‘Sorry.’ ‘I’m sorry.’ ‘Oh, I’m sorry!’. How often have you heard someone say this to you? Or more importantly how often do you hear yourself say ‘sorry’?

Why do we say sorry all the time?

I can’t even remember when I frequently started to say I’m sorry. And furthermore, I couldn’t even remember why. Was it because I didn’t feel confident in who I am and all that I do? Did I feel less than? Was I so inconsequential that I felt the need to put myself down all the time?

Do you relate this? Yes? Why do so many of us feel this deep-seated need to over-apologise on a regular basis? A friend and I used to this game we played. Each time one of us said sorry we would put $1 into a jar. When there was enough we would take the other out for lunch! A fun solution that worked. Now we go out for lunch because we can!

What to do to change this habit

Here are various ways to stop yourself. Before you start, take the time to notice how often you say sorry. When. And why. It’ll take time to change this habit. And you need to start somewhere.

When I started using these techniques and included them in my daily practice of meditating, writing and tapping the change was dramatic. This really helped me shift my thinking and above all my sense of self. Liberating.

  1. Embrace silence – so many of us can’t handle those silent moments. We feel uncomfortable, self-conscious and awkward. So to fill the space we say ‘sorry’. Go figure!
  2. Ask yourself what have you done wrong – some of us are so programmed to think we are to blame. That we have done something wrong. We feel guilt and then the need to apologise. I cringe now when I look at back at how often I would capitulate and say sorry. Why of why? Because I never felt enough and needed constant reassurance.
  3. Stop saying sorry for bothering people – what is with this? Is their time more important than yours? Is their opinion more valuable? Do you mind being ‘bothered’ when someone comes up to you? It’s about setting boundaries and being clear. If they are busy, they will let you know and that is no reflection on you.
  4. Do you say sorry to avoid conflict – most of us don’t like conflict. We avoid it at all costs. So when you say ‘I’m sorry, I don’t agree with you’, in fact, you are diffusing your power. Instead look at other ways to approach the conflict. Such as ‘Let’s take a look at it from another perspective’.
  5. Say thank you. Take the time to find a way to say thank you, instead of sorry. This helps take your power back.

Ideas on how to say thank you instead of sorry

  • Sorry I’m late with Thank you for waiting
  • Sorry I’m sounding confused with Thank you for understanding
  • Sorry I’m being a burden with Thank you for spending time with me
  • Sorry I’m rambling with Thank you for listening
  • Sorry for taking up your space with Thank you for understanding
  • Sorry I’ve been needing so much help with Thank you for being there for me
  • Sorry to ask you again with Thank you for helping me again
  • Sorry for being so emotional with Thank you for simply being there
  • Sorry I hurt you with Thank you for being honest with me and pointing that out to me

Remember each time you say sorry you are diminishing yourself! It’s time to stop.

You are important. What you say is of importance.

If you would love some support to see what is holding you back from being able to say thank you instead of sorry, make a time here for a 60-minute session so we can start digging deep.

Love this post? Or know someone who needs to read this? Please share away! Comments are welcome. 

meet chantal

Chantal Vanderhaeghen is an intuitive guide, small business owner, creator of an international skincare brand, passionate philanthropist and meditation, reiki, tapping and mindfulness teacher. She works with women ready to make changes, shatters perceptions of beauty and perfection, and inspires people ready to become mindful entrepreneurs. She lives with her talented man in the Perth Hills and can be found online at www.unfoldyoufreedom.com.au

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