Do you suffer from thoughts and feelings of guilt

Who is not plagued with feelings of guilt and self-judging thoughts? You said something did or did not do something, and as a result you feel tremendous guilt and judge yourself. Guilt is such a negative self-limiting pattern that serves no purpose other than to keep you down. Usually the things you feel guilty about are small or from your ancient past that you have no power to change. I do not know about you but when did guilt ever really make anything better or fix your problem? From my own personal experience it only made things worse.

When I feel guilty about something I am not being loving to myself. I judge and criticize myself and I feel horrible my confidence and power are drained. As a result, I am less effective in my life and I am not able to serve people to my best ability. I see it as our duty to get past feelings of guilt because we cannot give our best when we are plagued with guilt. You can not contribute and make a difference in your family, work, health, spiritual life if you are consumed with guilt or constantly judging yourself.

Not only do you suffer when you think guilt thoughts so do all the people in your life. I see guilt as an illusion that blocks you from self-love and acceptance. You spend time feeling guilty and bad about yourself instead of time correcting the situation.

The truth is what you did or did not do is probably not nearly as bad as you are making it or yourself out to be. If you are having a difficult time identifying where you feel guilt in your life. Think about a time when you have made a mistake at work. Did you beat yourself up over it? Did you feel guilty or bad because you made a mistake and now other people may be affected or your boss may get upset? The truth is you were being human which means you make mistakes.

We are wired to make mistakes therefore they are inevitable. Yet you spend so much time feeling bad over things that you did that you cannot change and furthermore things that do not make you a murderer but you treat yourself as one. Did you make some New Year's resolutions? Are there some you have not kept up with? What do you tell yourself about not keeping up with these resolutions? You probably feel guilty and judge yourself.

But have you noticed how guilt never really works to inspire or motivate you to act. Usually when you do something it is because you feel inspired and good as a result of a positive experience. Does feeling guilty give you power? No it only drains your power. Yet you have this belief that you need to feel guilt and to judge yourself otherwise you will be a lazy out of control maniac.

It's kind of funny that we tell ourselves this kind of silly stuff. The counterpart of guilt and self-judgment is self-acceptance and approval. Being okay with what is and not making yourself wrong or guilty. Saying something like "I made a mistake, oops." "What can I do to make it right?" "I know have not been going to the gym but I am recommitting today." Also be aware of how you blame yourself and feel guilty for things you would never blame or accuse other people of.

Something that a coach once told me that I thought was so powerful was "we would never treat another person the way we treat ourselves or say to them the things we say to ourselves." "We would not even think to talk to a child the way we talk to ourselves." That was an eye opener for me.

I want to be clear that I do not mean to minimize the importance of taking responsibility for your actions or inactions. Taking responsibility is important because it gives you power. However, you can take responsibility for something without imposing self blame or guilt. Accept and own that you contributed to an outcome and you have the power to contribute a different outcome. When you see you are feeling guilty about something and beating yourself up remind yourself that you are human hard wired to make a mistakes. Recognize that you would never be so hard on someone else like you are on yourself.

It may even help you to see yourself as a child who is innocently going into the world learning and growing. Your assignment for this week: A powerful affirmation to say to counteract thoughts and feelings of guilt and self-judgment is "I love and approve of myself". Remember that you would never say the things you tell yourself to another person or child. You are no different than them and you deserve to give yourself love, respect, and acceptance. Most importantly it is your duty to overcome feelings of guilt and self-judgment because you cannot give your best or be your best if you feel bad about yourself. By not taking responsibility for those feelings you are not only impacting your life but the lives of the others around you.

Copyright (c) 2008 Melisa Milonas LLC.

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