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Success without Guilt: 4 steps to Standing Tall

August 10, 2011

Guilt-tripping plays a movie in our brains and bodies over and over again of wrong doing.  Are you willing to take that DVD out of the player and insert a new movie that gives you images of all the ways you are talented, blameless, well-intentioned and good?

It’s a virtuous cycle. The more you think about and appreciate what is good, right, beautiful in your life and work, the more you’ll ensure those kind of moments happen again and again. Once you start thinking this way – you’ll engage and inspire your creativity and increase your feelings of satisfaction day by day. You’ll be amazed how easily you become a wise leader at home and work.

Old repetitive cycles of guilt take you DOWN! See last Monday’s blog to read about a study in Spain on women and guilt. You can work hard in therapy to discover where your guilt comes from – but that might not make a change. The other option is to build a new and stronger way of thinking. It’s like building a new muscle – takes some time but sure feels good when you accomplish something more than ever before!

When you feel stuck on the merry-go-round of guilt – try these 4 steps:

1. Notice “I feel guilty (again!).  Name the guilt – write it down. “I feel guilty that I didn’t respond to that critical email immediately.”

2.Rate how guilty you feel on a scale of 1-5. (with 5 being off the chart, ready to take a dive into the morass of confusion, big-time guilt and 1 being a little guilt).

3. Ask yourself: What can I do right now to bring myself back in integrity with this situation?

4. Take that action or schedule it sometime soon.

Let your guilt slide away and feel your excitement and satisfaction at taking action on something that matters to you! Then, you flourish as a wise leader and begin to thrive in your life.

Does guilt ever run you over like a big semi-truck? What do you do to stand tall again? I’d love to know.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2011 3:11 pm

    Oh this is so true, recently I went through an absolute vicious business partner split. Although I knew and now know that it was the right thing to do, get out of the partnership. I continue to beat myself up daily about all the petty details. I feel guilty for getting angry during our negotiations, I feel bad about revenue lost from the toxic union and yet I feel guilty for not doing things sooner and getting angry sooner. It is true insanity, and for what? The situation was tough, I did my best, now let it go right? Thank you Karen for an eloquent reminder about how to handle our guilt you are spot on!

    • August 22, 2011 12:15 am

      I recently realized that the only way out of guilt is to side step it – say no thank you – and focus on what you want to create. It sounds like you are right on track for letting it go Rebecca! Once the way is cleared – momentum follows. The only person you have to forgive is…..yourself. That’s within your sphere of influence!

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