An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis
Stay Authentic. I wish someone had told me that I could trust myself to make decisions about my life. I came from an upbringing that was surrounded with fear and limiting beliefs. I was taught to always take the straight and narrow at all costs even if that didn’t feel right to me or caused a lot of pain. But what I have learned, is that when you follow your own path, you are sometimes your only guide. You have to shine your own light because how can you expect people who’ve never been where you are going, to lead or guide you. But by staying authentic, you will always be following the right path.
As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Bethany Nicole.
Bethany is an LA based author, freelance writer and relationship expert. Her breakout book, Apologies I Never Got, is all about dating and relationship horror stories, phrased as apologies you never got, from the people who never gave them to you. To see more of her work, or book a session, please visit her website www.bethanynicole.com
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you please tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I really feel like this career path chose me, as opposed to the other way around. I have always heard to just follow what lights you up and let the rest fall into place. Well, writing lights me up. Relationships light me up. And self-work and discovery lights me up.
When the concept of Apologies I Never Got, really hit home for me, I realized it was a concept that could change the world. Our relationships determine how we show up. Whether it is our relationship with ourselves, our parents, friends, family, romantic partners, etc. It all plays a part in how we function individually and how we can contribute to society. I believe that is part of why our culture is in so much chaos right now, we have no idea how to relate to others on deeper levels, let alone how to relate to ourselves.
Can you please share with us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Well, I will keep it light. I get asked quite often what my favorite “apology I never got” story is. (Some of them are mine, some belong to friends, family, coworkers, and some of them are submitted) One of my personal favorites so far, happened to a friend of mine, right here in LA. She went on a first date with a guy, they met at a restaurant for dinner. The restaurant had front facing floor to ceiling windows(this becomes important later.) She saw the guy pull up in an Uber. The two met and began engaging in fairly normal first date conversation. After a few minutes the guy excused himself, saying he had to use the restroom. At which point she saw him through the front windows hop onto a bike that she knew was not his, and pedal away as fast as he could. The guy snuck out the back exit, stole a bike that wasn’t his and left her there at the restaurant.
Pretty hilarious if you ask me.
Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?
Well, it took me a while to get there, but “Regrets Are A Waste of Time.”
We all do the best we can in given situations, even when that “best” doesn’t look very good. But when we learn better, we can do better. If we never learn better, or refuse to learn better, we probably won’t see a lot of changes in our lives.
That allows me space to be able to work towards forgiveness of others. They were doing the best they could at that time. If I don’t see any growth, acknowledgement or change on their part, I recognize their behavior is likely to continue as is and I can try to exit the friendship, relationship or situation with compassion and (hopefully) some grace.
That concept also allows me to give myself grace for past errors, especially because I always like to analyze what happened so I can try to do better moving forward. I trust myself now to course correct my own actions and to learn from my own mistakes. So why beat myself up over them? Time to move on and enjoy the moment.
Ok thank you for that. Let’s now move to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?
The concept is based off of my book, Apologies I Never Got. The idea is that we don’t need an apology, to be able to move on with our lives and our healing. Healing is ultimately our responsibility and while that initially is a hard pill to swallow, it is actually quite freeing. That means we aren’t stuck waiting for someone to acknowledge the pain they caused, or even apologize for it. Because the truth is, we rarely get the apologies we deserve, and we have to learn to accept that. And it’s ok because we don’t really need them. We have a choice. We can sit around waiting for an apology that may never come, and let it hold us back for the rest of our lives, walking around inflicting our wounds on ourselves and others…or… We can get to work on healing ourselves. We can realize that we are free to move on with our own lives, no lame apology from an even lamer person, necessary.
How do you think this will change the world?
I have seen in both my personal and professional life, how people allow their past, to directly affect their future. They feel that their trauma or past gives them a free pass at messing up their lives and the lives of those around them. But it doesn’t. Because where would it end? Who would get to say that this person’s trauma was worse than that person’s, therefore they get to go around destroying other people and acting terribly? Obviously, that’s not realistic. There is no free pass. There is no one thing (or many things) that allow people to hurt others. And ultimately it just hurts themselves. Whoever or whatever hurt them in their past, has taken enough. They don’t get to have their future too. And ultimately that’s all that happens when we don’t let go, we live out our pain and trauma over and over.
To give you an example from my life, my anger and resentment at how my father treated me and the life he is currently choosing to live, did absolutely nothing to him. But it nearly destroyed me. And that’s a lot of people’s stories. That’s why, we have to learn to let it all go. Not because that person deserves our forgiveness, but because we deserve to have a good life.
Yes. I think people need to be sincere in their approach. It can’t just be a band aid of “ok I forgive them.” Forgiveness is a process; it can take years. It is a daily practice and some days it is far easier than others. It is important to be consistent and sincere in your intention, or else the anger and resentment will remain and fester. It is not about shoving down emotion, it is about working through it and coming out the other side.
