How to Stop "Feeling Guilty"
Do you ever get that guilty or "bad" feeling when you want to do something for yourself?
If so, you might be realizing that this feeling is keeping you from having more of what you want... or even from
enjoying your life.
Well, thankfully you don't have to suffer with this guilty feeling every time that you try to do something to
get ahead or to help yourself.
All you have to do is understand where the feeling comes from and what you can do to get rid of it as it can
cause self esteem issues in the long term...
The Root of Guilty Feelings
There are two kinds of guilty feelings: valid ones and invalid ones. Valid guilty feelings are those you get
when you do something that you know is out of alignment with your personal values and hinder personal development.
Believe it or not, these kinds of guilty feelings are your best friends. They remind you that you
need to make a change in your behavior, and as long as you respond positively to them, they'll pass very
For example, if you're teaching people that borrowing money isn't a good idea and that debt is designed to keep
people broke, but you're running up credit cards, you're going to feel guilty until one of two things happens: you
either start being honest with yourself about the fact that you DO believe in debt, or decide to line up your
actions with your behaviors or...
...you go on feeling guilty because your actions are contradicting your personal values. The problem is that the
longer you go on this way, the more desensitized you get to guilt and your level of self-trust begins to break
down. So before you try to get rid of guilty feelings, it's a good idea to determine whether it's valid guilt or
If it's valid, use it as motivation to align your behaviors with your true
But, there are times when the guilty feelings are because other people are "making" you feel that way. In other
words, your behaviors are out of alignment with their values, and they attempt to change your behaviors by
convincing you that you're "selfish" for doing things for yourself or that you're "irresponsible" because you
aren't living your life according to the same rules that they do.
The more you're exposed to these kinds of people, the more you begin to internalize the beliefs that they're
right when they say that you're "selfish," "irresponsible," or whatever else they use to disapprove of the way that
you're acting.Curing the Invalid Guilty Feeling
The cure for invalid guilty feelings is to realize that you're not responsible for other people's values,
perceptions and opinions. You can't "make" anyone mad or sad or disappointed in you, those are all things which are
their responsibility and not yours. The more you make yourself responsible for these things, the harder time you'll
have letting go of the invalid guilty feelings.
No one has the right to tell you how to live your life or to make assumptions about what kind of a person you
are just because they don't approve of your actions. Make a commitment to live your life as you see fit, and let
other people deal with whether they like it or not...it's not your problem.
So make it a point to analyze your guilty feelings and ask yourself if they're because of your own values or
someone else's. If they're because of yours, you know that you need to change. It they're because of someone else's
values, let that be their problem.
TIP: The guilty feelings will persist for a while even when you're practicing the above strategy. But that's
just because the feelings take a while to catch up when it comes to changing your habits. Be persistent, and the
feelings will eventually catch up.
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