November 13

“Don’t apologize for your existence.”

This is a phrase I coined to help people on my team stop apologizing for sharing a bold point of view. I noticed that a lot of creative pros – myself included – have str uggled with “sorry under my breath” syndrome, or the need to apologize any time they express an opinion. I think it connects to the deep insecurity that many creatives feel about whether their work is truly good, and the subsequent fear that they will never measure up to expectations. So, “sorry” becomes shorthand for “I really shouldn’t be speaking right now.”

But… you should.

We need a diverse set of perspectives in order to get to the right idea. We need one another in order to see things clearly. We need our peers to be willing to say what they see. And, they need you to do the same.

Apologies are for when you’ve genuinely wronged someone. And when you do, please apologize loudly. But, don’t follow the compulsion to apologize for sharing your perspective. It’s part of your job as a pro to do so, and apologizing for it means that you are devaluing yourself, the person listening to you, the person who hired you, and the very space that you’re occupying.

Don’t apologize for your existence.

Question: Are you overly apologetic in certain situations? Why do you think that’s the case?

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