Life Coach Magazine

The Guilt Trap

By None @DefyGravityToo
The Guilt Trap
I guilt easily.  Or at least I used to.  Like many women, I reproached myself for not being the mother, daughter, friend, teacher, writer, and coworker I thought I should be.  I’d beat myself up for exercising too little and snacking too much, for being too organized—yes, I’m serious—and not productive enough.  Oh and I’d even occasionally feel guilty about genocide and world hunger, things over which I obviously have no control.
When I say "like many women," what I really mean is most.  A recent survey by Stylist magazine found that more than 96 percent of us feel guilty at least once a day.  As Erica Jong once famously said: “Show me a woman who doesn’t feel guilty and I’ll show you a man.”
Some of this can be attributed to wiring.  According to researchers, women are generally more empathic than men, more acutely aware of others’ feelings.  But some of this also comes down to women’s generalized lack of self-worth, reinforced over the millennia by cultural and religious tenets.  We’ve been taught from an early age to be “good” and that being good means putting others first.  When we don’t, we quickly feel bad.
Whatever the cause of my guilt, I realized somewhere along the line that I was wasting a lot of precious energy on it, energy that once freed up, could be used in more fruitful ways.  I also realized that if I didn’t value myself, others wouldn’t either.
So how did I get out of the guilt trap?  Believe me, it’s on ongoing process, but basically…
  • I stopped “shoulding” on myself.  If I was exhausted after a long day, but felt like I should call a friend to see how she was doing, I asked myself whether I really needed to pick up the phone right then.  Couldn't it wait until tomorrow?  Couldn't I email instead?  In other words, when I heard myself saying the word “should,” I paused a moment and asked myself, “Who says?”  Then I looked for alternative solutions.
  • I started putting my needs on par with my loved ones'.  I didn’t go to the opposite extreme and insist on putting my needs first--although, frankly, if I don’t, who will?--but I tried to be good to myself.  I no longer left that last piece of pie for someone else or felt like I had to stop whatever I was doing to rush downstairs and make dinner for my husband who, after all, is perfectly capable of making dinner himself.  I reminded myself that when I’m unhappy, I’m neither good company nor in much of a position to help others. 
  • I embraced my imperfections.  Rather than struggling to conform to some ideal, I decided to just be myself.  I finally recognized that my imperfections are the most interesting and, dare I say, lovable thing about me.  Just as only a handful of genes separate us from the apes, only a few quirky traits make us the individuals we are.  I decided to exalt those aspects of myself rather than try to eliminate them.
Oh, and just this morning I decided to pick up a copy of Knowing Your Value:  Women, Money and Getting What You're Worth, a new book by Mika Brezezinski  that examines how and why women continue to undervalue themselves in the workplace and offers advice for changing the status quo.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Father James Martin's Bridge-Building Metaphor and Call to Mutual Respect Betwee...

    Father James Martin's Bridge-Building Metaphor Call Mutual Respect Between Catholic Leaders LGBTQ Community: Critical Commentary

    I have not read Father James Martin's new book Building a Bridge, which calls on the pastoral leaders of the Catholic church to collaborate with the LGBTQ... Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   William Lindsey
    LGBTQ, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Caution: This Can Cause Addiction

    Caution: This Cause Addiction

    I opened my low-carb/keto clinic with Nurse Sylvie in February 2017, inside the medical clinic where I do my regular general practice. To get people to enroll,... Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Review - Vichy Mineral 89 Skin Fortifying Daily Booster

    I'm always battling with dry and dehydrated skin.. even when I do nothing different, my skin will... Click for Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Chantana
    HAIR & BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE
  • Talk Show Host: Not Here to Make Friends

    Talk Show Host: Here Make Friends

    photo: Harley Haskett Toronto based Talk Show Host are quick to release a new EP. Not Here to Make Friends sounds cheerful and angry at the same time,... Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Hctf
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • The Human Design... Not All Bad!

    Human Design... Bad!

    Whatever or whoever it was that designed the human, had to have been at the least, a sadist. Now the design isn’t all that bad, it’s just that there were a few... Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Skip1957
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Citrus Marshmallow Sundaes

    Citrus Marshmallow Sundaes

    We all know what a Sundae is, and I am sure we have all secretly had one at some stage in our lives even those of us who are now on the healthy no sugar […] Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Shadesofcinnamon
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Konkani Style, Hog Plum Pickle…

    Konkani Style, Plum Pickle…

    Summer is full of Sun, fun, travel yumminess.. For those who love Mangoes its the season.. The kids have vacations... The markets are filled with an amazing... Read more

    The 22 June 2017 by   Anithanayak
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES

Magazines