How To Stop Feeling Guilty and Start Succeeding
As women, we are programmed to feel guilty all the time. We feel guilty for working, guilty for missing a friend's big occasion, for our kid crying, for being too tired for a 'date night' and the list goes on... But the issue is, being guilty might be hurdling you from advancing in your career and being a happy woman. That's why we need to get over it, and now. How? Read on.
It was 8:20 PM on a Thursday night, I still had at least 2 hours of work and a few deadlines to meet that night. It was my daughter's bed time and I was drowning under work, too tired to function properly. She came with her teddy and looked at me saying "Mum, enough laptop. I want to you to hug me so I can sleep". I looked at her overwhelmed with emotions and I cried like a baby. I felt like a horrible mother.
Here I am trying to finish this massive work project and working as hard as I can so I can provide the best for my family, and on the other hand, I am not spending enough time with my daughter. I was torn.
A few weeks later, I attended a Women Leadership session. The speaker talked about "Guilt" and It was only then that I was inspired to change my mindset forever. She told us about her mother and that even though she was a stay-at-home mom, her idol was her hard-working father. The one who was setting up the example for his kids to be successful yet ensuring he is always there when they really need him. And she concluded by, "You want to hear the strange thing? I have no memory of my mom, nor have I learned anything from her.".
Why guilt is hurdling your success
When you feel guilty, you don't give it your all. You are weighed down by this negative feeling and almost reaching a point where you feel inadequate and eventually lose self worth.
The key is to strike a balance, setting a good routine that works well for you and all responsibilities (For the most part anyway). But that's easier said than done right? Well, nothing is impossible.
Try this, Start by setting a time table for the first week and Imagine your day like this:
- If you have a full-time job, allocate 8-9 hours maximum for your work. During those hours you will aim to be the most productive you can be and you will finish all whats needed before heading home/switching off your laptop.
- Then for at least 2 hours, you will sit down, have dinner with your family, play a game with your kid or even study with them. You will leave your phone away in your bedroom. (because honestly, unless you are a brain surgeon and people's lives depend on your existence, nothing bad will happen in those two hours, I promise.)
- Afterwards, and after the kid's bed time, that time is for you. You either spend a quite hour with your partner, watch a movie, read a book, take a bath or even catch up with friends.
Once every week or two, aim for a night out with the girls so you can be you as a woman and not a mother, wife or a colleague. It will do wonders to your confidence and happiness.
Importance of a good support system
I see many fellow mothers pushing themselves to breaking point with weak support systems. Support systems are the start and ending point of making it. Be it your stay-at-home partner, your family or a care-giver, or even a good nursery/school; your support system needs to be in sync and appropriate for your lifestyle so you don't get burnt out.
How to know you have a good support system in place? You have sufficient time to finish work, get home, be with your kids and do something for yourself at least once a week.
Always remember; Quality over quantity
Going back to the speaker's example, its always quality over quantity. You can be at home all day and still be non-existent to your kid or even be grumpy and unhappy. And similarly, you can be get to spend an hour a day with them, and manage to make the best out of it. Its your call and your choice, you control this and you can choose to spend it either way.
Stop Judging, Start Supporting
One of the biggest issues in our world is pointing fingers and judging other women. When you are vulnerable and overwhelmed with guilt, heading someone else judge you can push you to the edge and break you even further.
As women (and #BossGirls) We have a big responsibility of supporting one another. Instead of judging, offer tips and advises; and instead of accusing someone else of not playing their role properly offer help when possible.
Just like this speaker's words helped me change for the better and be happier, your pep talk and just being there for someone else can be just what they needed to save their life and family's happiness.
And finally...Don't screw up the big things
I never miss any recital for my daughter at school nor do I miss any major occasions. Similarly, if my mother is not well, I leave everything and go. If its my hubby's birthday, I take the night off and set up date night. Whatever your big thing is, try to always be there for them. And if not, then always set up an alternative time to create even more memories with the people you care about.