Don’t Let Guilt Run Your Life
There are a lot of great reasons to lose weight and get in shape.
But trying to guilt-trip ourselves into it is often counter-productive.
It’s counter-productive because it not only doesn’t usually work, but it actually makes it even harder to accomplish your goals.
Guilt can serve us to a point, but it can also turn into shame
When we do something bad, it can be good to feel guilt for it.
Guilt reminds us that how we’re behaving isn’t matching what we truly value.
And feeling guilty from time to time can offer us a stern wake up call to help keep us back on track.
But I often hear people saying things like “I know I should be…” or “I feel really bad about how I…”.
Too much guilt around an area in our lives, including our weight, leads to shame.
And shame is insidious.
It says that YOU are bad.
Feeling bad about who you are is, well, less than motivational.
Guilty pleasures point to unmet wants
If you want to use guilt as a springboard to success instead of failure, it’s important to focus on what’s behind the behaviors that you feel guilty about.
When we knowingly act in a way that’s different than what we value, it’s because we crave something in the moment that’s not being met.
For some of us, we crave friendships and relationships that we don’t have.
For others, it’s excitement. New experiences.
If you’re living day to day going from one box called “work” to another box called “home”, flipping on the box called “television” your body may actually be starved for some excitement, or some human connection.
Rather than reaching for that ice cream, try calling up some friends, or going to a nearby park.
Whatever it is, use the cravings you feel to explore even better, healthier, ways to fill those cravings.
Get clear on what’s really important to you
Honestly, you may just feel guilty because you don’t really want what you think you should want.
If every television ad you see says that you need to have 6 pack abs or a super-skinny body, you may feel guilty simply because you don’t actually value the things that you think you should value.
We’re social creatures, and unless we are clear about what it is that we really want, it’s easy to let those around us tell us what we should value.
The best way I know of for getting clear on your values is to journal about it, perhaps at night before you go to bed.
Consider what it is you want out of life 1o, 2o, or 30 years from now.
The more clear you can get on the direction you want your life to go, the more empowered you’ll feel and the more driven you’ll feel for getting yourself there.