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Feeling Guilty

Many times you feel guilty for indulging in something, rather than doing what you feel you should have been doing, or not getting everything done.  Self-blame and self-criticism can really get you down.  How can you make that pang go away?

Here are five tips to help you get rid of the guilt:

  1. Let Go of Regrets:  Find a way to let go of regrets and disappointments from the past.  Try writing it on a piece of paper, putting it an envelope, and ceremoniously throwing it out.  Find your own unique way of letting go.
  2. Apologize Better: Making a proper apology, where you mention why you are sorry and showing that you understand the impact of your actions, is important.  An apology should not be an excuse, it should be a statement of empathy where you ask for forgiveness.
  3. Make Sure there is a Victim: Stop and ask yourself, “is there a reasonable basis for me to feel guilty?”  If the answer is no, if you haven’t harmed anyone directly by your actions, skip the guilt.  If you have hurt someone, take responsibility and try to fix it.  Make an attempt to be more careful in the future.
  4. Expect less of yourself: For women, we feel guilty if we are not overachieving in all areas of our lives.  Take a breath, and realize that you have impossible ideals.  You feel less guilty if you decide that everyday you are going to do the best you can, and what you do is good enough.
  5. Turn your Guilt into Motivation: Use your feelings to motivate yourself to be a better person instead of beating yourself up.

What do you feel guilty about?