Quick question: Ever felt like you had to apologise for what you want?
Ever felt like your desires just weren't 'cool enough' or were 'too big', or that you should feel 'lucky for what you already have', and it's greedy 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 "young, free and single". Time to have fun, go out, play the field and be grateful for the money and job and holidays I did have, and not ever want more. Right?
EXCEPT - I was bored out of my mind of commuting to my 9-5 and having to dance to my bosses' tune - even when they were nice about it (which some were and some were not).
EXCEPT - I fucking hate clubbing (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' holiday wasn't enough for me, and I felt like a small child having to ask my boss for permission to take time out (even for a doctor's appointment!).
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. 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 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 then I started finding others who felt the same.
Who had done what I wanted to do. People speaking my language. The ones who also 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.
I found my first business coach, who helped me on the path towards setting up my own business, 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, IRL - even on Tinder, I found people who got it, and it felt awesome.
Yep - I 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 matched with? The guys I actually WANTED to meet. The ones who appreciated the honesty. 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 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'm planning to travel, I often work 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 (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, 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.
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.
But I know it's not easy. I was brought up to suck it up and get on with it and feel lucky for what I had; put my head down and feel grateful and never want more.
Well, with love, fuck that shit!
Through a combination of the self-worth exercises, new habits, journaling, motivational exercises, meditation and yoga I now teach, 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.
You don't have to be a bitch about it. In fact, I'm pretty happy and zen, and never far from a tube of bright pink Mac lipstick. But you DO have to decide what you want, and own it.
So if you're sick of apologising - stop. To paraphrase that awesome quotation, sometimes attributed to Oxford scholar Benjamin Jowett: "Never apologise. Never explain".
Because that's where the magic happens.
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 at YourSunshineLife.com 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.