A journey into being more authentic with less guilt

7 Aug

Two habits I have in conversation that I’d like to break.

1. Saying “I’m sorry”

2. Saying “I guess”

I noticed that I say these words when I started really listening to how I speak. Have you ever done that? Have you ever listened to yourself? Really listened to yourself speak? You’d be surprised at what you might hear. You might hear certain words that appear frequently. You might also hear phrases that you don’t really want to say. You can learn a lot about yourself if you just listen.

For me the above two phrases really don’t serve me — in fact they usually get me in trouble or make me feel bad later. When I say these things I’m not saying what I really feel in my heart. It’s me not being authentic. It’s me attempting to soften the blow of something, me showing guilt, or even me trying to appear nicer. It’s not me expressing my real needs or wants. It’s not me being as honest as I could be and should be. It’s not me being authentic and taking ownership of myself and my feelings. It’s not being confident in myself. It’s showing weakness. However, I found that being too honest doesn’t always work either. Sigh…

Don’t be sorry

When you say “I’m sorry” you are admitting fault, even when it might not be your fault. You are trying to make good — trying to smooth things over. You might feel bad about something and this is what comes out before you even know what else to say. Perhaps instead of saying “sorry” we should pause and think about the situation. What is it our heart really wants to say? Perhaps it’s something like “I didn’t mean to run into you.” or “Thank you for allowing me to be late and not being mad.” or “I really screwed that up, didn’t I.” You can own it and be more authentic by not just jumping to saying “I’m sorry”. Ponder deeply about what you are apologizing for. You’re probably just saying sorry out of reflex and not because it’s what you truly feel.

Saying “I guess” is another extremely bad habit that I picked up to soften my honesty. However, I’ve learned that it can make me appear unsure of myself or the other person. It can make me appear passive. It isn’t an authentic phrase and should be deleted from my vocabulary and maybe yours too. Stop second guessing yourself and your heart. Be more authentic and say what you really mean. You don’t need to be mean, just don’t “guess” or tiptoe.

What to do?

Listen to yourself in your conversations and in your messages to others. If you hear these phrases coming across your tongue, stop and think. Is that really what you intend to say? Are you being authentic? Are you trying to get around saying something that might make someone else feel uncomfortable? Are you trying to be “nice” because there are way better ways of saying that than “I guess”.  Are you trying to be perfect? If these things aren’t what you want to say and if they aren’t the truth, stop tiptoeing and be honest. Take imperfect action. If it isn’t a hell yes or a hell no, you need to rephrase what you are saying.

I hope my authenticity here helps you be more authentic. Because really, the best you is the authentic you! Own it! Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. Corny, I know, but it’s true! If you aren’t being you, who are you?

Stop trying to please others and feeling guilty. Be comfortable with you you are and what you want. I know this is harder for women, but do it! You’ll feel better about yourself than giving up who you really are.

You don’t have to say the right thing, just say the TRUE thing- KC Baker

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