Do you feel guilty all the time? Well, we live in demanding times. We’re supposed to be the very best at whatever we do. Plus, we should have enough money to afford whatever we want and be totally content with our lives.
Hands up, who can honestly say they have all three of the above?
There probably aren’t too many hands up right now.
The bottom line is that you just need to be happy with whatever you do or don’t have. However, one issue that affects far more people than you might think is a sense that you feel guilty all the time. But, guilty for what?
Do you feel this way? I think everyone does to some degree, but it’s important to ask yourself what you feel guilty about and whether you actually have a true need to carry guilt around with you. Guilt is a burden. Unless there is a real need for it, it’s time to learn how to cut the ropes and push it away for good.
[Read: The tips you need to fall in love with yourself and be a better you]
What do you feel guilty all the time about?
That should be an easy question, but for those whom guilt affects, there isn’t a solid answer. It’s a sense of just feeling guilty or uneasy about something, but you can’t pinpoint what it is.
Now, if you actually have something to feel guilty about, then you can deduce the reason for your feelings. Perhaps you’ve cheated on a partner and they don’t know about it, or you’ve done something else that is yet to be discovered, or already has been, in that case, you have to work through the guilt, right any wrongs, and let it go.
[Read: How to forgive yourself for cheating and stop beating yourself up]
However, it’s not so easy when you have no clue what you’re actually feeling guilty about. A lingering sense of guilt that you can’t put your finger on is often from the past in some way.
It might be that someone always made you feel like you weren’t good enough when you were a child, or perhaps you were bullied at school. For some, it’s even harder to pinpoint and usually comes down to low self-esteem.
The best route forward here is to sit down and really think about it. Brainstorm if you must and come up with some potential reasons. That will make the fact you feel guilty all the time easier to solve.
[Read: 16 powerful secrets of self-improvement]
The chances are, you’re just too hard on yourself. The truth is that you can’t please everyone. You shouldn’t even attempt it. Sometimes we let people down. It’s not because we want to or that it’s even intentional, it’s because there are only so many hours in a day.
We only have the capability to do so much within our waking hours. Seriously, give yourself a break. You’re human! We’re all flawed and that is what makes us who we are.
The key signs of guilt to watch out for
You might not even realize that what you’re feeling is guilt. It might just be a sense of something that you can’t put your finger on. In that case, let’s look at some key signs you might feel guilty all the time. Next, work out what to do about them.
#1 You’re a people pleaser. There is nothing wrong with helping others, but if you’re always looking for approval from other people, it’s time to ask yourself why.
This is a self-esteem issue and requiring validation from others basically means that you don’t trust yourself or value your own opinion. Get to work on building yourself up, loving yourself, and understanding that the only approval you need in life is your own. [Read: The signs you’re a people pleaser and don’t realize it]
#2 You agree with others a lot. Even if deep down you don’t agree with what someone is saying, you agree to their face. Disagreeing with other people is perfectly acceptable. It means that you have your own opinions and it’s a sign of strength. There is nothing to feel guilty about here.
It loops back to the first point I made about wanting to please people. When you agree with someone, you’re looking to be part of their inner circle in many ways – just be part of your own. [Read: The art of not giving a shit – 15 steps to not care what people think for once]
#3 Your needs always come second. Your needs are just as important as everyone else’s. There is a false narrative that in order to care about or love someone, their needs must always come before your own, but that’s a recipe for unhappiness.
Your own needs need to be met, while you shouldn’t be selfish and look after only yourself all the time, you should certainly make your own a priority too. [Read: How to take care of yourself emotionally and avoid falling apart]
#4 You would rather hurt yourself than someone else. In many ways, this isn’t a negative trait because it means that you’re not willing to hurt other people willingly, but sometimes in life it’s unavoidable. Of course, you shouldn’t go around doing things which you know are going to bring pain to other people, but you also should accept that sometimes we hurt others without meaning to.
It’s likely that you will feel guilty all the time if you have to do this because that’s one of your traits, but it does’t mean you have to torture yourself. Right your wrongs, if there are any, and let it go.
#5 You feel guilty for having your own needs. We need things from people, such as care, attention, love. If you’re with someone who isn’t giving you these things, you’re likely to struggle asking for what you need.
I’m not suggesting you should have to ask for the basic things. Sometimes, if you don’t tell someone how you feel, they aren’t going to know. This could also be a situation such as asking for a pay rise at work. You deserve it, but you won’t ask for it. When you feel guilty all the time, you feel like your own needs aren’t as important. They are, and it’s time to assert yourself! [Read: Why am I so insecure? 20 reasons why you care more about others]
Learning how to be happy
Guilt is an emotion that is there for a reason. It is a pointer towards teaching us right from wrong and helping us to realize when there is a need to apologize. However, when you feel guilt guilty all the time, and there’s no actual cause for it, the guilt has no useful purpose.
[Read: How to focus on yourself and create your own sunshine]
If you feel guilty all the time, how can you be happy? You will always feel like you have a weight on your shoulders. It will stop you from going for the things that you know would bring you joy and contentment.
Not focusing on yourself is also a slippery slope towards issues such as depression and anxiety. When you feel guilty all the time, anxiety is a natural next step. You will always try to make up for something that you haven’t done wrong in the first place, you’ll always be trying to please others and forget about yourself.
Highlight this issue, accept that you feel guilty all the time, and there’s no reason for it. Then, start to work on increasing your confidence and focusing on number one. It’s not selfish, it’s entirely necessary.
[Read: 12 instant hacks to find true happiness in your life]
When you feel guilty all the time without a solid reason, you’re never fully living your life. Focusing on yourself occasionally is not a reason to feel guilty.
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