a special feature from Kay Ziplow & Leslie Zinberg, founders
Getting stuck in life can get boring when you only act in your adult relationships out of guilt. Psychologists say living without guilt is an empowerment to rise above, to reconcile the grinds and power-up against what life will next throw at you. Holding onto guilt is one of the hardest things you can do to yourself and is certainly a form of punishment. Walking around feeling as if there’s a black cloud hovering is anything other than healthy.
We’ve all felt it: That sinking feeling in the pit of our stomachs when we make a mistake. When we let someone down. When we don’t uphold the commitments we’ve made, or second guess the decisions we have acted on. Quite simply, it’s called guilt – and if you’re overcome by this powerful emotion, you’re overdue for a lesson on how to stop feeling this way. Because too much guilt can be bad for the individual. If you feel unhealthy amounts of guilt about things that are outside of your control or about relatively minor instances, it’s time to learn how to get rid of it.
Here are 4 tips to help you take the guilt out of your life!
1. IDENTIFY YOUR FEELINGS- Guilt is often a mask for other feelings, like inadequacy, low self-esteem or even jealousy or resentment. It can also be a product of our limiting beliefs. If you often feel unnecessary guilt, you may believe you don’t deserve to be happy or that you are a bad person, rather than someone who made a mistake. To find the keys to how to stop feeling guilty, you must first get in touch with your true feelings about yourself and the world.
2. FORGIVE YOURSELF- No one is all good or all bad. If you’ve made a small mistake, you don’t have to spend your life repenting for it. You don’t get life in prison for speeding, and you don’t need to punish yourself that badly for most offenses. Forgiveness is powerful. When we come from a place of self-criticism, we can feel paralyzed about taking action. But when we come from a place of self-compassion, we realize that we have the ability to fix our mistakes – and that we can learn how to overcome guilt.
3. CHANGE YOUR SELF-TALK- Are you holding guilt and negativity in your mind, or gratitude and positivity? Next time you’re wondering how to get rid of guilt, take a moment to listen to your inner monologue. Change negative self-talk to empowering words that focus on your good traits rather than irrational guilt or old memories that are history.
4. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES- One thing that most emotionally healthy people have in common is the ability to find the lesson in their mistakes and failures, then get up and try again. Getting stuck in the past, thinking “I should have done this” or “I shouldn’t have done that” isn’t productive. Instead, find the lesson – and then don’t let it happen again. Discover how to get rid of guilt by using it to help you grow, rather than an excuse to stay unhappy.
*Portions of article sourced from: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/dealing-with-guilt.htm