The Power of Sweat Equity
A Smart Woman Conversation with Margo Lovett - Author, Podcaster, Entrepreneur

The "I'm Sorry" Girl Who Became an "I'm Not Sorry" Woman

I'm sorry girl to woman

Confidence is never saying you're sorry

She's me. That "I'm sorry" girl who became an "I'm NOT sorry woman". 

I'm not sorry. That's the sum total of it.

I'm not sorry if I said something in a presentation that you decided was aimed at you and made you feel bad. It wasn't aimed at you. Buck up and stop feeling sorry for yourself.

I'm not sorry if my comment during a workshop disagreed with your comment. I am allowed an opinion, and so far in this country, I am allowed to express it.

I'm not sorry for being smarter than or quicker than you. Maybe tomorrow you'll be the one who's smarter and quicker. I won't be sorry for myself, if you are. I will accept that you bested me.

This is a huge issue with women. I thought it would be gone by now. I thought, 40 years ago, when my eldest was just a toddler, that she would not grow up and spend time apologizing for things that are not her fault. And, for the most part, she doesn't - but many of her friends do. Many of my friends do.

Confidence never saying sorryWomen of my generation, labelled baby boomers - I offer that only to orient you to my life on this planet - grew up being taught to apologize for everything.

We apologized for bad weather. "I'm sorry it's raining." Really? And, how is that our fault?

We apologized for back ups on the expressway. "I'm sorry I'm late. There was an accident on 390S!" Again, not our fault. We planned for the right amount of time, maybe we even added 10 extra minutes,  hoping to be early. But, an accident? It's not something you can plan for.

We apologized for lunch being late to our table at a restaurant. "I'm sorry the restaurant is so busy." Chances are the restaurant isn't sorry about that. Why should you be?

We even apologize for other people's lame excuses! "Oh, I so sorry your alarm didn't go off this morning!"

Seriously? Is that your fault?

I'm not sorry anymore.

If confidence is the game we're playing, and believe me, it is, then I'm not sorry for things I have little or no control over.

I am also not going to express being sorry for things I might have control over. Here's the thing, if you're late for a meeting because of traffic or an accident or an event out of your control, you do not have to apologize! If your kids are sick and you have to cancel a meeting, cancel the meeting. Don't be sorry for it! I do not believe the child purposely got sick to keep you home. 

Yes, being polite is a good thing. Knowing when  to express apologies and when not to, is a learning experience. The message here is that you cannot fix the whole world, and being sorry for that is not endearing you to customers or clients or prospects. In fact, it may be harming your growing relationship.

You show confidence when you are on time, and if not, offer a reason - the apology is only when your alarm clock doesn't go off and it makes you late. Now, if you manage to be on time, because you rushed to dress and put on make-up, and you are flustered, you do not say, "I'm sorry I look such a mess!" No, no, no. No apology is necessary there. You made it to the meeting on time. No one needs to hear the inside story of how you did it. 

Confidence Rules the Day

It's truly time for women to stop apologizing. I am not saying you stop being polite. I'm saying all the wrongs of the world are not your fault.

Be remarkable. Be a leader. You can lead a remarkable life by understanding the nuances of politeness.  While misogyny is alive and well in America, and many other parts of the world, it doesn't have to affect how you think about you, how you feel about yourself, how you build confidence to start and make a successful business today. 

Flip the script. That's one piece of advice over at CNBC, where this article explains in great detail why saying you're sorry can be the worst thing to do!

3. Flip the script.

Flipping the script takes self-discipline, but over time, it’ll begin to feel natural. If a colleague catches a spelling error in one of your emails, say, “Thank you for catching that.” If you’re in a crowded room and someone is impatiently trying to push their way through, say, “Here, let me get out of your way.”

Having confidence isn't just a thing of afternoons. It's not "I feel confident today" but "I won't feel confident tomorrow.

We all have moments of indecision. Being confident allows you to crush the indecision and move forward. It makes you unstoppable. It fills you with energy. 

My ebook, The Smart Woman's Guide to Becoming Unstoppable, outlines 10 steps to building your confidence, written especially for smart women still a bit hesitate to throw "I'm sorry," out the window.

Comment on this post and I'll send you the ebook FREE

Share a story in the comments about an "I'm sorry" experience you've had, that helped you realize it's not a phrase you should use so often, and I'll send you the ebook and my 21 Necessary Steps to Your Big Idea Launch, also. It's a one page check list to give you the building blocks you need to start or move your business forward.

At the very least, hesitate before offering that "I'm sorry." Is it necessary? Does the other person need to hear it? Who is really at fault, or, even more so, who isn't? 

We are often too polite for our own good, we ladies of the world. We are often afraid people won't like us if we're not subservient - allowing others to always be right, as we pull that cloak of insecurity tightly about our shoulders.

It's time to throw the cloak off. It's time to be right, not wrong, and to own up to whatever needs owning up to, without the "I'm sorry" whine that so often slips from our lips.

Learn to accept responsibility without accepting blame. 

Need help? Email me. 

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