Monday, March 18, 2013
Overcoming Guilt & Experiencing Freedom
We have all done something that we regret or feel guilt about. Guilt is not a bad thing. It is an alarm going off telling us that we did something that may not have been in alignment with our value system. If we pay attention to guilt and work through it we can get to a better place - change.
The problem occurs when guilt turns into shame. Shame is the result of not dealing with our guilt. When we don't work out our guilt we allow the thing we did to define us. With shame comes a lot of self-judgement and should statements. We start beating ourselves up.
So how do we get out of this trap?
Identifying Should Statements
If we are feeling guilt or shame it is beneficial to identify the should statements we are telling ourselves. For instance, if someone is consistently late they may be telling themselves, "I should be more responsible" or "I should respect other people's time."
I would recommend writing down all the should statements and then circling the one that speaks the most to your situation. Once you do this then focus on trying to identify what needs of yours were not met by what you did. This is not easy because most of us do not have a needs vocabulary. I encourage you to click here if you would like to work on this step to discover what needs may have not been met. I think, at first, it is better to use the list instead of trying to discover unmet needs on your own.