In my last article, I talked about how your thoughts control your actions...and that destructive thoughts are one of the reasons why people give up on themselves and their goals.
But in some ways, that was just scratching the surface.
Because while thoughts are very powerful, emotions are even more important when it comes to sticking to your goals.
And there is one emotion that all too often is at the root of failure: guilt.
Just saying the word produces a physical reaction.
And so if you really want to feel empowered and become a person who is healthy and happy, it’s time to face your guilt.
Why You Feel Guilty
Why is it so hard for us to put ourselves first? Why can’t we just do the things we know we need to do without feeling bad about it?
It’s actually quite simple...that’s what you were taught.
Doing things for yourself were seen as selfish and doing things for others were seen as praiseworthy.
And while your parents/teachers/coaches certainly did not mean to leave you feeling bad about yourself, that is exactly what happened.
Now, anytime you put your needs over someone else's...BOOM. That deep, uncomfortable feeling that comes from guilt starts rising.
This is when things start to go wrong, because you would do anything to avoid feeling that way. And it’s so much easier to think about other people’s needs than your own.
But here is the truth: if you really do care about others, then you must put yourself first.
As they say, put your oxygen mask on first. Because if you don’t have any oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with theirs.
How to Move Past Guilt
The first step to getting through any difficult emotion (including guilt) is awareness. You must first be aware of how your guilt is holding you back and want to make a change.
The second step is acceptance. To feel guilty about feeling guilty does not help anyone.
You have to accept the feeling you are having. It’s not WRONG to feel guilty, it’s what you have been taught.
The third step is release. If you can accept that it is there, that you feel this way and that you are not wrong for feeling this way, then you just sit with that feeling until it goes away.
We are in the habit of thinking that when we feel bad we have to do something about it. You don’t want to feel that way so what can you do to stop it?
But if you just let it sit, it will go away all by itself. And once that feeling passes, you are ready to take action.
Life After Guilt
There is nothing more empowering or exciting than the day you wake up excited to take care of yourself.
Now salad for lunch is not about depriving yourself, it’s about giving you the energy you want.
Now exercise is not a “have to”, but a want to because it makes you feel strong.
That is what life should be and that is what I want for you. I want you to feel like a rock star who can take on the world.
Someone that knows what they need to do and does it! How cool does that sound?
Taking the Next Step
If you are ready to feel more empowered in your life, we can help.
How? Through our 3 steps to success:
With the right mindset, nothing else matters. This is where we help you discover and conquer guilt, shame, fear, and negative self-talk.
Having a custom exercise program is non-negotiable if you are looking for long term health and fitness. We all have different goals, pains, abilities, and limitations...so we all need different programs.
Building new habits is hard. And while you probably know what you should eat already, having someone to help you think through how to make changes (and stick to them) is critical.
So if you are ready to let go of guilt and feel empowered to take control of your health and your life...to feel good about taking care of yourself, it’s time to take action.
Call today and learn how to put your oxygen mask on first.
Mint Condition Fitness is the leading personal training studio in Los Gatos for purpose-driven men and women to lose weight, get out of pain, and do more of the things that make life meaningful.