Many months ago I was heading home after finishing up some tough efforts on the road bike. On my way back, I rode up to a group of cyclists headed in the same direction as I was. They were friendly and started a conversation at the light we were stopped at. The light changed and the group headed north. Shyly, I began passing them, apologizing as I rode around.
One individual asked with a chuckle, “Why are you apologizing for dropping us?” Clearly, he didn’t expect an answer, but the question still made me think. Why was I apologizing?
Over the next few months I began noticing how frequently I and other female athletes apologized. Apologizing for what, you ask? For being too strong and not strong enough. For being too fast and for not keeping up. For this and that and everything in between.
We were apologizing for taking up space, accomplishing our goals, for having needs, for being athletes. I realized how absurd this was, but the apologies kept slipping out from my lips unconsciously. When a training partner apologized for wanting to run at a slower pace one day, I asked her why she was apologizing. She didn’t answer. I did not expect an answer, but I hope it made her think like it made me think.
Why do we apologize for being who we are? Maybe it’s how we were raised. Maybe it is because we don’t want to upset the status quo or threaten others around us by being too good, or disappoint them by not being good enough. Maybe we want to go unnoticed. Is it a lack of confidence?
Regardless of why we apologize, I know I want us to be brave enough, confident enough and sure enough in ourselves and our abilities that we can stop apologizing for being wholly and authentically us.
5 Things You Should Stop Apologizing For Today
For being new. Be proud you are out trying something you haven’t before.
For being strong. You have worked so hard to be, own your strength.
For being last. We’ve all been there, there’s nothing to be sorry about. Try reframing that instinct to say “sorry I’m slow” to something more positive like “thanks for waiting!”
For being fast. You are a beast, keep pushing.
For having goals. Don’t be sorry for investing in yourself and your future successes.
Go out and live unencumbered by the expectations of society and of others. Be brave enough to be seen. You are amazing and deserve the space you occupy.