Feeling guilt or feeling guilty about a situation robs your present moment of all potentials: being happy, enjoying the now, being thankful for your life, as well as the opportunity to learn and grow… I could go on and on about the toxic effects of guilt on your energy but let’s focus on the reasons why you need to stop this vicious cycle today. In this 3-part blog series, I focus on 9 common actions or behaviors to which people typically attach guilt around, and why there is no reason to continue this pattern. Remember that living in guilt robs you of the endless possibilities of enjoying your life right now.
Spoil Yourself with Things You Love to Do
What are the top 3 things you most love doing without thinking? Think about that for a second. For me, it would have to be cooking with my husband, taking my son to watch a children’s movie and treating myself to a pedicure. So what’s stopping me from doing any or all of those things on any given day, evening or week? The simple answer is: guilt. Let’s say I choose the pedicure as something I can do for myself today. Typically guilt manifests through inner talk, at which point your mind starts saying things like “well my toes don’t look that bad and I actually just got a pedicure last week… and those things can add up, plus it’s not like I really need one.” Hello? Who needs anything other than food water and air? You’re asking the wrong question. The right question comes along the lines of: Does it truly make me happy? And if so, what am I waiting for? By all means take into consideration the magnitude of that which you’re pondering about, but honestly, most things that makes us truly happy are usually the simplest and easiest to get. Think about it. There is absolutely zero need for you to feel guilty about spoiling yourself with things you love to do and that bring joy into your life.
Cancel Plans Because Your Energy Is Not into it
Some people love to attend anything and everything they’re invited to. They sign up for everything, and that’s who they are and they love it – awesome! Others do the complete opposite and avoid crowds big or small as much as possible; they would much rather enjoy their own company because that’s what works for them – perfect! Opposites are not necessarily a bad thing; however think about these two very different people doing what they do because they “have to” as opposed to because they “want to” – BIG difference there, right? When your energy is not into it, you become unbalanced. And from time to time, yes you may need to force yourself to wear your best smile for that work event or neighborhood gathering, even though you know some people you don’t particularly enjoy being around will be there, and you might have to learn to manage that – it’s ok. This is called being polite and you are responding to a commitment. However, when it comes to something that is absolutely your choosing, that is meant to make you happy and live a guilt-free life, there is no reason whatsoever to not honor that part of you and cancel a plan simply because your energy is not into it. By all means be mindful of other’s feelings if you chose to cancel something, but elaborate explanations or fabricated excuses are needless. It is perfectly ok to want time alone, to want to go shopping on your own or to simply do absolutely nothing that day. Sometimes canceling plans for no other reason than to keep your sanity and enjoy some “me time” is perfectly OK.
Quit a Job That Doesn’t Align with Your Values
Your job reflects a huge part of where you are in your life. For some, a job may signify a means to an end, while for others, a job might represent what they stand for and how they want the rest of their life to unfold. Regardless of what your job configuration is, know that you can chose for it to align with your values at any given point, if you haven’t already. Regardless of where you are in terms of what your job represents to you, know that what you chose to do for a living is directly related to your values. This is why some people decide to take a job because it pays well and allows them to travel; because their values might revolve around concepts such as freedom. Other people may chose a job because the company they work for has a strong corporate culture that promotes work/life balance, and that aligns with their values around family. So, what are your values? The clearer you are on this answer, the less chance for guilt to creep in amongst the reasons why you should stay in a job that deep down you know is not right for you. Your values are the foundation of who you really are: you may value equality, communication, trust, passion, fairness, freedom, etc. That is not to say that you may temporarily choose to stay with an employer as part of your transition to a better fit. However, knowing what your values are, prioritizing them and deciding not to settle for the wrong reasons will be your best plan of attack when it comes to staying or leaving. When you quit a job because you realize it doesn’t align with your values, there is nothing to feel guilty about.
So what are your thoughts on how guilt creeps into your life? Are you done with enabling it and need a few pointers to get yourself started with a guilt-free way of life? If so, let’s talk! I’m here to help.