Guilt is a choice

My mother always said that to me growing up. “Guilt is a choice, Lindsay”. I’d like to see some research on that because it feels pretty hard to let go of guilt.

I’m just having a bad day. This morning I chose to sleep in rather than get up and work out.

bed time

I wasn’t particularly tired. I don’t feel bad, I am not sick. I just felt more like laying in bed than getting up. I knew that it would set a bad tone for the day but I just did it anyway. (Just like that pint of ice cream I ate on Saturday night…)

And now I am having a hard time concentrating, I feel tired, and just overall grumpy.


I am a very driven person. To a fault probably. I know this. When I worked super hard to get my masters degree in a year in a half, or working out 2-3 times a day while working full time to lose weight, or training for the marathon, or now that I’m working full time and working on my doctorate people always ask me “How do you do it?”.

I don’t have a sensible answer for them. I don’t know how to help them understand because the truth is that guilt drives me. But ‘drive’ isn’t really the right term…guilt controls me. It’s like a heavy weight jacket that I carry around everywhere all the time. I don’t recommend it for anyone.

Guilt leads to shame.

cone of shame

And shame leads to a very unsatisfying life. I don’t like feeling that way. The way I feel today.

Ever since reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, I have been working so hard to change this. I want out of this destructive cycle.

too hard

Brene tells us in her book that

guilt=I did something bad
shame= I am bad

Brene says “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” and that if we believe WE ARE ENOUGH we can stop the shame spiral. It’s about letting go of the “should’s”.

But it doesn’t just happen. It’s a choice. So I am going to make it through the rest of this day choosing to believe that I am worthy no matter what I do or do not accomplish.




Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s