I’m sorry I didn’t get to the gym when I said I wanted to.
I’m sorry that I didn’t eat the food that I pre-made.
I’m sorry that I went to bed early and hit snooze a few too many times.
I’m sorry I didn’t go faster, lift heavier.
I’m sorry I didn’t try harder.
Stop. Just stop.
Take a breath and tell me, why are you here? Who are you apologizing to? What are you apologizing for?
I’ve said this to a number of clients in the past two years. I’ve also said it to myself a number of times over the years. And there’s a million other people that I follow that I want to say it to as well.
The client – This journey is about is about them.
As a coach, I am a tool – a resource. This journey isn’t about me, I’m just along for the ride.
My journey – Is about me – it’s not about you. It’s not about society – although sometimes it does feel that way.
I want the world for my clients. I want the weight to have come yesterday, I want making healthy choices to be easy today and I don’t want them to have to be concerned about tomorrow’s hurdles.
But – that’s not realistic because the world doesn’t care about your goals and your timeline to accomplish them.
There are a few things I think need to be said.
You can’t make excuses. But you need to look at the context of your behavior.
Did you skip the gym because you were sick? That’s a bit different than not feeling like it. But, if you’re not feeling like it – what else is going on? Did you have a hard day at work? Are you nervous about an exam you’re studying for?
Yes, the work needs to be put in – no one can do it for you. But you need to evaluate your effort realistically.
So, you skipped the gym, what else did you focus on?
I spoke with a group coaching client this week and she’s lost a pound. She goes on to tell me that she hasn’t really been getting to the gym, but her meal choices are great and so is hydration, but she’s feeling guilty because she believes that she should be losing more weight and working out more. There’s also the fear of regaining what she had lost previously.
For context – she just took a licensing exam for a health profession. She just started a brand-new job in that field. Her schedule is all over the place – up at 3ish am for work, has a 45-minute commute and then works a 12-hour shift. When she sent her measurement and weight update she was on her period, so it’s also possible that her weight is a bit lower than just a pound loss. She also has two teenage-ish children, so there’s the stress of being a parent.
So, what else did you focus on?
She made good food choices. She didn’t track every single thing, but she made good choices and emotionally felt confident about them. She’s been drinking water to stay hydrated and she’s working on getting enough sleep since her work schedule is untraditional. She gets almost 10,000 steps a day and works on her feet – so she’s getting in a good amount of movement to increase her NEAT. We’ve been working on changing her negative self-speak and managing her stress levels so that she feels capable of staying on track. She’s getting to the gym when she can and pushing herself when she gets there.
Your hustle needs to be flexible because life will not bend for you, but what happens when you’ve done your part and other variables don’t fall in line?
She’s doing everything she can in this moment, which isn’t a perfect issue-free bubble. She’s still seeing progress, just a bit slower.
We talked about everything positive that she is doing, and we talked about where her fear is coming from. She can’t control her work schedule or how long it’s taking for her body to adjust to the routine, but she can control her food choices, when she goes to sleep, her coping mechanisms when she does get stressed out, her goals and her timeline.
Her homework this weekend is to redefine success and failure because it’s clear that previous definitions and beliefs surrounding those words are getting in the way of her feeling her progress. We’re also talking about adjusting her short-term physical health goals as she focuses on work a bit more. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, but one may be more of a priority than the other.
I’ve seen a few posts online recently of other people apologizing to others for essentially being human. They’re apologizing for what they deem to be failure and in some cases things out of their control.
I know you want greatness for yourself, I know you want it for those leading you, and you want to be a role model. However, apologizing just reinforces that there’s good and bad behavior, and emphasizes that your best isn’t good enough. It’s not about did you give it your best shot – it’s did you give it your best shot in the moment with those conditions?
So, what are you apologizing for? Who are you apologizing to?
I’m done apologizing.