Guilt – Walk Away from It and Change Your Life and Your Business

By on August 13, 2012

During my guest spot on Donna Amos’ February 3rd Solo Talk radio show, Donna was intrigued and excited about my mission to help women spend time with family and friends outside of work guilt-free. Donna said that if I could help women accomplish this, then I must be a magician! She shared that when she turned 45, she announced to her mother and sister that that she was giving up guilt for her birthday, and told them to no longer try to guilt her into anything because she had given it up!

Donna and I spent several minutes during our interview talking about guilt and the toll that it takes on women. I find guilt to be a terribly debilitating emotion that can lead to overwhelm under any circumstances, but am particularly interested in helping women combat it when it interferes with our self-esteem as business owners and our ability to perform as such.

Webster’s Third New International Dictionary lists the following as one of several definitions of guilt: feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy; morbid self-reproach often manifest in marked preoccupation with the moral correctness of one’s behavior. How many of us experience this feeling during the course of a business day or week?

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We feel guilty when we say “no” to people, so we avoid saying it. In business, this often leads us into a state of overcommitment – our agendas become full of things that serve everyone’s needs but our own.

We feel guilty when we make the decision not to do something in our businesses because we feel that we should be able to do everything (the Wonder Woman Syndrome).

We feel guilty when we procrastinate and fail to deliver something that we have promised for a client or a colleague. This compounds the emotional turmoil that caused us to procrastinate in the first place.

We feel guilty when we want to take time away from work to recharge our minds and spirits and to reconnect with our family and friends, and yet when we are with our friends and family, we feel guilty because our minds are still focused on business.

In her book entitled Rock Your Overwhelm, Whitney McMillan says that guilt is “blame turned inward,” and asks the questions “How does guilt show up in your life?”

To walk away from guilt is to change your life and your business. While I train and mentor clients on how to creatively say “no,” how to combat procrastination and the Wonder Woman Syndrome, and how to effectively prioritize so that they feel comfortable with what they have left undone at work when they spend time with their family and friends, I realize that the “habit” of feeling guilty is much harder to overcome. It is a critical part of overwhelm that deserved to be addressed on its own.

The first step is to expose it – to examine it in the harsh light of day in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. So let’s talk about it here! Share your story about guilt in the space below. Also, let me know if you’d be interested in participating in a Q&A call with an expert who has experience with helping women alleviate their feelings of guilt related to business.


Originally posted on Getting Over Overwhelm.

About Monique Wells

“Work/life balance” isn’t a myth. It is real for women who take inspired action to make it so. I am here to light the way. — Monique Y. Wells Monique Wells works with successful entrepreneurial CEOs who want to simplify their workdays and find the work/life balance they desperately desire. Through her guidance and support, they build a business that allows them to spend more time with their loved ones, travel, volunteer for community service, and have more fun . . . in short, they build a business that allows them to enjoy the lifestyle they want and deserve!

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Guilt – Walk Away from It and Change Your Life and Your Business