Why Do You Feel Guilty?
Do you feel guilty? Let’s talk about it. It’s not a great feeling, is it? By definition, guilt is telling you that you deserve to be blamed for something. Having said that, sometimes it can be a good check mechanism simply because it is a state of mind that we prefer to avoid. So the benefit might be that it moves us to action and gets us to do “the right thing”. Think back to your school or student days when you didn’t do your homework and lied about why. The guilt you felt probably prompted you to hand in your homework the next day and to keep doing it going forward. Not a bad thing for your academic career!
But often guilt can be a bad thing – something that holds us back from achieving the things we want out of life. We feel guilty about spending time and money on setting up or growing a side business. We take away precious time from our loved ones to attend a live event. We don’t get to tuck the kids in at night because we’re doing another course. It’s easy to fall into the guilt trap even when we know what we’re doing is important and worthwhile.
And there is so much guilt around food and eating when we choose the “wrong” things! That kind of behaviour leads to shame which is never a feeling that helps anybody.
In short, like so many other things in life, guilt can be a positive thing, something that motivates you and gets you to work towards your goals and things you want to get done, or it can be the thing that’s holding you back. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your feelings of guilt and ask yourself if it’s productive or if it’s getting in your way.
Here’s the big problem with guilt. Sometimes it stops you from doing what you want to do, as we discussed already. At other times it causes you to hold back and not give something your all. If you feel bad about missing dinner with the family, you’re not going to be fully present and committed in that client meeting or the course you’re taking. It’s the guilt you feel that keeps you from committing fully and giving it your best shot.
It also takes a lot of the joy out of whatever it is you are doing. This may not seem like a big deal at first glance, but it sucks a lot of the positive energy and drive out of your sails. It’s that energy that makes you push a little harder, try a little longer, and do all the little, seemingly insignificant things that make all the difference in the end.
Guilt also gives us an easy excuse to give up. Especially where weight is involved. Life isn’t easy and any goal worth reaching takes work and sustained effort. Managing our weight certainly does. Sometimes it seems easier to give up than to keep pushing hard, solve problems, or resolve conflicts we’d rather avoid. That guilty feeling may just be the excuse needed to justify giving up. By addressing these feelings of guilt and working through them, you can greatly improve your chances of reaching your goals in whatever area of your life and achieving what you really want for yourself and your loved ones.
If you’d like some help with handling guilt, please get in touch with Judy Hoskins. Ask about the 7-day challenge to deal with it once and for all – or just have a chat. Contact Judy to arrange a free consultation here.