Do you constantly experience a feeling of regret?
If so, you may be struggling with guilt.
What is Guilt?
Guilt is a sense of remorse for past thoughts, feelings or actions.
In Excuses Begone, Dr. Wayne Dyer states that excuses, limits, and other obstacles shut the door to your dreams. And you’re left with feelings of guilt, frustration, and even hopelessness.
There are actually three types of guilt that people are faced with. There is Healthy Guilt, Unhealthy Guilt, and False Guilt. Let’s explore them a little more …. and learn the 7 steps to handle guilt.
Three Types of Guilt
Healthy guilt is when you know you’ve done something wrong. It’s our conscience telling us that we have done something against our morals and beliefs. It’s a natural process of evaluating our self I the light of honesty.
For these things we need to identify and correct the action as much as possible. Accept responsibility for your actions. Ask for forgiveness. Live with the consequences.
Unhealthy guilt occurs when you feel everything is your fault – even things totally beyond your control. You did nothing wrong.
You want everything perfect. You feel responsible for everyone and everything. If it rains – it’s your fault. If someone else makes a mistake – it’s your fault.
You have a low self-esteem. Somehow by feeling everything is your fault – You are giving yourself approval to sink into further despair. You may feel like you are helping the person actually at fault by covering for them.
You need to build confidence and self-worth. Learn to identify what you can and can’t control. Letting unhealthy guilt linger may drive you to behavioral extremes such as excessive housecleaning or keeping yourself isolated.
Victims of all forms of abuse (sexual, physical and mental) and of violent crimes often have false guilt. They feel they were somehow at fault for what has happened and accept the blame.
This creates an unhealthy emotion of guilt that may end in grief, self destructive habits or isolation. You may be overcome with fear of doing something wrong or making a wrong decision. You may be over sensitive to other people’s beliefs and comments.
It’s imperative that you identify your true feelings and cope with what has happened to keep false guilt from misleading you.
It’s important that you make a firm and consistent effort to concentrate on the ONLY thing you can change – YOU! Self-Confidence allows you to deal with guilt in a healthy manner.
For all forms of guilt make a firm and consistent effort to concentrate on the things you can change – YOU! Brian Tracy’s program “The Science of Self-Confidence” teaches you how to completely eliminate guilt, self-doubt and fear. This program was the beginning of a life transformation for me.
7 Steps to Handle Your Guilt
1. Recognize and identify your feelings of guilt
2. Is this a healthy, unhealthy or false guilt?
3. Acknowledge your role in the wrong-doing to yourself or others
4. Are you getting any positive experiences from feeling guilty?
5. Seek forgiveness (this includes forgiving yourself
6. Learn from the situation so you don’t repeat the same mistakes
7. Let go of the past and move on