January 20, 2016
We’ve all made decisions about which we feel the need to explain or apologize. It can be a simple decision that doesn’t even impact others, like not coloring your hair as you become grey. It can be more significant, like leaving the workforce to raise your children or, like going back to work right after having a baby. Perhaps you were chastised, as a child, for being a dreamer or more recently, by a partner, for being too frugal.
As we struggle into adulthood, we might have come to accept or believe these critiques. Maybe you’ve even tried to change yourself. But there comes a time – a certain age, experience or level of maturity – when we accept that it’s who we are. It’s not a fault – It works for us! You might even embrace it! Bravo!
Enter that one family member or friend who has a way of making you feel inadequate. You find yourself explaining or defending your decision. You might feel uncertain about yourself or even foolish. Afterward, you resent being put on the spot and angry with yourself, as you replay the scenario with various ways you could have – should have – responded.
Sound familiar? Now, what would happen if you stopped feeling ashamed? First, we have to own our decisions. Give yourself a pat on the back for it, even if it wasn’t popular. Regain your confidence and vow not to allow anyone to have that power over you again.
Next – Give yourself permission to stop making excuses. Stop apologizing! Be who you are and how you are – create your own destiny. And if that certain jealous friend or meddling mother-in-law doesn’t like it or understand it? That’s just too bad.
Me? I have a very good life. Most of my friends and family are happy about that. But, on occasion, I hear comments about how lucky I am or maybe credit for my circumstances might be given to having worked for the state, blah blah blah. I do not apologize, defend or explain. I can acknowledge that I am, indeed, blessed. But make no mistake: I am where I am today because of decisions I made, plans that I executed and a vision that I had. Like you, there were plenty of sacrifices made along the way (that people who criticize usually forget to mention). And there are drawbacks, too. I happily own them, as well. Being the queen of your own life requires taking responsibility for the good and the not so good. Some might call it brazen. I call it determined. And it’s well worth it.