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Apologizing for What? How to Approach Life With Confidence

Approach life with confidence, not apologetically! You have something beautiful, unique, and wonderful to offer others (even if it is still a work in progress).

Why do we pre-apologize before presenting our work and efforts to others?

“Doomsday speeches,” as I affectionately call them, often find themselves as preambles to my students’ lesson performances.

When I ask a student to play their assignment or repertoire for me, some students tell me about how little practice time they had, what’s still challenging about the piece of music, or how they anticipate failure before they even begin to play.

Interestingly, the students who share these ideas with me usually perform well beyond their perception of their abilities. I find it curious, why do so many of us have this need to downplay our abilities, think so small, and criticize ourselves so harshly?

Why Are We Apologizing?

I have a few guesses, as I also have found myself interacting with others the same way. Once, I thankfully had a boss point this behavior out to me. She said, “Catherine, I love hearing your ideas but when you preface them with self-doubt, I begin to question your ideas as well. You have great ideas! Please share them with confidence.”

Woman with short brown hair and white and black striped shirt sitting at the piano looking a little insecure

Her comment gave me pause. She was correct. I was backpedaling from sharing my ideas out of a desire to protect myself. For if I acknowledged myself that the idea wasn’t good, or that my performance was subpar, then maybe it wouldn’t hurt as much when an outside observer saw and commented on those same deficiencies.

The problem with this is by doing so, I prevent myself, and possibly others, from seeing the brilliance, creativity, or quality of my work, when I shine a flashlight on the negatives I perceive.

Approach Life With Confidence

Today, I declare no more doomsday speeches. No more shrinking back from being our most confident selves. No more hiding in the shadows with fear of being accepted or judged as “less than.”

We already are enough, more than enough, even if some of our ideas are a miss or we need a few corrections here or there.

Inner confidence impacts the way we interact with others and with the activities of our day. Music lessons, or receiving any form of instruction, can highlight our insecurities in a positive way and help us embrace the strength and courage that lies within to try new things and embrace the journey.

Now I tell my students, “No doomsday speeches! I want to hear about the successes you are finding in your playing this week!”

I want to foster in my students a positive self-narrative. There will always be areas of needed improvement. But will we have the inner confidence to find those breakthrough moments if we constantly doubt ourselves? I think not.

I encourage you, set aside the self-doubt. Set aside the negative preambles before offering your work to others. Show up with confidence in the world, knowing you have something beautiful, unique and wonderful to offer others (even if it is still a work in progress).


Food For Thought

When presenting your work or efforts to others, what is one way you can positively frame your presentation so that others see your confidence instead of your insecurities?

Envision what it would feel like to share your work with joy and pride, even if your offerings are still a work in progress.

What if we accepted ourselves where we are today, separated our worth from our performance, and found as much joy in our missteps as in our successes? Doing so might eliminate the need for those doomsday speeches!

Try it out! The next time you vulnerably share your efforts with others, whether it is cooking in the kitchen, presenting an idea at work, sharing personal writings, or performing a piece of music, do so with joy and confidence without any apologies.


If you want to learn how to approach life with confidence through the vulnerable and rewarding act of learning how to play the piano, I would be honored to serve as your guide in the process.

I delight in bringing the joy of music into hearts and homes through personalized remote piano lessons that will leave you feeling confident and accomplished.

The process is simple:

1. Schedule a call to talk about your goals.

2. Select a lesson time.

3. Take your first lesson!


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