Skip to Navigation

Pervasive guilt is a bummer. It can crop up when you least expect it and trail you around, gnawing away at your confidence and self-belief. Judgements are at the heart of this toxic type of guilt. We fear being judged by others, but worse, we take it out on ourselves by our lack of compassion and tolerance for ourselves.

Some of us judge oursleves more harshly than we judge others, berating ourselves for our perceived shortcomings. If you do this it can make you feel sad, lonely, and even, more guilty. In some cases there’s a payoff though; turning those judgements away from yourself can give you a little lift, because criticising others can make you feel marginally better about yourself.

Once you spot that guilt is often fuelled by unrealistic and harsh self-judgements you can do something about it by learning to treat yourself with compassion and understanding. Paul Gilbert, in his book The Compassionate Mind (see below), describes some basic qualities of a compassionate individual: wisdom, warmth and kindness and being non-judgemental.

These are ideals, so don’t beat yourself up if you occasionally lapse into feeling weak or making the odd negative judgement. But bear them in mind as an image to aspire to. Be guided by your idea of what it means to be compassionate towards others, and then bend it towards greater compassion for yourself.

An exercise for developing self-compassion

Research suggests that people who respond with compassion to their own flaws and setbacks — rather than beating themselves up — experience greater physical and mental health. I have prepared an exercise to help you train yourself towards greater self-compassion. It is part of my soon-to-be released online course How to be Free of Guilt. You can download the exercise A Compassionate Letter here. So, no need to wait. Do it now.

Reference

Paul Gilbert, The Compassionate Mind.

 

2 Responses to “A Remedy for Guilt”

What do you think? Share your thoughts...

Latest from the blog

Stop trying and start doing

Do you ever catch yourself prefacing your good intentions with “I’ll try…”?

We all have lists of things we haven’t got round to doing anything about yet. It doesn’t matter how important these are or how serious you are, if you are not making anything happen they mean nothing.

If you are really serious about making things happen for yourself this post tells you one really vital thing you must do.

Continue reading

Walking on eggshells, how to discuss sensitive issues

Difficult conversations

Most of us are careful about how we tackle sensitive issues with colleagues and family members. This article provides some pointers on how to go about raising a subject you have been avoiding, to help tackle delicate matters in a productive, fair and balanced way, and to be sure of getting the results you need. Getting the other person’s attention, striking the right note and ensuring that something changes is the challenge.

Continue reading

More Is Not Necessarily Better

Is choice good for us?
When I was a kid crisps (chips if you are outside the UK), came in one variety, ready-salted. Now we have thirty-six varieties and counting.

Having many options is not necessarily better for us, in fact it can distract and limit us. Some say that limiting choice could actually make our lives better.

Continue reading
FREE DOWNLOAD - Get it now.

How to be more Resilient

Get my super-helpful guide '9 Steps to Resilience' absolutely FREE, when you subscribe to my newsletter.

Understand the steps to resilience and you can develop the ability to cope with problems and setbacks with less stress and more confidence.
close-link
%d bloggers like this: