In this Success Newsletter, I would like to talk about how to let go of guilt and shame.
First a quick update:
**** “Success quitting smoking & losing weight with hypnosis” - Read the success story of a woman aged 50 who used my hypnosis audios and stopped smoking in less than 2 weeks, lost 14 pounds and raised her self-esteem feeling in control of body and life: http://patrickwanis.com/blog/success-story-becoming-smoke-free/
Now let’s talk about how to let go of guilt and shame.
Guilt and shame stem from the judgments we make about ourselves. Society, parents, friends, family or spouse may have condemned and judged us but ultimately we accepted their words as true but we also have the power to change now what we believe about ourselves.
Here are four simple steps to releasing guilt and shame:
- Take responsibility
- Release the emotions
1. Take responsibility
Look at the event associated with the guilt or shame. Were you actually wrong or did someone tell you that you are not allowed to be happy? If someone was hurt or offended, would it help for you to speak to that person or has so much time passed that the event only lives in your head? Does the event require that you take other action to correct its ramifications? As I explain to my clients, many of the childhood wrongs we perceive to have committed were done because we were children –helpless and imperfect. If as an adult you have wronged someone, instead of beating up yourself, accept responsibility and take the necessary, appropriate action to make amends which in turn, will instantly help you to feel as if a load has been taken off your chest.
2. Release the emotions
When we experience guilt or shame, we have a range of emotions such as anger or depression (anger turned inwards), sadness, fear, and anxiety (because of our need and inability to control everything.) Allow these emotions to come up. Let them move through your body. Act as an observer and then let them go. Under hypnosis, I ask my clients to imagine placing those emotions into a box, tie a helium balloon to the box and then watch it fly into the air and disappear forever. You can do this exercise on your own. Simply remember to feel the safe release of emotions as you do it. If you refuse to release these emotions you will simply suppress them and they can easily result in physical ailments.
I view forgiveness as to give understanding for what happened.
Take a couple of minutes to relax. Now breathe in and out for a few moments, and close your eyes if you need to do so. Now ask, “Why did I do this?” The answers will come to you. They may include: “I didn’t know any better. I was scared. I didn’t know I had other choices. I was angry and hurt. I am human and make mistakes. I was just a helpless child, etc.” Also spend a moment acknowledging how this guilt and shame is negatively impacting your life. Accept that you have already punished yourself sufficiently. Finally, imagine the person(s) who encouraged you to feel the guilt or shame – either by their words, actions or behavior. Be particularly aware if you can hear them scolding you. Now as you visualize them, give yourself permission to make your own rules and standards. You might imagine them in front of you as you say: “I take back my power. I forgive myself for the mistakes I made. I now allow myself to create my own rules. I no longer need to be perfect. I will make mistakes as does every human and that is OK. I am fine just the way I am. I let go of the need to control others or to be controlled by others and their rules. I am my own boss. I can be great without being perfect. I give myself permission to have fun, to love and be happy and successful. I choose to forgive and accept others who make mistakes.” Forgiveness requires that you also forgive yourself regardless of the other person’s response. You do not need the other person’s forgiveness to forgive yourself. They might even choose to never forgive you because of their own issues, hurts and programming which have nothing to do with you.
Instead of focusing on the pain of your past mistakes, focus on the lesson. What did you learn that you can now apply to your life to make it better and smoother than before? Always look for something positive to draw upon – even if it is a lesson that you can share with friends or family.
Stop trying to be perfect. Accept that you and everyone else around you will make mistakes. Remember, that although someone is angry with you, it does not mean that you did something wrong. Someone might choose to give you the cold shoulder but that does not mean that you deserve it. Apologize whenever it is appropriate but beware not to get emotionally attached to receiving the other person’s forgiveness. Be aware when someone tries to guilt you into doing something you do not want to do. Reply calmly and confidently, “I choose not to go out tonight. I choose to stay home.” If you would like further assistance in releasing guilt and shame, consider a private phone consultation with me or use my newest hypnosis CD –“Be happy, rich & wealthy” which works on forgiveness and worthiness. Remember, if you don’t believe you deserve the best, you will never get it -you will never be able to be happy, rich & wealthy.
I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist www.patrickwanis.com