Shifting from Guilt to Gratitude

“ Guilt is to the spirit, what pain is to the body.” - Elder David A. Bednar 

If I looked at the layers of what make up myself, one of those layers would be very thick. What layer is that? Guilt. Guilt of not doing enough, guilt of not being enough. Guilt from what I’ve done in the past, or what I didn’t do. Guilt of not being a good enough friend, guilt of not being supportive enough. Guilty for sharing and thinking that I’m taking away from the conversation. Guilt is just so thick, and heavy, and dense. 

For a very long time I just pushed past my guilt. I accepted the negative self talk and sucked it up and kept going. But as I am becoming more mindful I have realized I get to choose how I feel. I get to release what doesn't serve me. Guilt does not serve me. It makes me feel terrible and that no matter what I do it’s not ever enough. I am choosing to set guilt down on the table and start to dissect it so that it gets smaller and smaller. I get to change it from its power over me to my power over it.

I’m going to share some tips that I have used to reframe my guilt and take my power back. I first looked at a mindset shift, that was understanding that guilt is centered around lack. The lack of not being enough, the lack of not doing enough, etc. What is the opposite of lack? Abundance. Gratitude is a great way to practice seeing and feeling that abundance is all around you. 

So here are a few mindfulness techniques I use to shift from that feeling of guilt and lack mentality to the feeling of gratitude and an abundant mentality. 

1. I create a TaDa list

 I shift my perspective from looking at all the things I “should” be doing to celebrating the things I did do. I write down everything I did that day, no matter how big or small. It all took time and energy and it deserves to be recognized and celebrated that I accomplished those things. Examples could be brushing your teeth, washing your face, taking a shower, drinking water, making yourself food, etc. 

2. Eliminate should & identify the priority 

First I release “should” stating all of the things I “should” be doing just makes me feel bad and that i’m not living up to an expectation. I check in with myself and really look at the tasks that are coming up in my head and see if something needs to get done- like time is ticking and it needs to be done. If something HAS to get done, I take a deep breath, I hold it, and then release like I’m blowing out a candle (i do this multiple times if I need to)  I count down from 5 to 1 and when I get to 1 I start taking action toward completing that task that needs to get done. 

If I am feeling overwhelmed with everything and just don’t know where to even begin, I physically step away from the space I am in and choose to do something that serves me. I choose something that I know will restore my energy, or just helps fill up my cup a bit. Some things I like to do are sit outside, look up at the sky, throw myself a dance party, read, talk to a friend, turn to my community for support, take a walk or lie down. I just deliberately and intentionally make the time about choosing something for myself that lights me up. 

3. Refocus & reframe 

To refocus and reframe I write out my Get To Do List. I get to do those tasks for my business, for my health, for my house and just give a moment of gratitude that these are things in my life that I get to do. We often take the things we have in our life for granted so really intentionally viewing those things with a grateful perspective really helps me. I then write out the tasks that I get to do and put some action steps under each of those tasks. Then I check in with myself and my energy. I ask does it feel in alignment and like I am honoring my energy by starting any of those tasks. If not, then I celebrate myself for creating this amazing Get To Do List that is ready with actionable steps the next time I have the time and energy to work on these things. 

By going through these steps I always feel empowered after. I have my TaDa list where I can reality check myself and realize how much I actually did. I have my intentional & deliberate time where I am either buckling down to tackle a task or I am consciously choosing to pick myself and do something that helps fill up my cup. And I get to refocus and reframe my thoughts and those tasks and be grateful that I have those things even in my life that I get to do! 

I hope these tips can help you release some of your guilt and reframe your thinking around guilt. Let me know if you try any of these! I would love to hear how it goes for you!