Earlier this month, we learned the importance of practicing gratitude daily and learning to forgive ourselves. But something we didn’t talk about was how guilt can hinder gratitude, whether that’s feeling guilty for our blessings or not expressing gratitude enough. Tell me, which scenario do you relate more to?
I don’t think we would necessarily call ourselves ungrateful, but ingratitude shows up in our lives in many different ways (i.e., complaining, being bitter, feeling jealous). This can lead to feeling guilty about not being grateful for what we have. It’s ok to sit with these emotions sometimes, but it should not become a cycle.
When you catch yourself focusing on negative self-talk, shift the narrative. Hone in on the present moment and practice gratitude instead of guilt. For instance, instead of saying things like “I don’t have a right to feel jealous because I have XYZ,” cut out the destructive part and say: “I feel so blessed for XYZ.” Don’t invalidate your emotions. Try focusing on the positive without gaslighting yourself. Challenge yourself to view those guilty thoughts through a new, more grateful lens. Remember, when we forget to be thankful for the blessings in our lives, we empower our troubles to define who we are.
On the other hand, sometimes counting our blessings can lead to guilt. This can stem from times when we compare ourselves to others who might be less fortunate than us or when we choose to prioritize ourselves over others’ needs. This is when guilt stops gratitude.
In these moments, you need to understand that feeling guilty for your comfortable life doesn’t hurt anybody – it just hurts you. Feeling grateful is the appropriate response. Sometimes you need to remind yourself that you deserve all of the blessings in your life. If you’re still struggling to internalize this truth, maybe try putting some of your energy towards giving back to the community or expressing your gratitude towards others.
If there was one thing you took away from this email, it’s that guilt robs you of the moment you’re experiencing. Gratitude reclaims it.
And as always, if becoming a coach is something you might be interested in, I’d love to set aside time to chat more about it! Please just respond to this and let me know.