How To Let Go of Guilt and Shame

Many of us walk around with feelings of guilt and shame. Whether we know it or not, these two feelings can have a huge negative impact on our lives and our relationships, even our work. Sometimes we are aware of the guilt and shame that we walk around with, other times it’s more like an exposed nerve we aren’t even sure is there or what it is about, but when we feel it, it stings.

As we get nearer to the end of the year, and as we get ready to start a new one, this seems like an appropriate time to get rid of these feelings once and for all, so you can start your new year anew and be ready and grateful for the good experiences that are coming your way.

Isolate The Feeling – The first step to getting rid of something is to recognize it. Feelings are not always indicators of what’s exactly is going on, and they aren’t always the truth, but they point us in the right direction of what is going on. So the first question to ask ourselves to isolate the feeling is, “do I feel guilty or ashamed of something, if so what?” It sounds like a very basic question, but it is a building block to isolate or find the feeling associated with this, so you can learn to remove it. The point here is to try to isolate the feeling and recognize situations where you have these feelings, get to the why this is happening so you can understand the full story. It is only with full understanding can you begin to isolate it, and then change it.

Apologize To Yourself and Others – This is a very key part of letting go of guilt and shame. Once you know where it comes from, and can isolate situations where these feelings play up the most, you can apologize for them, apologize to others if you have wronged them and most importantly apologize to yourself. You do not always have to contact the person you wish to apologize to, it is good enough to write a letter apologizing and not sending it, the point here is to forgive the energy associated with it. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget, nor does it mean you accept it when you feel the situation was wrong, instead it is a way to let go of the negative energy associated with the feeling. If we can get rid of the negativity, you can move forward to positivity and that leads to positive and happy situations and outcomes. Don’t forget to apologize to yourself. Sometimes we forget to treat ourselves as well as we do our friends and family, and it is important to apologize to yourself for any wrong doing or guilt or shame you carry.

Rewrite Your Story – When you isolate where the feeling comes from and what it’s all about the next step is to heal by rewriting the story. Once you know where the feelings come from you can start to rewrite the story. So once again go back to that old story of why you feel the way you do, but now I want you to change it, be kind to yourself, play devil’s advocate, challenge the feelings you have. Rewrite the situation in a way that thrills you, write out what you would or should have done, write out what would happen if you did the actions or felt a different way about something, essentially write out your happy ending. Again, energy is a real thing, so when you change the energy mentally around something, you change the energy physically around something.

Change The Feeling – As this is a process, the let go is going to happen over time, not all at once. That being said, if you can isolate the feeling and know of situations where you most feel this way, you can start to change it. You change the feeling by having a set of affirmations or a different routine that you do when you feel these feelings. I have clients who I have advised to type up and bring on their phone either affirmations or stories of change so when they feel these feelings of guilt or shame, they can rehearse these affirmation lines to themselves from their phone, and as they say practice makes perfect.

Repeat – You are not going to get over these feelings all at once, but if these feelings of guilt and shame are truly holding you back in your life, and you would like to move forward then you will put in the work to recognize and isolate it, apologize for it, rewrite it, and then change it. My challenge to you is to try to do these steps daily for 30 days and then see what happens, see if anything in your life changes at all for the better in that time period.

If you’re still struggling and you’d like a reading to gain clarity on your particular situation you can get one HERE.

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