Low Self esteem and guilt are related because guilt is a symptom of low self esteem that will now allow you to feel good about yourself. It is a feeling of culpability , from a sense of inadequacy or for imagined offenses. When feeling guilty is persistent is called toxic.
I had spent most of my life taking care of other’s people needs and I have forgotten mine. For many years I played the role of a “good child”, sometimes is called : “Responsible Child” – “Family Hero”. I realized that in doing so every time I have succeeded I felt guilty, I had left (in my own thinking) my family behind.
What was my thinking? Those members of my family had to succeed, and I had to help them in doing so. Therefore, if I succeed, I was in a way betraying them. I was feeling guilty and selfish.
People with low self-esteem experience guilt because they feel bad about themselves. That was the difficulty running my life. I have to feel bad about myself until they feel good about themselves.
A Checklist of Low Self esteem and guilt issues:
I feel guilty when I :
eat “bad” foods.
stand up for myself.
disagree with my parents (whether alive or dead).
take time for myself.
ask for help.
spend time with friends.
am not being productive.
don’t live up to my parent’s expectations.
don’t do housework.
spend money on myself.
do what I want.
am not perfect.
Feeling guilt don’t help to have a healthy self-esteem. Honoring yourself and honoring your needs is the answer. Discover how to let go of guilt and stop feeling guilty all the time.
Let go of guilt
If you want to feel good about yourself, you have to learn to let go of guilt. When you feel guilty, you have the tendency to punish yourself, deep inside you think you are a bad person. Therefore you may develop a tendency to hurt yourself, self-sabotage and self-hatred.
Many years ago I had the tendency to feel guilty all the time. I didn’t know this feeling came from. Guilt is seeing our mistakes and not knowing what to do with them or being unwilling to correct them.
I have found that many times I was paralyzed with the thought: I am a bad person, unworthy and I deserved to be punished.
Guilt is a sign of low self-esteem because you feel bad about yourself. Awareness is a great tool to identify instances for letting go of guilt because you have to determine the causes. Why do you feel this way?.
I will give you some examples regarding this issues, so that you can let go of guilt. there are many situations that you might be trying to meet other people standards :
You didn’t do something you decided to do. Once, I told my husband that I was going to quit smoking. I got the gums and I stopped for 3 months. Then, I started to smoke again and I felt guilty. Why?. Deep inside of myself I didn’t want to follow through. If you are trying to do something to meet external expectations, your guilt may be telling you to find something that you actually believe in. Re-evaluate what you are choosing. Does it come from your own heart and decision? Or are you trying to meet somebody’s else expectations?. When I found that I was trying to meet my husband expectations it was easy for me to let go, and then decide for myself what was the best choice for me.
You did something that you think is wrong. The other day a person said something to me and I responded unkindly. I felt guilty because I could have spoken in a different way. Then I realized that I followed the code of behavior I have adopted since childhood. I am not saying that we have to be rude I am just saying that sometimes we generate a lot of guilt inside because of beliefs. Once you become aware that you are following someone’s else rules, you can relax and decide how do you want to behave next time. Not because you are going to meet other people rules, but because you came to the understanding that being rude is not going to serve you. There is a big difference here.
I would like to share with you some ways I have found to let go of guilty feelings
- Awareness is the first step, be in the present moment and recognize your feelings.
- Remember that what is done is done. But think how you can learn from it. Every experience we have is an opportunity to learn something new. You can’t change the past, but you can change your feelings about it.
- Forgive yourself, self-forgiveness will allow you to create more self-acceptance, and therefore a healthy self-esteem.
Try this self hypnosis download: Dealing with guilt . It will help you to determine more accurately what is within your responsibility. And how to deliberately choose to let things go. Stop going over and over things in your mind. It will enable you to avoid being manipulated. It will improve your relationship with yourself as you establish your own standards and live up to them, instead of other peoples. Let go now of low self esteem and guilt.