So many clients will apologize to me for eating bad food, drinking alcohol, skipping a workout or not pushing themselves during their sessions with me. They will say, “I am sorry Lisa but I …. ate all the cake, drink a whole bottle of wine, didn’t workout, can’t do 20 pushups.” They will apologize to me but they aren’t doing anything to me. They are doing it all to themselves. I will ask them, “Why are you sorry?”
A lot of times they feel they are disappointing me. They are letting me down. They aren’t listening to my suggestions. Ultimately they are sabotaging their own goals. So maybe they should be apologizing to themselves.
I have a three step rule about apologizing.
1) Say, “I am sorry for _______”. It is important you know and can admit what you did created hurt, whether it was intentionally or purposely.
2) Ask, “What can I do to make it up to you?” You should be given the chance to make right of the wrong you did. This part requires forgiveness.
3) Make suggestions as to what you can do to not let it happen again. Sorry loses its value if you keep doing things that hurt over and over. You must make a conscience effort to stop hurting.
I have found that saying, “I am sorry” isn’t enough for most people. It is a quick apologetic bandaid that excuses them from behavior that is not acceptable. Saying “Sorry” is the easy part. It is like saying, “I am getting healthy.” The hard part is putting actions to your words. It’s making your statement mean something to yourself and to others. Stand by your words.
Why are you sorry?