Quick question: Ever felt like you had to apologise for what you want?
Ever felt like your desires just weren’t ‘cool enough’ or ‘big enough’ (or ‘too big’), or that you should feel ‘lucky for what you already have’, and it’s greedy or not OK or selfish or ridiculous to want more?
I remember a few years ago, in my early 20s, when I felt like I had to constantly apologise for everything I wanted.
A different job. A long-term, stable relationship. More time chilling at home when I wanted. A yoga and meditation practice. More long-term travel. My own business. More money.
I felt like I shouldn’t want these things. I should be grateful for the awesome-on-paper job I had, right? I was a restaurants journalist in London – I mean, fuck, dream job right…?!
I was “young, free and single”. Time to have fun, going out all the time and playing the field, not meditating and doing yoga at home alone, right?
Being grateful for the money and job and holidays I did have, and not ever wanting more.
EXCEPT – I was bored out of my mind of commuting to my 9-5 and sitting in an office and having to dance to my bosses’ tune – even when they were nice about it (which some of them were and some of them were not).
EXCEPT – I fucking hate clubbing and the false conversation you get when everyone is pissed out of their minds (I love cocktail bars and deep chats, not sticky floors and Jagerbombs).
EXCEPT – I really WAS into yoga and meditation and Buddhism and motivational speakers and inspirational quotes, and I was tired of pretending not to be.
EXCEPT – 25 days’ leave wasn’t enough for me, and I felt totally trapped and like a small child having to ask my boss for permission to take time out (or even go for a doctor’s appointment when I needed it!).
EXCEPT – I hate going ‘out’ drinking for the sake of it and would much rather go home and watch a brilliant documentary or read my favourite magazine than sit in a pub all evening (even if people call me anti-social).
EXCEPT – I really wanted a lovely long-term boyfriend and stable relationship, and hated one-night-stands and endless “fun” dates (even if that made me “uncool AF”).
Back then, I felt like I had to constantly apologise for everything I wanted. LIke I wasn’t good enough and my desires weren’t “right”. It felt like a cage I somehow voluntarily put myself into.
And it made me miserable as fuck. Know the feeling?
But you know when shit ACTUALLY started happening for me?
When I decided enough was enough. When I decided that not only did I want all those things, but I was going to STOP APOLOGISING FOR IT.
That I was going to truly admit to wanting those things, and OWN them. Say them out loud. Write them down. Tell people.
And you know what? When I started doing that, things started happening for me. I started finding more people who felt the same way.
I found people who agreed with me, and who had done what I wanted to do, without the drama. I found people speaking my language. The ones who hated the commute and the promotion bullshit and the office politics and the 25 days’ leave and the drinking in clubs and all the rest of it.
The ones who loved what I loved, and who made me feel exactly like me.
I found my first business coach, who helped me on the path to leaving my full-time job, and who finally gave me PERMISSION to say, “You know what, yes, this job is great on paper, but I want MORE, and I want it differently, and I don’t give a fuck who knows it”.
Everywhere – online, in real life – even on Tinder, I found people who got it, and felt awesome about it.
Yep – I unapologetically wrote on my Tinder profile “I am not looking for a bit of fun, even if you’re really hot, so don’t bother messaging me if that’s what you’re after”.
And yes – I got fewer messages, but the guys I DID get messages and matches from? The guys I actually WANTED to meet. The ones who appreciated my honesty and UNAPOLOGETIC attitude. The ones who felt the same way.
Just four dates later, I had found my now-long-term, awesome, sexy, stable boyfriend, and after that, I found the courage to change jobs and quit my 9-5, and start my own business, despite opposition and a million reasons not to.
I now say no to evenings out I don’t want to go on, I talk about travelling and not commuting and working in bed, and I have absolutely zero guilt.
And NOPE, I’m not saying that my boyfriend or my business solved all my problems. I would never say that a guy or a new job will solve all your problems (the opposite in fact, lololololol).
But I WILL ALWAYS say that once you decide, unapologetically, what you want, and you stand up and say it, or write it down, or slowly start aligning your life so that you start to GET IT, magic happens.
For some people, this shit is obvious. But for me, and so many women out there, it’s not. It’s SO not, that we live our lives in total misery for years – sometimes DECADES – before we discover it.
So now, because I know how shit it can feel, I help other women to do what I did. FAST. Find that voice inside them that says ENOUGH. Find that passion inside them to unapologetically own who they are, and what they want.
Even if it’s not cool – such as finding a partner instead of playing the field or pretending to love being independent and single.
Even if it’s “too much” – such as finding the confidence to invest in a coach like me, instead of apologising for what they want or pretending they’re fine as they are.
As the kick-ass motivational speaker Mel Robbins says, “STOP SAYING YOU’RE FINE.” You want more? Then you’re not fine. And that’s OK.
Because from that place of NOT FINE-NESS? You will find the awesome strength to grow.
For me, arriving that this place of confidence and unapologetic-ness was not easy. I wasn’t brought up to encourage this behaviour in myself. I was taught to suck it up and get on with it and feel lucky for what I had. I was taught to put my head down and carry on and feel grateful and learn and take baby steps and never want more.
Well, with love, fuck that shit!
Through a combination of self-worth exercises, new habits, journaling, motivational exercises, meditation and yoga, and a whole load of awesome encouragement from people who UNDERSTOOD, I found the confidence within myself to own what I wanted, and – through working with coaches who SAW ME for who I really was – actually take the steps to do those things.
And you know what? I’m still going, and now I help other women do the same.
You don’t have to be a bitch about it. But you DO have to decide what you want, and own it.
So if you’re sick of apologising – stop.
To paraphrase that awesome quote: “Never apologise. Never explain”. That’s where the magic happens.
So much love,
Tired of apologising for what you want, and ready to get the life and love you truly want and deserve?
Hannah Jane Thompson is a certified love and self-worth coach who – through yoga, meditation, and a huge dose of self-worth – helps Millennial women to ‘unf*ck their love lives’, and get the awesome life and love they want and deserve.