Guilt about Imperfection? Anyone else?

February 9, 2015

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Guilt: a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking you have done something wrong, bad, or in this case imperfect.

If you ask me, guilt is one of the most annoying emotions we experience. The feeling of guilt often comes even when there is no accurate reason one should feel guilty; in fact, I believe half the time we actually bring guilt upon ourselves as a form of self-punishment. Women seem to experience more guilt than men (in case you haven’t noticed ladies, haha!); as women, I believe we beat ourselves up over the smallest things… okay everything basically.

In a single day my brain on guilt sounds like this….

I should really be spending more time with Clara during the week; I should have finished those files on my desk or completed a client’s nutrition/workout program; I wish I could give Clara…..; I need to be doing more advertising for our classes; I should be talking to my family more often and staying in touch with out of town friends; We should visit them all more often; I should have made an A on that paper; I should have taken Maddie (our dog) for a walk this week; I should have gotten up earlier to finish the laundry or clean the bathroom or go for a run or mediate longer; I should be able to clean the house every week (and work and be a mommy and wife and a graduate student, other people do it I am sure); I should be able to protect Clara from everything; I should be able to keep Clara from getting sick; I should be more social; I should host a party; Why can’t I make myself do more yoga; Why can’t I find more time to read; I should be a better wife; I need to cook more often; I should have mailed “them” a gift by now; I forgot to answer “their” email/text message/phone call!; I should be running further; I should be more prepared, more organized…..I SHOULD BE PERFECT! Why am I not!?

Yes, it’s true, in the course of a day I usually feel guilty about some and sometimes even all of the above…what about ya’ll?

I suppose, in a way my guilt drives me to work harder to be the best in all aspects and roles of my life; but the days when I get caught in the ugly guilt cycle, I definitely end up feeling more like a failure than a superhero. The thing is, guilt like this does nothing for us other than break us down. Of course I can’t do EVERYTHING I mentioned above, as much as I hate to admit it, I am just not superhuman.

So how do we deal with such guilt, how do we forgive ourselves for being less than perfect and for simply doing the best we can? For me that’s simple (most days, when I can catch myself)…..I STOP, BREATHE, and ask myself “DOES MY ANSWER MAKE SENSE?”….does it make sense for me to feel guilty because I forgot to rotate the laundry, or had to put Clara in aftercare at the Montessori school she adores so I could take a few more clients? The answer 99% of the time is, NO! SO, when I feel myself spinning into my above guilt cycle, I remind myself of all the things I DO accomplish every day, and although I may not do them all perfectly all the time, I have a pretty amazing life that keeps getting better even, with my “imperfections” involved…imagine that huh!

So ladies (and fellows), let’s start to cut ourselves some slack, how about it? I can assure you that you are doing amazing at your life; that you are doing all you can, and that is all you can ask of yourself! You ROCK!

Remember….
STOP, BREATHE, and ask “DOES MY ANSWER MAKES SENSE?!”

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