Over the last few days ago I’ve shared how knowing what you “should” do to feel your best doesn’t always end in you feeling good. If anything, it only hinders you and makes you feel worse.
I also shared stories of how two of my clients, Andrea and Margot, began to feel their best once they let go of all the things they thought they “should” do.
So, today, let’s talk about how we can let go of what we think we should do, and therefore, let go of tons of the guilt we carry that holds us back.
Here’s a rule of transformation:
“In oder to grow, you have to let go of the thing you are attached to that’s stopping you.”
Just like we talked about in the last blog posts, what stops us from getting what we want are the millions of things we think we should do to feel good.
You should exercise tonight
You should eat a healthy dinner.
You should choose that low-fat skinny-latte.
These ideas burden us. And when we don’t do them, we feel guilty.
What happens when we feel guilty, anyway?
Here’s my belief: When we feel good, we want to keep feeling good. Likewise, when we feel bad, we tend to continue to make decisions that keep us down.
For example, you come home on your lunch break, eat way to much food, get super bloated, and then when you pop back into work and see a tray of cookies, you grab one, because hell… you already feel bad. You couldn’t feel any worse, could you?
Did you know feeling guilty over something you think you did wrong doesn’t help you make positive change?
Nope. Rather, the times we’ve made positive change from guilt are the times that we’ve actually let the guilt go, whether you realize it or not.
For example… If I continue feeling guilty about eating all that food for lunch, and then the cookies, I’m going to fall into a shame funnel. I’m going to continue looking for reasons that I should feel bad and stay there.
However, if I notice what’s going on and I recognize that I’m feeling guilty, I can turn that guilt into a little red flag that lets me know something doesn’t feel right.
What doesn’t feel right?
Okay… what doesn’t feel right is way too much lunch in my stomach and now a cookie. I don’t need to feel bad about that. There must be a reason I did it. In some way, I must have felt like eating all that food was the best choice. I can’t take it back, so starting RIGHT NOW I’m going to allow myself to move forward and make a different choice.
So, I commit to myself, that my very next choice is going to be something that feels good. Whether or not it has to do with food.
My best girlfriend texts me, and instead of bashing myself, or continuing in the destruction, I say something nice that uplifts me. I ask my friend how she’s doing, and I feel good about that.
Then, a co-worker walks by, and I tell her how nice she looks today. I start to feel better.
I look at my to-do list for work, and I decide that I’m going to knock out a few things and get them done, because that would feel AWESOME.
I knock out some work, and I’m feeling great. I’ve moved out of my guilt bubble, and I’m on the up and up.
I realize I’m getting a bit hungry on my way home from work, but I have an hour commute. So, I grab that Larabar out of my bag & snack on it on the way home, so that when I walk in the door I can feel calm and make my dinner without snacking through the entire kitchen.
I get home, make a nice dinner, enjoy it, get into my PJ’s, and climb into bed to watch my favorite show. I feel good, and I totally turned my day around.
Lasting change happens from a place of kindness.
It’s best to release guilt and instead, commit to making our very next choice one that feels better. One that we truly know will make us happy.
THIS = making choices based in the motivation to feel good (not a place of “I should do this”)
See the difference?
Guilt never helps anyways (it just keeps us in shame and feeling bad), so we MAY AS WELL let it go, even if we feel like we should punish ourselves.
Wanting to stay in punishment, is really just a subconscious excuse to continue doing what feels bad.
Have the courage to NOT go there.
Stick around for my next post, because I have something really special for you & will tell you exactly how we can use all we’re learning to experience real transformation. For the first few people who see my offer, I’ve got a very special bonus for you.
So, tell me in the comments below what are your biggest objections? What are you most afraid will happen if you do let go guilt/rules/should’s?