I also want to remind people that you can forgive someone or let something go, without involving yourself back in that person’s life. In the example I gave above between my father and me, I work towards forgiveness of him daily, but I never interact with him. His choices are not safe for me. So, I have to distance myself.
There are lots of ex romantic partners I have had to forgive too, but that does not mean I call them up and let them know I forgive them, or that I get back with them. You can absolutely emotionally and energetically forgive someone, without having any interaction with them. And if they have truly damaged you, then sometimes that is what is best.
Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?
I just had finally had enough. My life was falling apart. I hated my job, I struggled in romantic relationships, I had no family to speak of, I was pushing all my friends away. And I was tired of holding grudges and letting the incidents of the past, shape the actions of my future. I was tired of watching mine and other’s life fall apart over and over simply because I couldn’t let go of the pain of the past. And I got tired of waiting for apologies from people over things that they would never apologize for. I finally realized that I never needed those apologies to begin with, and it was one of the most freeing moments of my life.
What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?
For people to believe in its power and be open to its healing. It is such a simple concept but so incredibly life changing if you fully embrace it.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Stay Authentic- I wish someone had told me that I could trust myself to make decisions about my life. I came from an upbringing that was surrounded with fear and limiting beliefs. I was taught to always take the straight and narrow at all costs even if that didn’t feel right to me or caused a lot of pain. But what I have learned, is that when you follow your own path, you are sometimes your only guide. You have to shine your own light because how can you expect people who’ve never been where you are going, to lead or guide you. But by staying authentic, you will always be following the right path.
- Regrets Are A Waste Of Time- As I mentioned before, there is no changing the past. I spent a lot of time regretting one very extreme and intense romantic relationship I had for example. He was abusive in all the ways a person can be emotionally, financially, energetically and even physically at one point. As a now relationship expert I felt an immense amount of shame around that relationship. I felt like I couldn’t move forward with my life or career because of that experience. I felt like people would think I wasn’t qualified because of my past mistakes. But I finally realized, I am who I am because of it. I am an experienced and highly compassionate expert for that exact reason, I’ve been there. And I learned how to navigate myself out of that danger zone. But the regret over that experience, crippled me in the future. And ultimately that is ALL regrets do. Hold us back.
- Your Path Has Value, Even If No One Else Values It.
Obviously not everyone valued or even understood my path. Every step of my life from my various moves, to quitting my stable 9–5 job to pursue my passion in writing, has been critiqued, condemned and questioned. “Why can’t you do what everyone else does?” “Why can’t you do things the normal way?” “Why don’t you just stay in your hometown and be a dental hygienist.” (That is the height of accomplishment where I am from… to this day people still tell me I should stop writing and do that, so bizarre.) But that is how limited a lot of the people where I grew up are. They are not expanded enough to recognize or even value any different type of life. So it is important to value you your own life and path. Because some people are just never going to get it. No matter what your level of success, they will just not get it. So, you have to define your own success and be happy with your own achievements. Your life is valuable, your path is valuable, even if no one else gets it.
4. You Will Probably Never Get That Apology…Just Let it Go.
You know that apology you’ve been wanting on? That one that has been holding you back from living the life you truly deserve. The one that has taken up all your thoughts, time and relationships for years? Yeah, you know the one. I’ve got news for you…it’s never coming. And you know what…that is ok. Actually, more than ok. Because you don’t need it. I shared with you how I let those unsaid apologies run my life for many years. Don’t let the same thing happen to you. Learn to let it go and learn to accept you deserve a good life, no matter what has happened in the past.
5. You Teach People How to Treat You.
Obviously, everything that happens to us, cannot be prevented. But some things can. For years I walked around wondering why I was treated badly. Until I realized the person who was treating me the worst, was myself. The way I talked to myself, the way I let other people walk all over me, the way I ultimately ignored my own thoughts and feelings and shoved down my opinions, always deferring to others. And guess what… people followed suit. People treated me the way I treated myself and the way I allowed them to treat me. Once I stopped allowing that, things got better. And while boundaries are still a work in progress (they are for everyone pretty much) I am happy to report I have come a long way with them.
Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?
Honestly just stay aligned and stay authentic. If a situation, opportunity, job, person etc. doesn’t feel right to you, trust that. If it feels off or even just feels like it’s not meant for you, that’s ok. You don’t’ have to take everything that comes along. You can say no, you can choose yourself over someone else, and you can choose to stay true to your path, over the observations or expectations of other people.
Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I would say, let’s get this book and this concept out on the market. We are standing on the brink of a new dawn of not only on dating and relationships, but how we interact with each other. Our perceptions are shifting, and in the darkness, we are walking through, I want this book to the be the light. The market is primed for a guide on how to dig deeper in our relationships both with ourselves and with others. This book does that. It offers more than just concepts; it offers step by step guides and practical ways to implement these practices in our daily lives. Let’s not let anyone walk around with the burden of resentments and unsaid apologies any longer. It’s time to put those down and move into the future of relationships.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
Apologies I Never Got: Bethany Nicole’s Big Idea That Might Change The World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.