What Is Guilt And Why Does It Hold You Back From Doing What You Want To Do?
This is the first installment in a 7 part series on Mom Guilt.
First, let’s talk about guilt. It’s really not a great feeling, is it? For the most part, guilt is a feeling that you want to avoid.
By definition, guilt is feeling as though you deserve blame for something.
It moves us to action and gets us to do “the right thing”. Think about back in your school days when you would not do your homework – lying about it made you feel guilty.
The feeling of guilt ensured that you completed your homework the next time and kept doing it going forward.
Not exactly a bad thing for your academic career.
But sometimes guilt can be a bad thing that holds us back from achieving the things we want out of life. And as a mom, that guilt really adds up!
We feel guilty about spending time and money on growing a side business.
We take away precious time from our loved ones to get caught up at work.
We don’t get to tuck the kids in at night because we’re going back to school.
What else do you feel guilty about?
It’s easy to fall into the guilt trap even when we know what we’re doing is important and worthwhile.
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.
It can also be the thing that’s holding you back, especially if you have too much of it.
That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to your feelings of guilt and ask yourself if they’re productive or if they’re holding you back.
Over the course of the next seven days, we’re going to dig deep and take a look at those guilty feelings, examine them, and then do something about it if they turn out to be feelings that are holding you back.
We are going to eliminate those feelings that keep you from loving yourself and doing what you really want to do.
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’s causing you to hold back and not put forth your best effort.
If you are feeling bad about missing dinner with the family, you’re not going to be fully present and committed during that client meeting or the class you’re taking.
The guilt you’re feeling is keeping you from committing fully and giving it your all.
It’s also taking 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 takes a lot of the positive energy and wind 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. Without it, you don’t have the perseverance to see things through.
The feeling of guilt also gives you an easy excuse to give up.
Life isn’t easy and any goal worth reaching takes work and effort.
Sometimes it seems easier to give up than to keep pushing hard, solving problems, or resolving conflicts that we’d rather avoid. That guilty feeling may be just the excuse you were looking for to justify giving up.
By addressing these feelings of guilt and working through them, you will greatly improve your chances of reaching your goals and crafting the life you really want for yourself and your loved ones.
What are areas of your life currently being impacted by guilt?
What have you decided not to do in order to avoid feelings of guilt?