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Confessions of a former people pleaser: The chronic apologizer


“What are you apologizing for?!”

One day my daughter apologized to me for me not feeling well. “I’m sorry that you aren’t feeling good, Mommy.” That simple sentence stopped my brain and something clicked inside of me. Next thing I know, I’m blurting out some much-needed advice for myself, directed at my daughter. (More common than you’d think)

At that moment, I explained to my daughter, who was about seven at the time, that apologies are for taking responsibility, and empathy is for expressing compassion. As I said that, I realized how much I had been taking responsibility for others in my life and subtly blaming myself for their inconveniences. As a (former) people pleaser, I realized that I was doing this to avoid upsetting others and make them feel better while avoiding conflict. That’s only a half-truth though.

Confessions of a former people pleaser: The chronic apologizer

At some point, everything came full circle and I found the next level under that.

At that time of my life, I struggled a lot with feeling worthy and deserving. Watching people who put in much less effort get praised, recognized, promoted, and awarded killed me. The thought that circled in my head constantly was “Why am I never enough?”

It wasn’t just in my professional life, it was in my romantic relationships too. It was a constant struggle. Somehow, it was always my fault. Ironically, I was given a plaque as a going away gift from my unit in Hawaii that had a quote on it that I allegedly always said. “Last to know, first to be blamed.” I don’t remember ever saying that, but maybe it was a sign from the universe answering my repeating question of “Why am I not enough?”

Looking back, I can see so many places where I was constantly apologizing and taking on blame for things that had nothing to do with me. Like somehow, the more blame I took on, the more deserving I would be? I was constantly trying to prove myself as worthy, deserving, and valuable.

Plot twist.

It wasn’t the others that I was trying to prove it to. It was myself.

By being empowered, I was self-contained. I was dictating my value and worth and upholding my boundaries. I would have told you back then that I was strong and confident, but I think that was just a mask I wore, it wasn’t fully a part of who I am.

If you are reading this, then perhaps it’s your sign to stop proving your worth to others and start giving it to yourself- and it starts by no longer taking responsibility for what isn’t yours to take on.

If you’re ready to stop apologizing for things that aren’t your fault, gain confidence, and finally start giving yourself the credit you deserve, I invite you to reach out and ask about my Karmic Coaching Program and how it can help you.

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