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What Is Guilt? How to Stop Feeling Guilty

Updated on January 10, 2018
Sudip Choudhury profile image

Sudip finds the cause of all of his problems using Self Inquiry. And he uses Neuro Linguistic Programming to solve these problems.

The feeling of guilt is the most painful of all the emotions. We feel a sense of guilt whenever we do something wrong. To stop this feeling, let’s first understand what makes us feel guilty. And the best way to do this is by observing the patterns of our mind. In this article I will tell you How to stop feeling guilty.


Let’s take an example to understand the process.

1. Suppose a mother doesn't like her son’s behavior and gets angry at him. She can’t control her anger and starts scolding him.

2. The boy starts crying and that’s when the mother realizes that her son is just a child and her reaction to the situation was terrible.

3. This begins to create a conflict with her self-image and she starts doubting her ability as a mother. She feels guilty for scolding her son and promises to never repeat the same mistake again.

4. This restores her self- image and she starts to feel confident about her role as a mother again.

5. The next time she faces a similar situation with her son, she forgets the promise and starts reacting in the same way. Although she feels guilty about it, she doesn't change her behavior.

6. Reacting in the same way again raises guilt in her mind, and the cycle of guilt continues without having any change in her behavior. She continues to feel frustrated and insignificant.

All of us have an image of ourselves in the mind. The image can be of a good person, a passionate man or of a successful businessman. It is mostly formed from our own opinions and also from other people’s opinions about us.

Whenever our actions complement the self-image in the mind, our ego begins to grow. And, we begin to feel confident about ourselves. Similarly, on performing an action that is conflicting with the image created in our mind, our ego is affected and we start to feel guilty

Since the opinions of the society play a major role in forming our self-image, doing anything that is not acceptable by the society makes us feel guilty.

All of us know what’s right for us, however we often find ourselves doing something wrong that ultimately affects our self-image.

How to stop it

Similar to the above situation, the feeling of guilt acts as an excuse to uplift our ego by making fake promises to ourselves. Most of us promise that we’ll change our behavior in the future, but the day never comes.

Unlike the common belief, guilt is not a helpful feeling as it prevents us from changing our behaviors by making fake excuses.

So, instead of making promises to ourselves that is never fulfilled, we must understand which actions are responsible for creating guilt in us.

To stop repeating the same mistakes again, all of us need to be aware of our actions every moment. This will prevent us from acting against our self-image. Awareness refers to being present at the moment. With a little awareness, we will notice how we are trapped in the cycle of guilt and instead of getting angry or frustrated; we will have the power to stop it.

© 2018 Sudip Choudhury


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