How To Give Up Guilt 

 February 8, 2013

Feeling guilty? You’re not alone, guilt is an occupational hazard for most women.

Not earning enough money or being able to give the kids the attention they crave, feature high on the list of mum’s guilt triggers, research reveals.

Joanne Evans, head of marketing for babycare company, NUK, which commissioned the research, said:

“It seems mums are suffering a huge amount of guilt when it comes to their kids, within days of their child being born because of the myth surrounding how we should care for our babies”

According to the research, 87% of mums feel guilty at some point and a fifth said they feel guilty most’ or all of the time.

Stay at home mums often feel guilty that they aren’t contributing financially. Working mums feel guilty at home because they are too tired to play with their children for as long as they think they “should”. Or the house isn’t as tidy as it “should” be. And they feel guilty at work if they have to leave earlier than colleagues to pick the kids up or they think they should be at home with the kids. Maybe you even feel guilty because you enjoy your job and don’t want to be a stay at home mum!

Guilt is a wasted emotion.

Instead of allowing guilt to drag you down use it as a trigger to stop and ask yourself:

“what is the feeling of guilt telling me”

If you have done something in the past that you feel guilty about ask yourself “can I make amends?” If you can’t then leave the past in the past. If you’ve done something wrong, you need to remember that you can’t change the past. Do what you can to make amends, learn from the situation, and then move on. That’s all you can do!

If you feel guilty about a current situation ask “can I fix the problem?”. If you can fix the problem that’s making you feel guilty, by all means, fix it as soon as possible. Beyond this, feeling guilty does not serve a purpose. Do what you can to overcome the situation and then release your guilty conscience.

Are you being too hard on yourself? What would you tell a friend if it was them who felt guilty about the situation?  It may be easier said than done but you may need to adjust your expectations so they are more realistic. If you’ve really given the situation your best shot and there’s nothing else you can do, give yourself a break!

Is the guilt telling you to ask for support? Talk to others about the problem. A coach can help you to work through the situation in a quicker, easier and more productive and healthy way. Or perhaps a trusted friend has been through a similar situation. If so, ask them about how they handled the situation and how they think you can make things better.

Is someone else giving you the guilt? There are many people who may try to bring you down and make you feel unnecessarily guilty. Some of these people may even be close to you, maybe your mum doesn’t approve of you working. Maybe she does approve of you working but doesn’t understand why the house isn’t as tidy as it “should” be. Make the conscious decision to ignore this kind of behaviour. Strive for the confidence and awareness to prevent others from forcing guilty feelings onto you. This is a choice you can make!

Feeling guilty all the time is unhealthy, both physically and mentally. Use these strategies to help you enjoy your life free from guilt!

Julia Harris

About the author

Julia Harris is The Upgrade Coach. She works with smart women who understand that the only thing holding them back from fulfilling their potential is the unhelpful thinking patterns keeping them trapped and the habits that they keep falling back into.

If you want to upgrade your life or business you start by upgrading your thoughts.

Julia Harris

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  • I couldn’t agree more Julia – guilt is such a wasted emotion. I used to feel guilty about EVERYTHING and I’m not even a mum! It was usually the old ‘work’ ethic – I should be working all day and all night! Now, thankfully, I don’t suffer from guilt – although I still struggle with time! :-)

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