Guilt is that sense you have of having committed a wrongdoing.

Now, as feelings aren’t facts, feeling you’ve done something wrong isn’t the same as actually having done something wrong. Never is this more clear when you notice you are feeling guilty for: 

  1. Breathing
  2. Having needs
  3. Having feelings
  4. Being unique and different
  5. Having boundaries 

One of the fastest ways of ensuring you haven’t got two self-esteem beans to rub together is to keep telling yourself that it’s wrong for you to take up space in the world. You will put everyone else’s needs, expectations, desires, feelings, beliefs, and opinions ahead of your own (yes, that’s people pleasing and codependency) and end up lost. 

Making yourself the Bad Guy for considering yourself only leads to problems.

Each time you apologise for being yourself; each time you apologise for, backtrack on, or in fact hold back on your boundaries, you’re saying that you don’t matter and that having needs, etc., knowing your line, and being you is wrong and in fact selfish. None of these are wrong or bad. It’s crucial to distinguish between knowing your line and selfishness.

If you’re going to feel guilty for something, feel guilty for not having boundaries. That’s the real wrongdoing, but at least you can do something about this by looking after yourself. Trying to pretend that you’re okay with stuff that you aren’t just ensures unhappiness and frustration. 

Your guilt isn’t a sign you’re doing something ‘wrong’ or ‘selfish’; it’s a sign that having boundaries and taking care of yourself in this context is so unfamiliar, your body reads it as a threat. Your guilt about being and taking care of yourself, then, is a sign that you need to create healthier boundaries. Stop doing you wrong.

Building your self-esteem doesn’t have to be hard. Discover how just minutes a day with ‘100 Days of Baggage Reclaim’ can bring impactful mindset shifts, practical tips, and transformative tools.

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