Guilt Trip: Living a Life of Shoulds

Guilt. It can be all consuming. Paralizing. Yet, it also has been known to serve as a motivating factor. Do you have a good relationship with guilt?

I’ve met women who refer to guilt as the “shoulds” of their life. You may have the same experience. Does this sound familiar:

“I’m exhausted but I SHOULD make the school lunches for my children before going to bed.”

“I don’t enjoy the theater and frankly can’t afford the ticket right now, but my boss has asked me to go with a group of peers and so I SHOULD go.”

“I’d like to take a few minutes and play a game of cards with my kids, but there are dirty dishes in the sink so I SHOULD clean the kitchen instead.”

“I plan on buying a birthday cake for my husband but his mother always made his cake from scratch and so I SHOULD do the same.”

List list goes on. Whether you think of it as a guilt trip or a lists of “shoulds” allowing them to control your life and your behavior can be exhausting and counter productive.

I know women who choose to work fulltime, I know women who have choose to leave their career, I know women who have created part-time situations, regardless of their career choices, they all have some level of guilt they carry with them, about how much time they are away from their family, or how they sacrificed themselves for the sake of their families or how they take on more than humanly possible to juggle all their choices.

Every Panel I host or participate in this topic emerges. 

Women suffer from guilt.

Women have a plethora of choice which is fantastic but each choice requires sacrifices of the already existing choices.

Each demand of our time adds a ball to the juggling act which often puts more pressure on us and our time. Eventually we run out of time and energy to effectively handle each ball which represents a choice in our life.

Why do women hold some form of guilt and why is it often in the fore front of our mind?

Do you have guilt, how do you handle it and what advice can you give to other women.

Physch Central offers 5 tips for dealing with guilt.

Live Strong has an article that defines guilt and how it impacts our life called Handling Guilt.