I have been trying to adjust to the big changes in my life the last couple of weeks and for me, as is for many, change is never easy. I walked away from a company a few weeks ago that I had worked with for seven years. Where I wasn’t happy with my place in life, leaving your comfort zone is difficult. It can mess up your whole routine and even hit you where it hurts the most, your confidence.
Moving on in my career, I am learning, was a better choice than I had expected. Something happened the day I woke up and put on real clothes and walked into a new office. Yes, I wanted to sit on my couch and work in my PJs on the same projects I had been accustomed to for years, but forcing myself into a new world if you will, I felt an uptick in my self-confidence.
There are so many thoughts and ideas and concerns floating around this career change, I started to notice things that aided my confidence and the things that dragged it down. After my first couple weeks of work I saw how my confidence, and maybe even my credibility, dunked a bit every time I said I was sorry.
Sorry when there was no need to be. My compulsive apologizing made me feel nervous about switching jobs even when only moments before I had been feeling great about it. I apologized for not knowing where a conference room was, for opening the wrong folder in the shared drive, or even when I opened a door to exit as someone pushed on it to enter. I realized quickly that I don’t just do this at work. I do this a lot. I apologize when a play goes wrong at volleyball, even though I did my best to save it. I apologize when I’m circling in the arena at the barn and another horse is riding on the rail, even though it is well within my right to use the space.
Apologies are a good way to build relationships and express concern for someone else’s well-being, but they can also undermine my personal and professional demeanor. Continuing to apologize for harmless, low-profile, minor errors actually erodes self-confidence. I am trying to build myself up here, not cringe every time I make an innocent mistake.
I have been tyring to take note and be more mindful of how I dole out apologies. I am trying to save them for when they are most needed to help someone or help me move on to a solution. To do this, I am starting small, because lets be honest, this will be a tough habit to break. From now on, if I bump into someone or step out in front of them, I simply say “exuse me” and move on. This is great advice from a great article I read. If I make this small change I’m hoping to save my “sorrys” for when they are really necessary and maybe I’ll find myself saying it less and less. Then hopfully, I will see my confidence go up and up.