The feeling of guilt is derived from actions that you did or did not do. Those “guilt tripping” actions usually impact another living thing, to include yourself.
Not everyone feels guilty over the same things. The reason for this is the way you were raised. It is determined by what you have been exposed to in your past mixed with your values. Those two things combined, determine whether or not things are important to you.
If something is not important to you, you won’t feel guilty about it. Simple. Now, what can you do about the guilt you feel over the things you DO care about?
First, guilt is not such a bad thing to have weighing on your shoulders.
Guilt = You Care
When you care about something, you typically possess the motivation to change the action that brought you to feel guilty. Once you can identify what triggered your guilt trip and you are prepared to change your future actions…
Ask yourself the following questions to rid yourself of the burden of guilt!
Are you doing everything you can with what you have?
This question can apply to anything; with the time/money/knowledge/tools/health that are available to you, are you using it to the fullest? Usually if you aren’t, that is what will trigger your guilt.
Maybe, in the past you weren’t using those things to the fullest and resulted in something you now feel guilty about.
If it is something from the past that you cannot change or take back, the only thing you can do is learn from it and move forward.
If you permanently change the behavior that caused the guilt, the easier it will be to forgive yourself.
Can you change?
With the time/money/knowledge/tools/health that you have, are you capable of changing? Is it possible?
Do you want to change?
Be honest with yourself. This is where A LOT of guilt can fester. If you have the ability to change and CHOOSE not to, it really can cause a burden.
Usually, when this is the case, it is an outside entity that inflicts pressure onto you to do something that you don’t want to do. The action usually benefits someone else more than you.
You must decide. You can change your mind and do it for the greater good (your family, friends, work etc.) or you can stick with your decision.
If you don’t want to change, you must explain to others why you don’t want to. Being honest with your true desires may not bring on the guilt, but the pressure of others could. That is why explaining your stance to the people that your choice will impact will bring you closer to feeling guilt free.
How will you change?
If you have the time/money/knowledge/tools/health and you WANT to change, this is where you come up with an achievable plan.
When will you change?
Now that you have acknowledged that you have resources available, you have a desire to change and you have a plan to make that change…you must IMPLEMENT the change.
This is the scariest part for people. Altering your routine or changing your habits can be very uncomfortable.
Just remember, the feeling of discomfort means that you are changing. You are growing and learning. Embrace the changes that you make. It shows that you are turning into the person that you have always wanted to be.