Tag Archive: guilt

Mistakes

 

Mistakes. Like …

  1. I’m experiencing a typical day in my life – rushing around, trying to get the most done in the least time. A friend calls and wants 5 minutes, but I’m panicking about getting everything done, and I put her off, telling her I’ll get back to her later. Then I don’t.
  2. One day, after a long period of research and analysis, weighing the pros and cons, I decide to buy a car. That car turns out to be a lemon.

These are examples of the 2 kinds of mistakes we tend to make. The first happens when we don’t think, or pause, or consider the consequences. It happens because we’re afraid of something – not meeting a deadline, someone’s opinion of us, for instance. The second happens in spite of our best efforts, and is probably unavoidable.

The fallout from the first one is remorse, guilt, shame – generally feeling bad about ourselves. The second one has fallout too – but it’s more about feeling a loss, and then looking at what we could do better next time.

That first kind of mistake always hurts others, including ourselves, even if we don’t know it. Mostly, it hurts those closest to us.  The second hurts too, but it doesn’t hurt others.  It’s like getting a cut or even breaking a leg.  It does damage, but it’s damage that will mend.

We can learn to avoid the first kind of mistake by first, becoming aware of how we end up making it, then making the changes that will prevent it. It takes courage to face our dark side, and self-forgiveness.

And … it’s so worth it!

 How to learn? From mistakes!

 

 

Quote of the Week

Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
― L.M. Montgomery

 

Announcements

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Mistakes

 

Mistakes. Like …

  1. I’m experiencing a typical day in my life – rushing around, trying to get the most done in the least time. A friend calls and wants 5 minutes, but I’m panicking about getting everything done, and I put her off, telling her I’ll get back to her later. Then I don’t.
  2. One day, after a long period of research and analysis, weighing the pros and cons, I decide to buy a car. That car turns out to be a lemon.

These are examples of the 2 kinds of mistakes we tend to make. The first happens when we don’t think, or pause, or consider the consequences. It happens because we’re afraid of something – not meeting a deadline, someone’s opinion of us, for instance. The second happens in spite of our best efforts, and is probably unavoidable.

The fallout from the first one is remorse, guilt, shame – generally feeling bad about ourselves. The second one has fallout too – but it’s more about feeling a loss, and then looking at what we could do better next time.

That first kind of mistake always hurts others, including ourselves, even if we don’t know it. Mostly, it hurts those closest to us.  The second hurts too, but it doesn’t hurt others.  It’s like getting a cut or even breaking a leg.  It does damage, but it’s damage that will mend.

We can learn to avoid the first kind of mistake by first, becoming aware of how we end up making it, then making the changes that will prevent it. It takes courage to face our dark side, and self-forgiveness.

And … it’s so worth it!

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

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Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Show up!

This week I was tired. Got double duty; began every day by jumping out of bed 2 hours earlier than normal, and falling back into bed an hour later than I’m used to.

I was invited to a party; it was important I be there because it was an honoring of a group of people who worked even harder than I did.  But, by the time I had to go to it, I was talking myself out of it.

I mentioned this to my partner – “Gosh I’m so tired! Maybe we should skip this one. Who’s going to miss us anyway?”

His response? “That’s fine, but I’m going to send you a blog I just read.”  It was the blog I’d written the day before about how much we impact others with our absence.

We went, and I’m grateful we did, because a lot of others had the same idea to skip the party.

It can be hard, but it’s better than adding to my sense of guilt and inadequacy.

As Woody Allen said “Showing up is 80% of life.”

 

If you’re interested in learning more, my online workshop on Burning the Candle at Both Ends can help. It’s is starting this October. Click here if you’re interested in learning about it.

 

Guilt: 3 ways to let it go and move on

I have a dear friend who happened to be born and raised into a healthy and well-off family. He knew growing up that he had advantages that many other kids his age didn’t have.  He felt guilty about it and as an adult, continues to feel that guilt.

It’s a kind of survivor guilt, and can be the motivator under all kinds of actions: the neighbor who will routinely go out of her way to babysit; the volunteer who spends all his free time helping out at outreach programs – local or global. Doing things for others is a wonderful give-away, but not so much if it’s really to make us feel better. Besides, trying to soften guilt with charitable acts doesn’t work – it doesn’t take the guilt away, and it doesn’t make the recipients feel very good.  As an Inuit elder once said to a well-wisher “I don’t want your guilt. I want your participation!”

Survivor guilt happens to us, not because we’ve done anything to feel guilty about, but because we feel a sense of unfairness: that we got a “break” when others didn’t.

Then there’s the kind of guilt where we have done something, either through omission or action, that ended up harming someone else. It might be something you said in a thoughtless moment, or something you didn’t say. Remember that news story where a woman was being beaten and passers-by did nothing to interfere, even to call the authorities? If I were one of those people, I might regret not doing anything, and carry with me a sense of guilt long after the event happened.

Guilt can motivate us and it can weigh us down. Either way, unless we deal with it, it saps our energy and prevents us from living fully and contributing to our society the best we can.
If you’re feeling guilty about something right now, here’s what you can do to effectively – and fairly – deal with it:

  • Have a talk with yourself, as if you were a wise elder offering advice. What might that elder say? Was there any realistic way you could have done something different? Own it. Be realistic about it, as an elder would.  If you did harm, then make amends in a way that fully ends your guilt trip.
  • Grieve the loss, so that you can finally let the guilt go. There is always some loss involved. It might be the loss of a friend; a betrayal; an unhealed hurt of some kind.  It might be ridicule from your father that propels you to bully someone else.  Take the time you need to feel the pain, and then let it go. You might complete this period of grief with a give-away – a small ceremony where you give away a token of your loss.
  • Expand your perspective, by seeing it through the eyes of your friends, or even of the one you hurt. How would a friend feel abut your focus on feeling guilty? How would it change your relationship if you didn’t feel guilty? I remember hearing a man talk about how he had killed a neighbor’s child in a car accident.  He was a teenager at the time, and dealt with his guilt by becoming an addict and destroying his life.  Then one day, the child’s father, having seen this, stopped him and let him know he forgave him, expressly saying that the best thing he could do for the child’s family would be to leave this behind and live the best life he could. Today, that man is owner of a multi-million dollar business, and an active contributor to his community – not through guilt, but through the resolution of guilt and the forgiveness of the family he hurt.

The only good thing about guilt is that it helps us take ownership for our actions, and then motivates us to change and grow, living the best life we can.

Pema Chödron – All in the same boat

Quote of the Week
Calvin : There’s no problem so awful, that you can’t add some guilt to it and make it even worse.
― Bill Watterson, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

Announcements
At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .