Ditch the guilt in 4 easy steps - Rethink Central

Ditch the guilt in 4 easy steps

by | Dec 3, 2013 | Life Spring Cleaning, Top 9 Post

“Saying that you need to ditch the guilt is a lot easier than actually doing it.”
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You know that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach that says you’ve got to do something, only you just don’t want to? Everyone does.

It’s guilt. And it’s a horrible feeling.

It forces us to do things we just don’t have the inclination to do. Or, if we ignore it, that growling emotion grows until we can barely deal with it.

Except, and this is truly important, many of our guilty feelings don’t merit the attention that we pay them. Much of our guilty can easily be dispensed with.

You don’t need to feel guilty about an extra slice of cake, or working towards your dreams, or letting the dishes pile in the sink when you know that your partner also doesn’t have the time to deal with them.

Saying that you need to ditch the guilt is a lot easier than actually doing it. But there are a few easy steps you can follow to do just that.

Getting Rid of Your Guilty Feelings:

Who’s Blaming You?

There’s a strong chance that no one else is breathing down your neck. Chances are that the only person who feels let down is you. Listen to the internal voice that is connected to the guilt. Often it’ll be someone who was close to you when you were growing up – perhaps yo can hear your mothers’ voice teling you not to be greedy as you reach for another slice of cake. Or your father telling you to be sensible with your spending as you splash out on those fancy shoes.

Stop and hear that voice. Acknowledge that it isn’t you now – it’s a part of who you were. These are learned patterns of behaviour and your running them now as a protection mechanism. After all – do you really want another slice of cake? Is it something you want to enjoy and deserve? If so, have at it.

Likewise with those fancy shoes – if you can afford them, then there’s nothing wrong with having them. If you can’t… then definitely put them back. No point getting into debt. And that’s what those internal voices are doing for you – protecting you from being foolish.

So, listen to the voice, thank it and then decide if it’s got a point or not… if it has act accordingly. If not – guilt not!

Accept Your Situation

There’re a lot of different types of guilt. There’s food guilt, spending guilt, working parent guilt. In fact, there’s guilt for anything you do when you think you should be doing something else – like playing solitaire when you have a deadline. Acceptance means that you understand that you have certain needs, and they require attention at certain times. Be realistic about your life and your needs. If you can justify your actions properly, there’s no need for guilt.

Hand Over Control

You aren’t responsible for everything, or everyone – even if you think you are. Your marriage is made of two people who support each other (and incidentally, the sooner you teach your children to help, the more responsible they become). You may be an entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean you need to do it all yourself. Delegate the things that need to be done, and get rid of anything that certainly doesn’t.

Remain Focused

If you feel guilty about working and ignoring your family and friends, make time to do both. This means keeping yourself on track when you are at work so you can have some evening time with the people you love. Whether you are at home or work, give 100% of yourself. The same goes for goals, give each one 100%, and you can shrug off any guilt you feel from inactivity.

Take Action!

Start by listening to that inner voice that’s attached to guilt. Spend this coming week just observing what it’s saying… and if it sounds like anyone you recognise. Don’t judge it, just listen. You might be surprised how revealing it is.

Getting rid of guilt is the beginning of spring cleaning your mind. It’ll give you space to think about, and organise, the things that genuinely do count. And then, you can truly start to make things happen!


This is the first post in December’s Life Spring Cleaning series. If you think life spring cleaning is as important as we do, you’ll want to read these posts:

Ditch the junk to get more done
3 ways to improve your friendships (and why you should)
Prioritising sex

Ready to share some of your best tips with our readers? Sharing is one of the best ways to relieve yourself of guilt – so post them below.

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