In honor of International Women's Day - here is my encouragement for the day. Stop. Being. Sorry.
We have all read stories about how as women we have a tendency to excessively apologize, and I certainly agree that this is a bad habit that we all need to work to break. But today, my encouragement is to stop being sorry for being you, for having a voice, and for owning your space. Stop allowing someone else's insecurity, ignorance, or limiting mindset from hindering you from bringing your whole self to the table.
In our profession, as Administrative Professionals, this problem is especially profound. There is a stigma related to the administrative function, and we have all seen how fast and furious the world shakes when an EA has the audacity to speak up in a meeting, offer a different perspective, question a concept, or give direction without asking... but that is another post altogether! For today, my point is this... Not only is it okay that you are assertive and have an opinion, but other people are actively looking for the answers and the unique perspective you provide.
There is an excellent quote from Erica Azad on a blog she wrote last year.
You were hired for a reason. You matter. You have important things to say. Don’t minimize your opinions by apologizing for having them. Kick your “sorry reflex” to the curb and own your significance.
The truth is that not everyone will love you for it. Nor will everyone be happy that you decided to share a different perspective boldly and without apology. It is in these moments that you have to be brave and don't let the pressure to conform, to become small, or to stay in the shadows stop you from being your authentic self. As much as I would love to say that women are bound together in unity in this - that is not always the case. Often times, we inflict the very thing we hate on one another. As women, we can to do better. We can celebrate each other. We can encourage each other to speak up. We can empower each other.
Let's practice saying this together.
No, I am not sorry for being assertive.
No, I am not sorry for being direct.
No, I am not sorry for having an opinion.
No, I am not sorry that I don't need to be asked to have a seat at the table.
No, I am not sorry that I will tell you no and not bat an eyelash.
No, I am not sorry that I am not afraid.
No, I am not sorry that I have confidence.
No, I am not sorry.
Celebrate the women in your life today. Take time out of your day to encourage someone else. Reach across the aisle and be brave!