Let go of guilt for good.
Almost every woman I’ve worked with carries around a repeating narrative of “I shouldn’t have…”
I shouldn’t have skipped my workout.
I shouldn’t have had that second glass of wine.
I shouldn’t have eaten the chocolate.
I should be doing MORE.
And they endure these self-imposed micro-invalidations on an endless loop constantly undermining their power, confidence, and ability to live from a place of ease.
What’s even harder to believe is that when it comes to others, most women I’ve worked with have endless compassion, understanding, and patience for their children, partners, friends, and family.
So why is it so hard to let go of guilt when it comes to ourselves?
We hold ourselves to standards we would NEVER ask of anyone else.
Everyone has an idea of what perfect looks like for them. Unfortunately, that ideal is not fixed, and because it’s a moving target, we can never achieve lasting perfection. Instead, we carry around guilt for not being perfect every single day.
We think that in order to have optimal health, we need to have the perfect diet, the perfect exercise routine, and a perfect meditation track record.
But, that’s simply not how it works.
We don’t need to be perfect—AT ALL.
The truth is that over time, small actions turn into habits that either support our health or diminish it.
If we don’t make a habit out of it, it doesn’t have as big of an impact.
Our ability to reach big personal or professional goals is inextricably linked to the small choices we make in how we care for ourselves on a daily basis.
When we maintain *mostly* healthy habits, we give ourselves the foundation to grow personally and professionally.
How, then, do we let go of the guilt?
The trick is to shift our perspective—stop criticizing and think small.
I know it goes against the grain. Most of us are told to “think big” and “keep it together.”
Yet the more we get angry with ourselves for not choosing healthier options, the more we magnify our negative inner dialog. Then, our Inner Critic feeds on a cascade of hormones that builds up in our bodies and weakens our health.
Switch from Inner Critic to Small WINS Coach
1.) Recognize the unconstructive habit while waving goodbye to your old Inner Critic.
2.) Remember you are a work in progress, then identify the smallest action you can take right now to move toward a healthier replacement habit—and by small, I mean itty bitty, teeny tiny.
Ready to take on the world?
Great. Be the architect of your space when your motivation to change is high. This means, for example, setting an alarm on your phone to start preparing for bed by 9 p.m. Another example would be to give away your wine and chocolate stash. Then commit to truly enjoying them in the future—outside of your home with friends—rather than as something you consume on autopilot.
Just not feeling it?
No problem. Rather than focusing on the guilt you feel because you didn’t make the healthiest choice, focus on what IS going well.
Pause and focus on how far you’ve come in your awareness of your patterns. It’s time to pat yourself on the back—connect with the part of you that celebrates small wins. And trust me, just being aware of your habits is a WIN!
Guilt gets you nowhere. It degrades your mental health, limits your curiosity about what could support a shift in your patterns, and erodes your confidence to practice the game of life again.
Guilt puts you in a fixed, all-or-nothing mindset. It’s an extreme internal smack on the hand.
Extreme changes usually don’t last.
Small, consistent changes over time build the foundation for your long-term health and happiness.
It’s with this exact philosophy that my Journey to Thrive program leads members to adopt a growth mindset and let go of their guilt.
Let me help you make small changes that allow you to let go of guilt and shift toward a life where you truly thrive!
Photo credit: Thought Catalog