You're working on a project with someone on your job and they make a suggestion which they feel could move things along. You disagree and tell them why in your opinion it's not a good idea.
Now you don't do it in a mean spirited way but out of nowhere the person apologizes for making the suggestion.
And we're not talking about a perfunctory apology. They are genuinely sorry that they said something you disagree with. Maybe they go into their shell and just let you take the lead from now on.
Or maybe that person is you. For far too long you have apologized for who you are. If you're ideas and suggestions meet with disapproval you feel obligated to say you're sorry for having the temerity to speak up.
Apologizing for words and actions that are injurious to another person is the right thing to do but even that has limits. You're riding around with a friend and suddenly your favorite song comes on the radio. Your friend hates this song so out of courtesy you change the station.
Do you apologize? Absolutely not! You understand the song is not to their taste. No problem. But you don't apologize because your tastes and values are different.
The same goes for your suggestion on a work project. They may not like your idea but that doesn't mean you apologize for it. All it means is you are coming at it from another perspective.
Apologizing for who we are is basically saying to people, "Don't hate me." That's bad enough but the message you are sending yourself is even worse. You are saying, "There's something wrong with me just because it's me."
That's the epitome of low self esteem. No matter what happens you are ready to offer yourself up as the scapegoat so you can wallow comfortably in your own self pity.
Start the healing process in your life. First off acknowledge that you do this. The first step to fixing a problem is recognizing the problem.
Secondly stop trashing yourself. You are no better or worse than the next person. We all have flaws and hangups. Pat yourself on the back if you haven't done anything injurious to someone. If you have ask for forgiveness and move on.
Third the past is the past. You can't go back and correct what happened. The past can have a powerful pull on our lives but it doesn't mean you have to shackled to it either. Learn from it and move on.
Fourth keep in mind the you have the key to open the door on a new way of thinking and feeling about yourself. Yes it's right there in your possession. It's up to you to make use of it.
Finally ask yourself this question: What if I stopped apologizing for who I am and began appreciating and loving myself? Chances are you'd find yourself living the life you'd truly like to live.
Being the best you possible. That's nothing to apologize for.