When you’re at a restaurant and ask the waiter for more water, “Sorry, can I have some more please?” Or you lean in at the Starbucks condiment counter grabbing a packet of sugar, “So sorry, just want to grab this!” Or passing someone on the street and you accidentally bump them, “So sorry!”
We excuse ourselves for simply being.
We apologize for our existence.
We feel badly for asking for that which we deserve.
Stop apologizing when you go into an audition and you make a “mistake.” Stop saying sorry for showing up and doing your best and then apologizing when your best doesn’t seem to measure up with the idea you have of that in your mind. Stop excusing yourself for kicking ass (!) but then feeling it was “incorrect” or “not what they wanted” or “too much” or you feel shame for simply being vulnerable.
The hilarious comedienne Amy Schumer has a sketch (watch here) on her show that demonstrates the cultural tendency for women (especially) to excuse themselves and apologize for their brilliance, intelligence and power. It speaks to our conditioned “politeness” and tendency to shrink ourselves when other people feel uncomfortable in the presence of our greatness. (And even though women may do it more often than men, guys do it as well, in more subtle, self-effacing ways.)
Listen. If you step on someone’s foot, say you’re sorry. If you hurt someone and need to apologize do so.
What we’re discussing here is how we use the word “sorry” as an implicit statement to the universe that diminishes our power. It cancels out our presence and suggests that there is a mistake in you simply being here.
You are not a mistake.
Watch how often you do this in life. Start using the words, “Pardon me,” or “Excuse me,” instead of sorry.
You have nothing to be sorry about. For being human. For being you. For being powerful and funny and weird. For allowing yourself to be vulnerable. For sharing yourself in a way that might make other people feel uncomfortable. That’s their problem. It’s not yours. And certainly something you shouldn’t ever feel sorry for.