Lets Talk About Guilt


Let’s talk about guilt. What is guilt? Guilt is a form of fear, it is always associated with a feeling of wrongness and potential punishment, either real or in fantasy. Guilt is self-condemnation and self-validation of our worth and value as human beings.

No matter how you look at it, guilt is never a pleasant emotion and often has some dire consequences. However, it is an emotion you can work through successfully and even progressively eradicate from your life over time.

Are You Feeling Guilty?

Are you feeling guilty about something? Maybe you’re feeling guilty because you failed to live up to your personal expectations. Maybe it’s because you failed to live up to other people’s expectations of you. Maybe you did something hurtful to someone else, or maybe you embarrassed someone or wronged others in some way.

Feeling guilty often stems from an underlying sense of responsibility you have to other people. It could also stem from a set of unresolved problems, emotions and/or personal feelings of unworthiness. Likewise, the feelings of guilt can arise from your refusal to accept your mistakes.

Common Guilt Triggers:

  • Not always being there for your children, partner or parents.
  • Saying “no” at work or at home.
  • Taking time for yourself.
  • relaxing when you think you should be working

How Guilt Negatively Affects You

1. Guilt Affects You Physically

The feeling of guilt can weigh you down, it’s a gateway to regret. Both emotions start to weigh you down over time when not properly addressed. If you don’t immediately confront your guilt, it piles on, and can physically make you sick. Not only that, it negatively impacts your life decisions. You’ll eat less healthy, exercise less and slowly deteriorate over time.

It’s not just physical health; guilt affects your physical body language, including your walk, stance, and facial expressions. It can distract you from proper hygiene; and your wandering mind can cause you to miss minor details when getting dressed, such as leaving your fly down or tucking your shirt into your underwear.

2. Guilt Impedes Success

It’s hard enough getting a job or promotion with your fly down and your underwear showing. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that you’ve been wasting your time thinking about all the “bad” things you’ve done to people instead of keeping up to date on the latest info in your field.

3. Guilt Makes You Punish Yourself

Staying stuck in the guilt often magnifies into self-punishment and before we know it, bam, out of control.

4. Guilt Changes Your Personality

When you’re wrapped up in guilt, you may feel like you’re the same person, but people perceive you differently. Over time you become hardened, and some people will tell you this is called maturing and growing up, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

5. Guilt Ruins Your Life

Everyone makes mistakes – despite our best intentions, nobody makes it through life without harming someone. I’m not saying you should intentionally harm people, but you do need to accept that your actions could harm people. You can’t please all the people all the time, but if you’re overly worried about the negative impacts of your actions, you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities.

Being Free From Guilt

To take charge of your mind to learn to master your emotional state. Understand why you feel the way you do and where did the emotional conditioning come from. When you judge yourself, you are limiting all of your potentials to grow and think openly.

Since guilt can affect your physical, emotional and spiritual health, a gentle way to remedy the effects is by practicing positive affirmations. Also, expressing your feelings in a journal and actually seeing your thoughts on paper can be very helpful.

We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it and use those experiences as tools for change. Expressing your feelings in a journal and actually seeing your thoughts on paper can be very helpful. It is essential to forgive yourself and others in order to release your guilt and decide to not allow it to suffocate you and your future opportunities.

The Takeaway

Chances are you’d describe the sensation of guilt as a kind of heaviness, a weighty feeling as if you’re carrying around a burden.

Guilt is an emotional warning sign. Its purpose is to let us know when we’ve done something wrong, to help us develop a better sense of our behavior and how it affects ourselves and others. It prompts us to re-examine our behavior so that we don’t end up making the same mistake twice.

Being free from guilt brings about the renewal of a completely different life energy. Releasing your guilt and finding ways to leave the past behind, learning from your experiences and moving forward in a healing direction can enhance your physical, emotional and spiritual health.

For more insight into emotions that may be holding you back,  contact us to receive your 20-minute complimentary coaching call!