Ep 159 Feeling Guilty
Today I am talking about feeling guilty – how fun! The truth is, many of us feel guilty and with no upside to anyone. Let’s dive into what feeling guilty means, what the thoughts are that cause guilt, what else could be true.. and – is it really guilt?
Let me know if you notice the “where do you come up with these things?” Response I received from the editor… I may have misused a quote about Bon Bons… Sometimes I get sayings wrong… it’s fine – you get the point right?
In This Episode:
- Awareness around guilt in your life
- Feelings of guilt
- Thoughts causing you guilt
- Guilt vs Shame
- Work with me: email@example.com
You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach and career mentor Michelle Arnold Burke, and today’s episode I’m discussing, feeling guilty. Welcome to the richer time Podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place. Hello, hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast friends. How are you today? Let’s take a moment to say Happy Veterans Day and a big thank you. To those who have served who are serving, it really does take a special kind of person who is willing to do that, right. And we all benefit from such bravery. So remember to thank the veterans around you. Okay, now today, I am just going to jump right into the topic of feeling guilty. Doesn’t sound like so much fun. But here’s the thing, because I was recently part of a presentation where this came up the idea of in this example, it was actually saying no to something at work and feeling guilty about it. Now, you all know how I like to approach topics from a couple different angles, perhaps because my brain is always moving so fast, right? Sometimes mom says that I have a touch of ADHD. Sometimes my sister says it’s the crazy and me but whatever it is, I’m gonna go ahead and own it today. And I’m using it as my superpower just for the record, right? Because the truth is, I do think approaching topics from multiple angles, has a couple of benefits first, not everyone thinks the same, right. And thank the good Lord for that. Because some of the things I see people posting out there, it’s a good thing we all don’t think alike. But in all seriousness, if we are looking to teach here, and open up new ways of thinking for all of you, I just want to show you a few different ways and hopefully, something lands for you. That helps you and your life. So let’s just start with the very basics. When you say I feel guilty, doing something. What does that even mean? Remember, guilt is a feeling. So it’s simply a sensation in your body. And when I asked what does that mean? I’m really curious how guilt feels for you. And what happens is, our brain has a thought that thought releases chemicals in our brain, which gives you the sensations so we can bring it back to the foundation of the thought model, which I’ve talked about a number of times here. We know there are circumstances in the world, right? And we cannot as much as we want to control them. But we can control how we react to them. And I would even say there might be an initial reaction. But then you can also choose to tweak that to make it more useful in your life. So in this conversation, I believe it was something along the lines of having a case that was going late. Now, in this industry, that circumstance happens all the time, right? So even if you aren’t in the medical device industry, I’m sure at some point in your life, you have been either delayed at work, or if you have been delayed in a doctor’s appointment or for your own surgery, but as a rep. You can’t just walk out and leave the patient. Well, even as I say that, of course you could. You just might not have a job when you get home. Right. So side note, this is important. And I want to point out because when you can see something like that when you tell yourself, I can’t leave. It’s really a lie. And it makes us feel like a victim. You really don’t have to do much of anything in life. We all choose to do what we want to do. And sometimes it doesn’t feel like a choice, but I assure you, it is. So we choose to stay for the case. We choose to do all of the running around for the kids. Right? Whatever it is for you, where you think you’re so overwhelmed and don’t have a choice. Own it all. We are all always choosing because from there, you hold the power. So in this example the woman was choosing to take care of her newborn over committing to being the team member that would do the case late. And she said she was feeling guilty for that. Now. Let’s be sure to be clear. Again, on what feeling guilty actually feels like? Is it a pit in your stomach? Is it a head rush? A little increase in your heart rate? It’s okay. It’s not a problem. Let me share a fun fact. Harvard brain scientist, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor says that it takes 90 seconds to identify an emotion and allow it to dissipate. While you simply just notice it. That’s pretty amazing. Because a lot of times, what we all try to do is resist it. We don’t think we should have to feel guilty, or we don’t want to feel shame, or whatever the feeling is for you. For one of my dear friends, we were just talking about how she doesn’t like to feel embarrassment. I mean, let’s be honest, who really does, right? It’s not like sign me up to feel shame and embarrassment. But yes, that is what I’m trying to sell you here today. Because if you are willing to feel any emotion, you are willing to change your life. 90 seconds, friends, feel it, name it, describe it, process it. And you know what? You show your brain that you didn’t die from feeling it. And you’ll be willing to take the next scary step in your life knowing you can handle any emotion. So today, we’re focused on guilt. What does it actually feel like for you? Because my guess is, many of us have felt it and feel it often. But let’s just take one step back and look at what is the thought causing that feeling of guilt. So for this example, it was somewhere along the lines of I’m not doing enough anymore as a team member. And we need to question that. What does that mean? I’m not doing enough. I mean, seriously, she said no to one late case. And it wasn’t because she was off to eat bond bonds and sit