Sorry, Not Sorry
It’s that time of year again. Everyone agonizes over resolutions, mistakes, new beginnings. For the next few weeks, we get to make vows of change and actually believe ourselves.
So, while we can still be optimistic, let’s try one of mine together, shall we? And it might even be more manageable than losing those 20 pounds or writing that novel. Let’s stop apologizing.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s a time and a place for an apology. If you accidentally run over someone’s pet, apologize. Profusely. If you forget a major meeting, apologize — and pray that you’re not jobless. (But if you are, use our job board.) But I’m thinking that we all might do it a little too much — I know I do.
People (especially women, but I think we can safely say that everyone has this issue) tend to resort to “I’m sorry” too quickly. And this kills you at work. When I was in my last year of college, I started a business that I continued for the next four years. Being a young person in New York City (where naïveté is eaten for breakfast) who started a business requires a certain amount of balls. And I didn’t have them. At first.
When I first moved here to grow my business, I didn’t realize that I would have to grow myself first. I quickly learned that people will question you, push you down, and try to make you doubt yourself and your vision. Don’t apologize for who you are, what you’re trying, and what you’ve planned. If you’ve properly executed a business plan, don’t apologize for it — out loud or within. You won’t make it if you do.
In this blog as well as Capitalista Careers, I write about entrepreneurship, kickstart campaigns, and new career ventures. But the very first step is self confidence, and that is diminished if you are an over-apologizer. We should try, when possible and appropriate, to wipe the word from our professional vocab.
For instance, when you mishear someone, instead of “I’m sorry?” replace it with “Can you please repeat that?” If you do something incorrectly, instead of “I’m sorry,” try “I’ll make sure to do that better in the future.” The slight adjustments will do wonders for your confidence, and the way others perceive you. You want to be strong, and you can do that while still being polite.
xo, The Capitalista
Alexandra Saville (@CapitalistaBlog) is the Media and Writing Specialist at Law Street Media. She has experience in the publishing and marketing worlds and started her own publishing company right out of college. Her blogs, The Capitalista and Capitalista Careers, focus on the young and the entrepreneurial.