Guilt is a super tough emotion. It can lift you up or drag you down and keep you there. How does our relationship with guilt keep us in bad habits when it comes to food, exercise, relationships and chasing our dreams?
It’s huge. And guilt doesn’t know what you’re really capable of.
I see something so much more powerful in you.
Here’s how guilt may be showing up in your life and 6 ways to begin looking at it differently so you can finally feel amazing in your own skin!
Examples of things we might feel guilty about are:
1. Taking care of my kids full time all summer while juggling a job, a book club, a list of appointments and a new deck. Asking for help or more time or space would make someone else feel inconvenienced and my Mom group friends would think I can’t do it all.
2. Letting my friend use me as a total venting vomit everyday because she has a crazy life and needs me to “be there” anytime. She’d be mad at me if I told her I felt like our relationship was one sided and I don’t want to be available for her drama 24/7.
3. Eating cake. I ate horribly last night and literally had no willpower. I deserve to starve myself today and workout for like 3 hours. Minimum.
4. Hating my job. I thought this was a stepping stone job when I was young but somehow 22 years has flown by and I’m still here. I’ve got too much on the line and there’s no way I could entertain my dream. The job I have now is fine, I’m good enough where I’m at so I should probably just let my fantasies go.
5. Not cooking dinner every night. I should have that done but I have zero energy when I get home. We eat like crap and I hate it.
Do these examples sound crazy or really familiar?
But our past, our parents, our childhood, society, our family and friends, our (hidden) expectations for ourselves and for others can be hidden triggers for feelings of guilt.
A little guilt isn’t bad. It can be insanely motivating and reward us with something that feels way better when we shift.
A lot of guilt is a cycle of muck drowning you in a life you don’t love while you grow resentment and MORE guilt.
I invite you to tap into the story, the mix tape, the cycle you tell yourself over and over and see how many times you hear the words, “should”, “ought to” and/or “need to”.
Why should you? Will it hurt you someone else if you do or don’t? Will it be uncomfortable, awkward, different or challenging? Who or what’s voice is telling you there are NO other possibilities than the one you are choosing.
Who or what says you owe someone your _______ (time, money, body, energy, power)?
As a young age we’re taught to be the “Nice Girl” or the “Good Boy Scout”. It’s a defense taught to us by the patterns of those we looked up to who also didn’t feel safe to be themselves.
It may have sounded like this:
“Give such and such a hug even though they creep you out, they gave you a nice birthday gift”.
“Go tell your cousin you’re sorry, I don’t want your Aunt mad at me even though it wasn’t your fault”.
“If you don’t have a second helping, you must’ve not liked the dinner I made for you”.
“You aren’t going out of the house looking like that are you? No one is going to respect you”.
“Thin girls get dates, I know we’re going out to celebrate but just watch it, ok?”
“I’m doing this for your own good, being fat means you’re never going to have friends”.
“Lift weights, cut weight. Lift weights, cut weight.”
The guilt we carry around steals us from the life we deserve to live today.
And if you’re like me, you may have unknowingly taught your kids some of these guilt potholes too.
But you can do SOMETHING.
You can decide to let go.
You can heal.
You can do over.
Our hard wiring is strong so it’s absolutely okay for this to be just the beginning of noticing for you and the parts of you that keep you stuck.
Just notice, no judgement.
Ask yourself when guilt shows up:
1. Who or what does this voice remind me of? Have I heard this before?
2. What does this feeling want for me? It’s an old pattern that’s trying to make sure I _________________.
3. Is this MINE or is this ________ (my Dad’s, Mom’s, Aunt Molly’s, my old neighbor’s growing up)? Is this true for me now or was it ever true?
4. If I hold onto this guilt, how will it change how I show up for _______ myself, my friends, my family, my job today? What would that freedom feel like in my body?
5. By feeling this guilt and choosing not to shift it, where is it creating a cancer in my body or my relationship to myself or others? What is my guilt coping strategy and is that working for me or hurting me more?
6. If I have others that look up to me, what have they learned from me about guilt and do I want to shift that with them?
Things I used to feel guilty about but won’t anymore are:
1. Food. When I released the emotional triggers and decided to eat for how my body feels I don’t feel bad after a bite or two of cake. It’s yummy and I can walk away. I also used to punish my bad eating habits with exercise- you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. Read that again.
2. Social media. It’s a gift and a curse and my kids, friends, garden, bike and people in the Studio are way more important. Check in with whatever you’re doing on social media and decide that you’d trade exactly that many minutes of your life on. What else would you spend your time on if you weren’t on social media?
3. Sleep. I used to feel bad that I needed 8-9 hours of sleep or that I loved going to bed by 10. Not getting what your body needs means your hunger and fullness hormones are off and you have crazy cravings the next day (plus your mood). How much sleep do you really need and how can you guard that fiercely?
4. Parties. Covid changed parties for us. We used to feel obligated to do a certain number a year or they had to look a certain way or with certain people. We go with the flow, no rules, no have to’s, no “should’s” now and that feels amazing. What feels like your ideal level of obligations?
5. Getting a babysitter. It feels great to be completely present with my kids but sometimes I need help. Finding someone else who has the energy and time when I don’t makes me 100% better when it’s my time and they get to make incredible memories with both of us. What could having a little time for yourself do for you?
6. Taking care of myself. I used to feel guilty about spending money, time and energy working out or eating healthy when everyone else wasn’t. It has been something that’s giving back to me and my family more than I ever could’ve imagined. Where are you holding back taking care of your self?
How you take care of you is your birthright.
You are the CEO of you!
Which departments in your life need help and which ones are thriving?
Where are old, out dating beliefs about how things “should be” done getting in the way of you living your greatest life?
Want to chat more about letting go of what’s standing in your way of feeling amazing in your own skin? Check out my 12 Week “Take Back Your Life” Transformational Life Coaching Program, it’s helped men and women lose the weight eating amazing food without starving or militant exercise, lose the guilt of having to be someone they aren’t and learn how to stand in their greatest power, purpose and potential.
If now is your time, hit reply, let’s talk.
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Now turn up your favorite dance song really loud and dance like your soul depends on it. Here’s to the magic of your youness and the beginning of a guilt free summer ☀️