A few years ago, I went to dinner with two friends and one started talking about how we need to stop apologizing for times when we a.) didn’t actually do anything wrong or b.) were merely being true to who we are at our core. This conversation happened so long ago, yet it’s vividly stuck with me ever since.
Good, bad, or indifferent, I definitely fall into the first category. I’m always in favor of apologizing when I know I’ve done something wrong, but I’m often the one to make the first move after an argument even when I feel I’m right because few arguments are worth having friends and family pitted against each other. But the second part – not apologizing for being who I am – is something I am acutely aware of and very passionate about. Essentially, I’m not afraid to say no. And you shouldn’t be either.
Let me start by saying there are definitely times to say yes. Going on a fun adventure in a city I’ve never visited? Yes. Signing up for a course that will challenge me personally and professionally? Yes. Skiing down a black diamond that I’ve been eying because I’m fairly certain I’m ready to give it a try but am still completely terrified? Yes. Overcoming fears is fun and very empowering.
Although I say yes all the time, there are many times when I say no (note: I’m not talking about the things on your to-do list that just aren’t enjoyable :) I’ve learned how to tell the difference between something I am afraid to do but know in my heart I should try and those things that I KNOW will make me uncomfortable in the worst way possible. The most important thing is to learn the difference for yourself (your gut reaction is normally the one to trust).
The latter is when I say no and move on from the situation without ever apologizing. I view time, especially free time, as something that is precious. I want to spend it doing as many things that set my heart on fire as possible. If my free time is spent doing something I’m dreading because it makes me want to panic, it’s almost always never worth it. Saying no to something means saying yes to something else.
If you’re worried about disappointing a friend or family member, repeat this to yourself because there is nothing truer: “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” I’ve learned my closest friends and family will almost always understand my decisions. Even if you don’t feel it in the moment, you look like a strong person who knows herself when you stand up for your beliefs. In the end, the most important person to answer to is you. Make sure you’re proud of the answers you give.
Say no, don’t apologize, and be true to who you are. :)
Stay tied to Carly is Inspired…