There’s a time and place for apologies.This is not one of them.
When I sat down to send my first draft off to the Women Of HR tonight, ADD set in. Yes, it happens. This time I found myself re-reading a few e-mails from earlier in the day and one struck a buried nerve. It was a forwarded message that I should have been able to read, laugh at, shrug off, and actually be proud of due to the little hidden gem in it that whispered, “You did it kiddo.”
Obviously that didn’t happen. So in the spirit of sharing and discussing issues that have impacted our careers, I decided to put the other post aside, speak from the here and now, and draft this one instead.
First off, I am a firm believer in apologies and, equally, forgiveness – especially when timely and genuine. As individuals we learn from our mistakes. Fortunately, more often than not, regrets are forgivable. They may never be forgotten but most issues can be resolved when we work together to make things right again. If there’s no hope in working together, then it’s up to us as individuals to decide when and how we’ll let things go.
Understanding and practicing the art of conflict resolution allows us to move on psychologically. It’s essential to our emotional well-being and something that affects us long-term if not consistently practiced. Without upkeep on our emotional intelligence, we become prone to internalizing issues and allowing their rotted remains to be buried in the psyche only to be triggered and resurface one day. Today was that day for me. After focusing so much of my time and energy paving a whole new path in my life one e-mail, one insignificant e-mail, brought back a slew of unresolved conflict.
You see I’m the type of person that will shoulder the acknowledgement, regret, and responsibility for the errors of those who fail to claim them – all in the name of conflict resolution. Being a peacekeeper is simply part of who I am. Some might label that as being a people pleaser. Either way, in past leadership positions, there were certainly times when I felt that this came with the territory, was my responsibility, and was 100% justifiable. There were also times (here’s the nerve) when I felt forced against my values and down right craven when I knew better.
For all those times, as strange as this is for me, this is the place that I finally speak my peace, forgive, forget, and move on. And there are some things I will never apologize for again.
I Will Never Apologize. . .
For working hard to become a successful businesswoman.
For finding my voice again and using it.
For betting it all on the Pass Line.
I will not apologize for having passion for what I do.
For actually liking what I do.
Or for choosing to do it my way.
I will not apologize for believing I make a difference.
For putting people and family before profits.
For defending my values, sense of self, and self worth.
I will not apologize for learning the hard way.
For trusting people until they give me a reason not to.
Or for choosing to give people a second chance.
I will not apologize for doing what I feel is right.
For showing confidence on days I really have it.
Or to the paranoid who think I’m a threat.
I will not apologize for being anti-social when I’m with my family.
For being social when the time is mine to choose how it’s spent.
Or for taking time to make time.
Finally, I will not apologize for making this first post about me.
Because I know it speaks on behalf of many of you too.
Photo credit Wordboner.com