How to Use Guilt to Make Positive Life Changes

Sometimes guilt is a good thing.

Sometimes guilt alerts you to behaviors you have that aren’t right.

We all have an inner guidance system that clearly understands right from wrong and has the knowing when things are off. Sometimes guilt is the knowing that what is happening, what you are doing, or the results you have are a direct result of something you need to stop doing.

You can use guilty feelings to get honest about your behaviors. If you know what you are doing is wrong and you do it anyway, you are guaranteed to keep guilt as part of your lifestyle. That physical feeling in the pit of your stomach is going to stay as long as your inner guidance system is there to remind you.

Here’s a step-by-step process for using guilty feelings as a tool for change:

Step one: Experience the sensation of guilt. When you do the action that causes the guilty feeling, pay attention. What are you feeling? How does the feeling manifest? Is the feeling trying to tell you something? What is the appropriate response for the feeling? Is there a  remedy for the guilt and a proper response to the issue?

Step two: Make a plan. Once you have addressed and accepted the feeling of guilt, it is time to make a plan of correction. What plan needs to be in place to stop the behavior or make the situation right?

Step three: Execute the plan. With your plan in place, move forward and take the steps needed to stop the behavior. Do you need an accountability partner or another mechanism to be successful? Do what it takes to change the behavior and stop the guilty feelings.

Step four: Repeat the process. It will take time to establish a consistent and new way to stop doing the guilt-inducing behavior. Repeat the process until you have no problems doing the right thing and enjoying a guilt-free result.

Guilt doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. You can use guilt as a powerful tool to change your behavior and improve your lifestyle. These simple steps will help you use guilt to change your habits and improve your self-esteem.

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