What is guilt doing to your life?
Today, I’d like to discuss guilt. What part does guilt play in your life? Every one of us, at some stage or another, experiences this emotion. It is a good thing when felt as a result of wrong doing or as a pre-emptor to wrong, however my focus is on the guilt that is unhealthy, unfair and that impacts your life in a negative way.
1. Unresolved Guilt
If we harbour unresolved guilt, due to something that we have done wrong, and it remains unaddressed, it affects our concentration, focus, and our ability to be productive. Guilt can play a major role in a person’s life. It can lower your energy and cause fatigue. How can you eliminate this? It’s simple. Apologise. Allow me to give you a pointer on how to apologise. It is called, “Intentional apology”. Just say the words, “I am sorry” and show remorse for what you have done.
Acknowledgement is the next step. Own the deed one hundred percent and say it, “I accept responsibility for this”. Lastly, show empathy. Tell the other party, “I’m sure this made you feel…” or tell them, “If I were in your place and that happened to me, this is how I would feel”. Just empathise!
2. Self-punish or Self-Sabotage Guilt
Guilt can also make a person self-punish or self-sabotage. When we have done something wrong and we do nothing to correct it, it affects us subconsciously. It can lead you to think you are not really worthy of happiness. This can manifest physically in many ways such as a decline in behaviour and can lead to the formation of poor habits. These kinds of sabotaging behaviours bring us down and are very unhealthy for us mentally.
3. Guilt as a Form of Manipulation
Some people use guilt on others as a form of manipulation or punishment. This is NOT healthy and should be avoided. For example, someone may say, “You never call me”, to try make you feel guilty in an attempt to achieve an outcome that they desire. If this happens, address the situation immediately with a suitable response such as, “If you wanted to speak to me, why didn’t you call me?” Guilt as a form of manipulation is generally a habitual behaviour and is rarely welcome.
4. Guilt and Self-Worth
When it comes to guilt, we are all different in regards to how guilt-prone we are. For some people it takes a lot to feel guilty, but for others the onset of guilt can occur for the tiniest thing. Don’t let this be you. Some people feel guilty about having fun. Some people feel guilty about being happy. They go out for the day and have wonderful time, all the while feeling guilty about having a wonderful time. Why? Ask yourself if that is you. Why are you feeling guilty about being happy and having a wonderful time? It comes from feelings of inadequate self-worth, self-esteem or self-love.
On a final note, for anyone who is in business, especially if you are a manager or a leader of a team, if you’ve done something wrong, never ever, ever avoid it or pretend it didn’t happen. Trust me, everyone will notice. The best you can do, as quickly as possible, is to own up and say you’re sorry. It shows self-respect, integrity and portrays respect for your team. It’s the only way you’re ever going to get their respect in return. Acknowledge it, empathise with them, and do it quickly. They will understand and they will respect you for it.
So my friends, those are a couple of tips for guilt whether it’s healthy, unhealthy, fair or unfair. Whatever it takes, make sure you take reasonable steps to fix it. Go out there, say you’re sorry and make it right. It will free you up, allow you to be happier and healthier, have more fun, and really have a meaningful life.
27 – 28 October: Silva KIDS (8-12 year olds. Pre-requisite that at least one parent is a Silva Graduate.)
Have a wonderful day, and I challenge you to go out and make a difference in the world today, and every day.
With Love and Light,
Better and Better,