on a float, which, in all fairness, totally could have been right, it could have been that you had to take care of your dog. I don’t care what it is you want to do. But to stay with this example, she was taking care of a newborn. Again, you think about the examples for you. And what you tell yourself, we think to ourselves, usually something like I should be doing more, but can’t, because I have to, and then insert what it is for you. Right? So I should be working later. But I can’t because I have to take care of the dog. Take care of the kid. Take care of my parents. And now take it another step. Would you ever tell your kid your parents, your dog, I can’t be good at my job because of you. I had to leave work because I had to come deal with you know, we would never look our kids, our dogs, our family members or loved ones in the eye and say something like that. So stop telling yourself that story. There is no upside. Really get clear on what you are telling yourself friends, Words matter. You’re choosing to do what? And for what reason? Get clear on that. Okay, so we looked at the feelings. We’ve looked at some of the thoughts. Now let’s go to the very very basic thing that you know I love to do. When I’m talking about any of these concepts, you guessed it, I like to head to the good old fashioned Google’s to look up the definition. Let me tell you all it’s a good thing that I actually have Google’s right could you imagine the Merriam Webster’s that I might hoard without it? Okay. The definition of guilty is culpable of or responsible for a specified wrongdoing justly chargeable with a particular fault or error. Okay. Now please tell me where the wrongdoing is and wanting to take care of your kid. Where is the wrongdoing and wanting to let your dog out? Where is the wrongdoing and wanting to see your parents? Where is the wrongdoing and whatever your reason was becoming a aware of what we are telling ourselves is the key to making changes. And I would also question if the word is truly guilt that is being felt when you say that, because guilt and shame are pretty closely related. And again, I always talk about how words matter. And when we can get clear on what it is that is really going on. The awareness is what allows us to make the changes. So, guilt and shame. They share some neural networks in the frontal and temporal areas of the brain, but their patterns are distinctly different. So guilt arises when your behavior conflicts with your conscience. And shame, on the other hand, is triggered when we think we’ve damaged our reputation. So guilt is more about how your actions impact others, which could have been the case in today’s example. And shame is more of an inward facing emotion, more about how you feel about yourself. So not about doing something quote unquote, bad, more along the lines of ima, quote unquote, bad person for doing it. So it’s the action versus the being. But that can be an entirely other podcast, right? I just wanted to bring in one more angle for you to watch. So that when you catch yourself saying that you feel guilty, first, ask yourself, Is this truly guilt I’m feeling? And if yes, okay, what is the thought causing this feeling? And then feel nah, feeling, process it, take time to sit with it. Sometimes what happens when we do this work, especially when you’re just starting, we start to see how powerful we are in changing our thoughts. And when we see that we have a negative thought, we think, oh, I need to quickly change it to rainbows, daisies and butterflies. That is not the case. Sometimes, we just have to sit in the IC. And then we can move forward. Next question. How is that thought? Maybe not really true. So you’ve sat in the feeling? And now just get curious? How could it not be true? What else might I be able to think and remember, again, we do not go to the rainbows, daisies and butterflies, we go to a thought that we can believe it does not have to be that you move directly from thought a to thought B, sometimes it’s just moving from a to not A and we want to make sure that we can believe it. But again, do not skip the feeling part be willing to feel it. That’s what this is all titled, feeling guilty. And when you’re able to do that, and process it, you have more access to see what else is possible. And friends, there is usually so much more possible, we just have to start seeing the stories that we believe either from society, or that have been programmed from parents, or school, or friends, we get to believe whatever we want, I want you to consider this. What if, instead of thinking from guilt, for example, something like I shouldn’t want this data, there’ll be hurt if I do. And instead think from love something more along the lines of I can take the promotion, and still make time for the kids. Or I can love you deeply and still live a couple hours away. Remember, your reticular activating system looks for evidence to prove what you believe to be true. So if you’re thinking, I can’t do this job and have time to myself, guess what, you will find all of that evidence. And here is a simple question to ask yourself. Am I using this guilt to motivate me for a better change? Which that is sometimes the case right? So am I using this guilt to motivate me for a better change? Or am I using this guilt to beat myself up and feel terrible? Be honest with yourself? Are you using the guilt to beat yourself up and feel terrible? why things don’t have to be either or in life. Let’s start using the word and a lot more. How can you do this? And this still be true. How can you be An amazing parent and have your work all situated. How can you be an amazing daughter and not have to do everything that your parents want you to do? Give yourself some grace. You have permission to say no. You have permission to take care of you. In fact, when you do more of that, everyone benefits and like how I use that word, and you don’t have to feel guilty about that. Got it. Okay, friends, again, when you are able to take care of yourself, everyone benefits and you do not have to feel guilty about that. Okay, that’s what I have for you today. Be sure to tune in next week for a special announcement but until then, stay safe and make it a great day. Take care