“Sorry, please can you help me with that” “Sorry, I think this idea works better”, “sorry sir, I have sent the document to you”. Sounds familiar? I bet if we were being paid for every time we said sorry in a situation where we didn’t need to, we would all be giving Dangote a run for his money on the Forbes list by now.
Saying the word “sorry” is, by all means, a good thing, it reflects civility, good nature, maturity, and the self-confidence to not be afraid to admit you were in the wrong– Like when you bump into someone, or you come in late to a meeting or ate your boss’ biscuits thinking it was for your work friend.
However, when we feel the need to apologize in ordinary situations in the workplace where we’ve done no discernible wrong- Like airing out opinions on an idea or taking the reins of a team, or for just being our regular selves. It reflects a serious problem, basically that we’ve become chronic apologizers and it’s an issue that doesn’t do our careers any favors and negatively affects our confidence as strong, successful career women.
Why do we feel the need to constantly apologize? Could it be that perhaps we feel like we don’t deserve a seat at the table, and so we feel a need to apologize for being considered worthy. Or maybe we just can’t comprehend the good things that come our way in our career sojourns. We think by saying sorry we’re respecting everyone whereas what we are really doing is disrespecting ourselves. Constantly saying “sorry” at the start or end of a sentence isn’t healthy. If we keep apologizing for everything, when are we really sorry?
Women need to stop the needless apologies for being themselves because they feel they should be doing something different. Stop apologizing for speaking your mind. Halt your brain from uttering the word “sorry” for having an opinion that differs from the person dominating the conversation. Stop apologizing for simply being human or for standing up for yourself.
The next time you feel the need to over-apologize, ask yourself “have I done anything wrong here?” If the answer is no, re-phrase whatever you are about to say in clear, straightforward, and accurate statements. Remember, the next time you hesitate to go after what you want, the next time you doubt your voice or your place in the workplace, never forget that you are worth it. Now stop over-apologizing!
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