The Guilt and Worry Trap!
Anybody else live a life full of these two gems? I know I did and still battle with the two. More the worry and anxiety, but I feel that the two can go hand in hand. I have been battling both of these for as long as I’ve been alive, and I think I’ve just come to feel like they are just normal emotions. And it’s been something I have just thought I had to battle with for the rest of my life. It ebbs and flows now, and I have finally reached a point in my life where I want to get rid of it.
I have been reading and listening to stuff put out by Dr. Wayne Dyer and it’s been amazing! He talked about both these issues today and had incredibly valid points. Why hold onto either of these when we can’t change the outcome? If we feel guilty because of something that is already done, what good does that do? Of course, we can turn that guilt into activating change towards a certain situation. We feel guilty that we have more money than some? Maybe take action to begin helping those people. We feel guilty about a war that is already passed? Maybe work on educating others so that this type of war never happens again. We feel guilty about how we have treated others? Maybe we apologize. But just continuing to feel guilt? It literally does nothing to change anything. And often times can paralyze us. Prevent us from moving forward because we are stuck thinking about a past event. Which just isn’t healthy. I definitely need to begin asking myself “What good is this energy doing by feeling guilty about what happened?” I need to remember, it’s behind me and there is so much in my present moments I will miss out on being caught in a cycle of guilt. I challenge others to do this same thing. Especially if you are trapped in a cycle of what is called false guilt. Taking the blame for something you had no part of.
Worry. That’s my other big waste of time! I am a professional worrier! If this were a career? I’d be completely rich! Whether you call it worry or anxiety, I have it. I am constantly struggling with worrying about what hasn’t even happened. There’s a quote by John Mason: “Don’t tell me worry doesn’t do any good. I know better. The things I worry about don’t happen.” So why do we worry? And how does someone like me work on stopping it? Like guilt, worry ruins living in the moment. Basically, I don’t live in the moment because I’m too busy worrying about the future or feeling guilty about something from the past. How fun is that?! IT’S NOT! So, what are ways that I am using to combat these two icky feelings?
- I used to be a pretty regular journaler. But over the years I have just stopped. It’s like I just don’t have the energy because I’m too busy thinking about the past and future! I have too much on my mind!
- Brain dumping-I just learned about this one. You take out a piece of paper and just begin writing your thoughts on paper. Similar to journaling but just random words that are coming to your mind. Random thoughts you have to get out.
- I work out! This a huge one for me. A workout always helps me have to stay in the moment!
- I pray. I am very spiritual and am working more to develop that practice. Again, it’s something I often times can skip making time for. Not a good idea for me!
- I walk my dogs.
- Ask myself if there’s a reason, I’m feeling guilty and if there’s anything I can do to relieve that guilt. Otherwise? I need to release it.
- Meditate! I have a couple aps on my phone that really help me to relax and breathe through my emotions.
- Stop focusing on whatever emotion I’m feeling and re-focus on something positive and productive.
- Talk to my friends or family.
- Sing and dance!
These are just a few of my ways to try to reduce guilt and worry and enjoy living in the moment. We all have different ways that help to release these negative feelings. Tell us some of yours! Maybe they’ll help others to begin living fully in the moment!
When I was growing up there was a show where the slogan was, “When people stop being polite and start being real!” It was always the most fun to watch them when they were real. When they were their authentic selves. Oh, they constantly were annoyed with someone or fighting! Yes, a lot of it was drama and over the top. But it was always captivating.
I’ve noticed over the years, as I have embraced the title, “Unapologetically Me” that life is not only more fun, but I am less worried about what others will think of me. Of course, I never go into anything trying to tick others off, but I’ve gotten to the point where I understand and accept…I will tick people off. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. And there are some that love being around me. I’ve accepted that it’s ok that not everyone wants to hang around me and that I can be too much for some. Those aren’t my people.
When I was younger, I was constantly trying to please everyone. To make others feel comfortable in my presence. Not only was it exhausting but it was also disappointing when I couldn’t get others to like me. I would agonize over why they didn’t like me when I thought I was saying the right things and being the person, they wanted me to be. I was having to hide myself constantly. And over time? I was so many different people, for different people, that there was no way to really know who I was. I sent a message to myself that I wasn’t ok as I was. And I developed pretty low self-esteem, always trying not to stand out in crowds.
I don’t really know exactly when that all changed. I think moving to Hollywood was huge for me. First off, if you’re scared to stand out? Most likely you will drown in a career where being unique and weird are accepted. And that part of me began coming out. I discovered people loved my weirdness! Where I had been shushed my entire life for being too loud, I surrounded myself with those who loved that part of me. That laughed with how I just said whatever was in my head. Where I wasn’t scared to embarrass myself. Where I didn’t feel like I had to be perfect for everybody. I felt alive, truly alive, for the first time. And by the time I moved back to CO? I was embracing this authentic, unapologetical part of myself more and more each year. Which has made it that I love myself more and more each year. I find that when I’m by myself, sometimes I crack myself up by what comes into my head!
Being unapologetically yourself is going to make people uncomfortable. It’s going to make you scolded if the wrong people surround you. They are going to tell you, at times, you are misbehaving. But I have found those people rare. Even at my most uncontrolled? I am getting phone calls the next day from people saying how fun I am and how much they loved my energy. But those that need to be in control of everything? That need to present a life of perfection? You’re going to make them super uncomfortable. But that doesn’t mean you need to dull your sparkle around them. If fact? I like to sparkle brighter! Once you begin to feel the amazing feeling of blocking out the judgement? Life is able to be lived fully. Life is more fun! Life comes at you in a different way.
I have been given so many amazing opportunities living unapologetically myself. And I want that for others! I want others, especially young women, to learn how to love themselves so much, that there is no need to change and adapt for other people. Of course this doesn’t mean that we can justify being mean to others or hurting others! That’s not living an authentic life. That’s just being cruel. I know who the authentic me is. I’m loud, funny, fun loving, love to laugh, love to be the center of attention, love God, love my family, love dogs. I am sarcastic and have a quick wit. I also have a bit of a temper and don’t put up with injustice. I’ll call people out if their behavior isn’t fair. And that can make others not like me. But that’s not my problem. And sometimes people need to hear that their behavior is hurtful to others. Or damaging. Especially if it’s something that is wrong and being done to you or those you love. There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself. In fact, often times it can help others become aware that what they are doing isn’t right. Some people can’t see what they are doing is hurtful, unethical or wrong. That all should be called out. And if you have the balls to do that? You may be helping someone who’s too timid or scared to say anything.
Main point here? Be you! Even when the world says you should be like everyone else. If you aren’t loud and boisterous? That’s ok! Be you! If you are loud and obnoxious? Be loud and obnoxious! Of course, be aware of your surroundings! Usually being loud and obnoxious during a wedding isn’t appropriate! I call myself sassy but classy. I can adapt to my environment. But I don’t adapt to groups. It’s a happy balance! Changing yourself to fit in with others or groups is always going to backfire.
Always be you. Be strong. Be brave. Be you. No explanations. No apologies. That’s being unapologetically you!