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Guilt is More Expensive than Armani

August 10, 2011

The amount of time women spend feeling guilty can be measured in hours, not seconds. Their guilt distracts them from both kids and work.

In the time it takes to go down the sinkhole of guilt, a beautiful moment with the kids can disappear. In the time it takes to worry whether you prepared enough, a sales opportunity at work goes to someone else. It’s like putting one foot on the gas and one on the brake and trying to drive.

And, guilt seems to be a woman’s disease. It’s certainly a source of dis-ease! We take guilt to a whole new level when we feel bad that we aren’t super moms, successful career professionals, community leaders and gorgeous wives with buff bodies – all at once!

Instead of noticing and celebrating what we do that is good we criticize ourselves for what we did not do. Instead of valuing the choices we’ve made – we beat ourselves up for what we left out of our days.

It’s the 80/20 rule. When you put 80% of your attention on negative thoughts you decrease effectiveness and joy! When you put 80% of your attention in appreciative thoughts you feel happy and capable.

Here’s a tip for shifting the balance:

Tip #1: Answer the question: How were you wise this week? Look for and and trust that you are a wisewoman.  Make a list of the small and large ways you bountifully give to your kids as well as how smart and strategic you are in business.

It’s likely that you make good and wise choices in work and home. But guilt can stop you from tapping into your Wise Self and asking the kind of smart questions that get you going again. If you worry about not enough time on your business – sit down and assess your break even point. Get objective information to make a choice that you can live with.

If you are consumed with guilt about the amount you travel right now for work and the effect on the kids, figure out what is in integrity for you. Once you know that – find ways to get more support both at home (someone to do your laundry?) and at work (someone to do the grunt work preparing for the quarterly report?).

As women we don’t ask for support nearly enough. I recommend asking, it’s not as costly as guilt.

Guilt is more expensive than Armani! Everyday I hear stories. Whether coaching a senior executive or an investment advisor, women tell me about how guilt scatters their focus, undermines their choices, confuses their priorities and decreases their sense of enjoyment in everything.

Guilt puts on blinders that keep us from seeing the pleasure in our lives. Guilt messes with timing too – it can keep us from responding to hi-leverage opportunities in a timely way.

It’s hard to admit, but guilt can keep us from being the wise leader we are ready to be and the world needs us!

Let’s share how we overcome guilt. Let’s give it up so we feel happy in ourselves naturally “go for it!” like we did as kids.

How does your guilt cost you?  What do you do to step aside from guilt so your natural enthusiasm returns? I’d love to know.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 11, 2011 6:48 am

    We are involved in great discussions on this topic in coaching and requests are arriving for taking this up in a teleseminar – I’ve touched a nerve!

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