Four Ways to Stop the Guilt Thief

written by Tonya Evans October 30, 2017

Four Ways to Stop the Guilt Thief

Guilt. Guilt was stopping me in my tracks and I didn’t know what to do about it. When I was working, I felt guilty about not being with my family. When I was hyper focused on my family, I kept thinking about how much work I should be getting done. When I hadn’t seen my dearest friends, I kicked myself for being a horrible friend. Ditto when I hadn’t spent as much time as I wanted to with my mom – I felt like a horrible daughter.

One day, a friend called me with a super heartfelt enthusiastic asked me to attend an event. I reluctantly declined, hung up and put my head on my steering wheel and cried.

This had to stop.

At my core, I’m a writer so I immediately began to think about the exercises I use to get over writer’s block. One of those is to write down a list of all of your ideas and do a brain dump – which means to write down every thought or writing idea. So in my hot car with mascara running down my checks I started to write down every single thing that made me feel guilty.

I must admit. The list was long. Really long. But as I started to get to the end of my list something shifted. I stopped for a minute and allowed myself to fully feel the guilt and see it for what it was.

The guilt…It was an excuse for not learning how to say no and understanding that saying no to some things meant saying yes to what was important to me. It was an excuse I used for not making the time to pursue my personal passions and interest. It was an excuse to prevent me from learning something new.

My guilt was an excuse and it was also a thief. It was robbing me of my joy. I was no longer going to allow that. Here’s how I stopped the thief.

  1. I began to think of all of my choices as blessings. My life was overflowing with people who wanted to spend time with me.
  2. I turned my no’s into yes’. I no longer say no to anything! I say yes to the things I want to do. An example: “I would love to go to have lunch with you but I am working on my book that afternoon and I am on a roll!” You see what I did there?
  3. I kept reviewing my goals. What had I promised to do this year? What decision would bring me closer to my goal? Does this decision align with my core values? This made me empowered and moved me toward lifetime goals.
  4. I reminded myself to be a good example. I wanted my kids to see that I could be a great mom, an entrepreneur, a friend, a writer, a stylist, a wife, a creative. I wanted them to see all the dimensions of their mom and know that they could be all those things – and more – too.

I haven’t fully killed the guilt monster and sometimes, he rears his ugly head, but now I know how to…slay. And you my friend, can slay too.

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