Release Your Guilt

We all do it.

Make mistakes, that is. Nobody is perfect, and there are no exceptions to that rule. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we mess up. So, once the mistake has been made, what do you do next?

Occasionally, the feeling of guilt following a mistake can be overwhelming! Although this is a common feeling, it isn’t very beneficial towards moving forward. When someone has been found guilty, they are supposed to make their amends and then move on, free from the guilt. However, when we spend time ruminating on our past choices, we are prohibiting ourselves from moving on, forgiving ourselves, and finding ways to repair the situation.

Guilt can be a helpful feeling because it provides us a way to keep ourselves in check. Since it is an emotion we wish to avoid, we instead seek to do the “right thing” and to keep from doing something wrong. 

Falling into the guilt trap, however, is not helpful. Feeling guilty about every choice we make hampers our ability to be fully present and experience maximum joy. It’s okay to feel bad when we do something that hurts someone else; it’s part of our moral compass! Instead of ruminating on it, try to find a way to right the wrong and formulate a plan so it doesn’t happen again.

Once you’ve identified the feeling of guilt and where it is stemming from, it’s important to let it go and work towards forgiving yourself. Some ways to work towards this include:

Acknowledging and accepting what went wrong.

Think about how you wish you would have handled the situation; what could you have done differently?

Try to make amends. This may not be possible, but a genuine apology and acceptance of responsibility can go far.

Talk it out. Stewing in your own thoughts and berating yourself can make it hard to sort out your feelings. Talking to someone you trust can give you an objective perspective on the situation while providing support.

Extend compassion to yourself. It isn’t healthy to continually beat yourself up! Negative self talk can inhibit positive growth. 

Although guilt can be a helpful emotion in guiding our actions, it can affect our sense of worth and self esteem. Remember, you are inherently good, worthy, and important. If you still find yourself struggling with this tricky emotion, please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

If you are struggling with releasing guilt and need some help, schedule your FREE Breakthrough Coaching Call with Lori HERE .

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