not immediately returning emails or text messages. I apologized in text because I couldn’t be in three places at one time. I even verbally apologized to my son for not putting peanut butter on both slices of bread when making a sandwich! Say WHAT?

In essence, I found myself apologizing-over and over again-for simply “Being Me”.

So I sat back and meditated on where my unnecessary apologies were stemming from. I’ve been accustomed throughout my life to pleasing others. Perhaps “I’m Sorry’s” replaced my own voice, thoughts, opinions and God given gifts. Sad, yet true, I accept that this did happen. That was the old me.

And now, on behalf of who I have become and as a role model for my three sons, my thought process has begun to shift.

Slowly yet surely, I am no longer apologizing for “Being Me”.

>> I love that I can openly care and be vulnerable with another human being, in service of us both. For that, I will no longer apologize.

>> I love that I can cry and laugh and get angry-all in the same hour.  For that, I will no longer apologize.

>> I love that I can LOVE another human being so freaking hard, especially my close family and friends, that it hurts.  For that, I will no longer apologize.  

>> I love that I am a busy, imperfectly perfect mom and business woman who doesn’t always get places on time. I am doing the best that I can. For that, I will no longer apologize.  

>> I love my sense of adventure, willingness to stick up for the underdog, my voice, creativity and my non-conforming way of saving peanut butter by only spreading it on one slice of the sandwich.  (Cheap? No. Thrifty? Yes.)  For that, I will no longer apologize.  

More than anything, I will no longer apologize for my mistakes because my mistakes have become my hardest lessons … which have landed me to where I am today.

What would YOU no longer apologize for when …
No Apologies Are Necessary?