Let’s talk a little bit about guilt today. I’m sure you have your fair share of feeling guilty. We all do, and it’s not a great feeling. It’s a feeling that makes you feel powerless. It’s not a productive state of mind, and it certainly isn’t a positive state of mine. In fact, when you feel guilty, you focus on all the negative thoughts. That makes it impossible to think positive thoughts while you’re feeling guilty. Can you see why it is important to lose the guilt?
Guilt makes you feel powerless, and it takes away your confidence. Guilt makes you slow down and second guess yourself at everything you do. Guilt keeps you from taking action and making progress in all areas of your life.
Letting go of guilt isn’t an easy thing to do. There are two good strategies that have been working well for me whenever I find myself falling into the guilt trap. You can use one or the other depending on the scenario, or you can use both of them starting with the first one and then moving on to the second one.
Forgive Yourself And Move On
Often your best bet when you feel guilty about doing or not doing something is to acknowledge the feeling, forgive yourself, and then move on. We already talked about the fact that guilt isn’t a productive emotion. Why not make your peace and go get something done?
One way to forgive yourself is to realize that the past is in the past and that you did the best you could at the time. If you feel that you could have done better, take it as a lesson learned and promise yourself to do better or try harder next time.
Another way to forgive yourself is by doing Ho'oponopono - self-forgiveness in four part. Close your eyes, go into yourself, recall the thoughts or situation that are making you feel guilty, and then say to yourself as you inhale: I'm sorry, Please forgive me and as you exhale say: Thank you, I love you. You can read more about forgiveness and Ho'oponopono here.
Focus On Something Related That You’re Good At
Now that you’ve forgiven yourself, it’s time to switch gears and focus on something that you’re good at. Nothing resolves guilt like action and self-esteem. This works best if you can make it something that’s closely related to the thing you’re feeling guilty about.
Let’s say you feel guilty because you didn’t cook a homemade meal for your family after a long day at the office. Shift your focus and appreciate the fact that you work hard and make good money so you can stop and grab some healthy takeout on the way home from work. Appreciate the fact that your kids are fed, healthy, and you have plenty of time to hang out with them before bedtime.
Give these ideas a try, and get in the habit of letting go of guilt.