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Stop Apologizing for Pursuing a Successful Life

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Humans have been taught to color between the lines from an early age. Conformity is seen as normal, and making waves, labels someone as high maintenance because they’re not “going with the flow.” As success-minded humans mature, they realize life has so much more to offer than doing what’s expected. We learn that we can’t and shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting more.

As we pursue our major life goals, we learn to dip our toes in the water (so to speak) and stop listening to resistance. Experiencing success helps us become bolder. There comes a moment, however, that we feel the pull to apologize for trying to be different and just doing us. 

Life moves quickly. No one knows when it’s going to end. Apologizing for claiming the life we truly want to live is a limiting belief that must be dealt with to experience true success. Here’s why you should stop apologizing for aggressively pursuing a successful life

Pursuing your goals is your prerogative. 

The idea of the “American Dream” lifestyle is not the same anymore. Wages are lower, and the cost of living is always increasing. The days of going to some job for 30 years and getting a hefty pension are over. Building a business is a decent amount of work. Don’t apologize for wanting more than what’s “normal.” This is your life and you get to determine what the “dream” means for you. It’s your right and responsibility to pursue success and not have to answer for making the best choices for yourself. 

“Make your life a masterpiece. Imagine no limitations on what you can be, have or do.” – Brian Tracy

You understand the value of your health. 

If others make choices about their health, that’s their choice. Don’t apologize for making the best decisions for your health. Your body is a temple, and you get to decide what goes in. If you choose to say NO, don’t feel bad or apologize. Your aggressive path to success means you’ll need to maximize energy. Your health choices give you what you’ll need. Don’t apologize for making whatever decisions that help optimize your health. 

You’ve moved beyond tolerating toxic relationships. 

Whether it’s friendships, family members, or a romantic partner, you understand that toxic relationships can ruin your life and you’re over it. As hard as it is, purging relationships from someone’s life that aren’t aligned is necessary for success. You may be seen as mean or even stuck up, but the path to success requires different thinking and a commitment to healthy mental bandwidth. Don’t apologize for making sure you’re surrounded by the best relationships.

You’re committed to avoiding complacency. 

Too often, we confuse being grateful and being complacent. You can be grateful, yet want greater experiences and goals in your life. Success-minded leaders know that being comfortable is the enemy of growth because it convinces a person to settle. Your commitment to avoiding complacency (at all costs) is one of the reasons why you’ll continue to grow. Don’t apologize for wanting more despite being grateful. 

You stopped looking back, and that’s a good thing. 

If you have left behind old thinking, and/or negative people, don’t apologize. Keep moving forward. The past is meant to be part of your learning journey. It helps you understand what works, and what doesn’t work for you. You don’t have to live there or be in chains to previous decisions. 

“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” – Henry Ford

You’re confident in what you want. 

Often, confidence is confused with arrogance. The truth is that success-minded leaders know what they want, and go after those things. Stop apologizing for your certainty, determination, and persistence in accomplishing major goals. Confidence can be your guide through the times when doubt and fear try to derail you. You know what you want for yourself — own it boldly. 

Apologizing is a natural human emotion that we’ve been conditioned with. We can break free of the feelings associated with being selfish. Remember, there’s a big difference between being selfish and self-centered. 

The path to success will have a different meaning for everyone reading this, but a good universal definition is becoming the best version of yourself in every area of your life. Live life on your terms and spend time doing what’s important to you. Chase an unlimited life and don’t apologize for the decisions that help you create success, fulfillment, and happiness. 

Kara Dennison is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) who spent her career as a Corporate Recruiting Leader, working hand-in-hand with decision-makers to place hundreds of top-talented professionals. She has personally reviewed over 150,000 resumes throughout her career. She's helped hundreds of Directors, VPs, and Executives position themselves as leaders in the marketplace, leading to better job alignment, higher salaries, and increased workplace engagement, and most importantly, more fulfilled lives. Join her at Optimized Career Solutions.

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