The 3 Steps to Break Free of Guilt in the New Year

By Val Boyko • January 4th, 2012

break freeAs I’m writing about guilt I realize that this is the time when we set resolutions for the New Year. Are you yearning to break free of the mother daughter guilt trap in 2012? For many of you it may seem impossible, but I know that it is possible and comes down to these three crucial steps. Read on to learn more.

When we start to feel tied up in knots and struggling with mother daughter guilt,  its important to become aware of what is happening. How we are feeling is a conditioned response to feeling judged.  Its like an old button that gets triggered time and time again!

Instead of allowing ourselves to react like children afraid of how she feels, how we have let her down, how disappointed she is, how she’ll never appreciate us, how we don’t want to hurt her … we must step into our adult shoes and shift gears.

As an adult you can break this cycle of guilt with understanding, setting boundaries and dealing with your own internal judge.

1.Understand about judgment and unmet needs

Judgment and unmet needs go hand in hand. The first step is to understand the need that isn’t being met behind judgement and guilt. Rather than reacting, take a deep breath, step back and consider what the missing need is behind her behavior. To find out more about our mothers needs and criticisms click here.

2. Set boundaries

Deal with the icky feeling and address the situation there and then. Breathe into the discomfort, rather than avoid feeling it. Stick with the facts and come from a respectful and loving place. Don’t get sucked into the drama or retaliate at the same level …. unless you want this drama to continue forever! To find out more about setting boundaries click here.

3. Stop judging yourself

Recognize what is going on within yourself. If someone judges you and you feel guilty, then they have triggered your own judging self. It isn’t really about them, it’s all about you!

Become conscious of your judgments of yourself, so you have the means to stop judging yourself. Once you stop making yourself wrong and accepting yourself,  it will be easier to deal with other people’s judgments of you.

When we let go of judging ourselves and are happy with just the way we are, we no longer feel guilt when someone else tries to use it on us. The more accepting of ourselves and the more authentic we are, the less guilty we will feel.

Remember that you only feel guilt when you judge yourself. If you have done something you truly regret, apologize and stop doing it, otherwise dispense with guilt. Do not let guilt rule your life.

Letting Go of Self Judgment

This can be a tough journey for many of us. I know that I judged myself for years for being so judgmental!

When you notice that you are judging yourself as “bad” for being a judger, its your ego kicking in to keep you from changing. Your ego will fight it and tell you “You’re selfish. You’re crazy!”

The bottom line is that when you judge yourself you hurt yourself. The feelings of doubt, unworthiness and being “bad” will stay with you until they are replaced with feeling good about yourself.

Look beyond the judgment to your own unmet needs.

Ask yourself “What do I need that I am not getting? What is missing for me?” Bring awareness to your own needs and start working on them to get them met. Honor the needs that you have, rather than feel bad that you have them. We all have them! Its not something to feel ashamed about. We all need to feel loved, to belong, to feel worthy, and to be respected and validated.

Val’s Comment: If you’d like to explore more about what your needs might be and how you can start getting them met once and for all, then please reach out and connect. You are not alone and I am here to help.


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