Monday, 13 February 2017

Ditch the Guilt #SelfLove #Happiness


February is the month of love, but here on Motivate Me! we’re looking at loving ourselves rather than joining the masses who are celebrating with their one and only. If you do have a true love close to hand, then feel free to engage in the odd snuggle, a romantic meal, or a deep and meaningful discussion about your relationship. Communication, interaction, and respect are key elements to any successful partnership.

If, however, you want to join me on a journey of self-discovery and take a deeper look at how we can love ourselves first, then stick with me.

Last week I shared my 5 Top Tips for Working on Self-Love, you can read that post HERE. This week I wanted to discuss an area that might impact on our personal development, and hold up our well-laid plans of loving ourselves unconditionally.

That issue is GUILT. Not in an ‘oh my god, I slept with my husband’s brother!’ way, although if you did do that, then you might want to skip off and sort that issue out!

The guilt I’m talking about today includes all the mistakes or mundane nonsense we beat ourselves up about. It could be that we weren’t there when someone needed us, or you’ve shouted at the kids over something trivial. For me, I feel guilty about my overwhelming ironing pile (I know, it sounds ridiculous doesn’t it!). In truth it makes me feel like I’m neglecting my family, failing as a mother and adds to my ever present ‘I’m not good enough’ limiting belief, I mean, seriously, who beats themselves up because of the ironing?

Surprisingly, it’s increasingly common for us to feel guilty about a host of mundane chores that don’t get done, or not being available 24-7 for our friends and family. However, in today’s society, we, as women, tend to be running a full-time job, a home, and dealing with family and friends, as well as coping with a host of other tasks. No wonder we feel so guilty if we can’t manage it all.

The only thing this guilt does is crush our self-esteem and, in turn, we begin to loathe the fact that we can’t ‘do it all’. We fall out of love with ourselves because we’re not operating at one-hundred-per-cent. It drains our energy, and we end up being moody which, of course, we feel guilty about.

As a single mum, I sometimes snap at my kids when really it’s because I’m worried about something else and I don’t have another adult to talk to. I feel guilty about snapping, and if I don’t apologise, then it escalates in my mind. By recognising what I’ve done, and saying I’m sorry, I neutralise the guilt. Why, because it’s normal guilt; the usual kind that doesn’t do that much harm if dealt with appropriately.

On the flip side, there is a form of guilt that is far from normal; it’s the unhealthy guilt that eats away at us. The voice in your head that always ridicules you, and wants you to believe that you are a waste of time. It’s this guilt that we need to stop feeding. Knowing the difference between normal guilt where we can resolve the issue and put it right, and the unhealthy toxic guilt will help you to deal with it.

Don’t allow your inner critic to fuel the negativity of unhealthy guilt. Believe that you are doing everything you can in the best way you know how. I find that writing in my journal every night helps me to differentiate between the two forms of guilt. Not going to the gym isn’t the kind of guilt that will derail my personal development, but telling myself that I’m a fat, useless, lazy creature who is unlovable because I didn’t bother going to the gym is a warning sign that I’ve let the unhealthy guilt take over my thoughts.

It can be one of the hardest things to do, learning to recognise what you are doing and disregarding it. But, learning how to deal with guilt can clear the path for greater respect for yourself. Turning these thoughts around will silence the inner monologue of negativity, and you can concentrate your efforts on filling your head with positive affirmations, and self-belief.

‘I am enough.’

‘I’m doing okay.’

‘Everything I do is done with the best intentions.’

‘What I do is done to the best of my abilities.’

Grab yourself a journal if you haven’t already got one, and begin recording your thoughts and actions. Start noticing what you’re telling yourself. Observe your thoughts and start challenging your negativity and before long you’ll be living a life full of self-love.

What do you feel guilty about? How do you cope with these feelings?
Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

6 comments:

  1. Great timing! As someone who's battled depression for more years than I care to count, I was just beating myself up again yesterday for feeling like I'd failed our kidlets when they were younger, and I had a particularly bad stretch down in the darkness. I used to journal like crazy (and have the bazillion notebooks to prove it - LOL), and I should probably start doing it again. Thanks for the inspiration, Shelley!

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    1. Thanks, Traci. I can relate to your comment so much and writing all those thoughts in my journal has become a go-to tool in my arsenal. I hope it helps you too x

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  2. Another great read Shelley! As a woman who runs her own business, I struggle massively with guilty mother syndrome...well that's what I call it anyway. I know it's not wrong now my children are growing up to focus more on my work, which I love, so why does it feel like it is? Your blog post is a great reminder and has been a sanity check for me knowing that it's not just me that feels this way. Although I wouldn't wish this feeling on others, there's something quite supportive of knowing I am not alone. Thank you

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely feedback. The driving force behind all my posts is to prove that we are never alone. Sharing our fears, anxieties, and guilt should be as empowering as sharing all the good stuff we achieve. When I feel a bit of that mum guilt creeping in I remind myself that I'm teaching my kids to be resilient, passionate, strong and confident. We shouldn't be guilty, we should be proud! :)

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  3. Guilt is something I feel 24/7. Over the most pathetic things! I'm working with my doctor to overcome feeling it! Thank you for posting such a brilliant post, it's made me feel less alone and know I can stop!

    Fix Me In Forty Five - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
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    xx

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Stacey. I think guilt is something we all deal with on some level but ultimately it's how we handle it that matters. I know that re-thinking a situation (such as with CBT) can be incredibly helpful.

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