Please Stop Feeling So Guilty

If you and I were to sit down over a cup of coffee tomorrow, and I asked you, “what do you really want out of life?” What would you say?

Would you keep your wishes realistic and practical, or start dreaming of things that seem impossible?

During my Vision Board Workshop at Lost Acres Vineyard this past Saturday, we talked about our innermost wishes, desires, and the changes we are longing to make in our lives. And, not surprisingly, more than a few women started their sentences with this.

I know it sounds selfish, but…

Have you ever heard a little nagging voice in your head saying something like this?

  • I shouldn’t want that.
  • I feel guilty because everyone wants that, but I don’t.
  • Who am I to wish for something like that?
  • I should be more grateful for what I have, and stop wishing for the things I don’t.

You’re not alone. According to a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, women experience significantly higher amounts of shame and guilt than men, and 96% of women report experiencing feelings of guilt at least once every day.

In our society today, women are hardwired to feel ashamed or guilty when they desire something for themselves. Countless women I’ve met share this underlying feeling, and as a result, they tend to put their kids, family, employers, and friends before themselves.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with caring for other people. In fact, generosity and giving are beautiful, soul-feeding things. But, when we get into the habit of putting others’ needs ahead of our own, we run the risk of losing ourselves, our identity, and letting our self-love gas tanks run empty. And if your gas tank in empty, you’ll have no energy left to continue serving others.

You need to nurture your desires.

Give yourself permission TODAY to dream big without apologizing or kicking yourself for being selfish.

Setting goals, creating a vision for your future, and wishing for the things you want are NOT a sign of selfishness. These are signs that you are continuously evolving and becoming a better version of yourself— a woman with a full, inspired heart that is more capable of giving to others because she has nurtured herself first.

You deserve to be as happy as you make those around you.

You deserve to rise every morning feeling motivated, encouraged, and fulfilled.

Here’s today’s challenge:

Take a few minutes to wish for something–whether you think it’s impossible or not.

Take a few deep breaths and explore the emotions hovering around that desire. What is the first emotion that bubbles up? Happiness? Longing? Love? Guilt?

If you find yourself feeling a little guilty for wanting such a thing, check in with your guilt.
Is it really YOU that feels guilty, or could it be a voice from your past reminding you not to get too big for your britches?
Who or what is reminding you to feel ashamed?
How is that feeling of shame serving you?
On the contrary, if you could set your sights on a big goal or vision, and every single person in your life supported you like cheering fans at a football game (and shame didn’t even enter the picture), how would you feel? What would you do next?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment below, or head over to my Facebook page and join the conversation.

Wishing you a guilt-free, blissful week,