Guilt, shame and fear will all affect your life in a negative way. They will keep you from going after success, and they will make you feel smaller than you really are. The good news is that overcoming guilt, shame and fear is something that everyone can do with the right mindset.
When you feel guilty, it is because you feel like you have done something wrong. And, in most cases (not all) you have done something wrong. You may have hurt someone, broken the law, acted inappropriately, or did something despite it going against your morals.
But, can you imagine someone who hasn’t done all those things? To me, a grown up like that would have the mentality of a spoiled rotten child. Why? Because doing things wrong, and feeling guilt, is how we learn how to do things right.
The only way to figure out how to do things right is to make mistakes. And the biggest lessons often come from the biggest mistakes. When you can look at the experience and apply the lesson to your life, you can recognize that you are becoming a better human being because of it, and guilt should start to disappear.
If you haven’t done something wrong, and you are beating yourself up over nothing, then you have to deal with the root of the issue. Most often, we feel guilty when we are seeking approval in life and we didn’t get it. For instance, not going to a family function can cause us to feel guilty because we think our family will not approve of our absence. Remind yourself that you don’t need approval from others in order to be a good person. You need to live your life in the best way you know how, which is nothing to be guilty about, and the choices you make are a reflection of that.
When you feel shame, you feel like you have done something foolish or embarrassing. This is a painful feeling that can keep us from wanting to interact with others. But, it is also a common feeling that people have every single day. So, how can you overcome shame quickly?
Get into the present moment. All that shame is in the past, and as you relive it over and over, you will never be able to overcome it. Move into the present moment and focus on that. This will help you get your mind off the moment that is causing shame. After you distance yourself from it, you may gain perspective on the situation. It may not seem as bad as it was, or you may feel like it was actually kind of a funny moment that doesn’t deserve the shame you are giving it.
If not, then you have to accept that whatever you did or said was in the past. You can’t change it, therefore obsessing over it is a waste of your time. Remind yourself of other moments that you have done something embarrassing and gotten over, and allow that feeling of overcoming shame help you to move on from this moment.
Fear can come in handy, expect when you need to do something that will give you wanted results. But, fear almost always precedes something rewarding. For instance, a wedding can be scary, but once it is done you will have someone to call your wife or husband who will support and love you. In other words, the most common outcome of fear is comfort.
You have a comfort zone right now. It tells you what you can do and when you can do it. Doing something fearful requires you to step out of your comfort zone. But, once you tackle the fear, it becomes a part of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone expands, and you don’t feel so scared anymore.
Therefore, when you are faced with something you fear, remind yourself that tackling it is the best way to make it a part of your comfort zone.