Why Do Women Always Feel Guilty?

Guilt is a huge recurring theme in the work I do.

Whether it’s feedback from my content, directly from my clients sharing their struggles, or even conversations I have with friends. Let’s face it…us ladies are total pro’s at feeling guilty, for just about anything and everything. The irony about guilt is – it’s a never-ending mean voice in your head that says what you’re doing right here, right now isn’t good enough. 

Working hard in your career? You feel guilty about not spending quality time with your family, or taking days to text your mates back, or not getting enough sleep.  

At home with your kids for the day? You feel guilty that your to-do list hasn’t been ticked off, or the washing basket is overflowing, or you haven’t had time to cook and they ended up with a ready meal.

Spending your weekend on a creative project? You feel guilty about not going to that Spin class this morning, or clearing out your spare room, or going out to run your errands.

Can you relate? I know I can. See – professional guilt-trippers. Except we’re guilt tripping ourselves! 

Why do we hold this irrational belief that women can ‘have it all’?

No matter how purposeful our present moment, there’s always something we’re choosing not to do, or don’t have the time to do, because of where we are. When it comes to guilt, you just can’t win.

So why do we do it? Why do we hold this irrational belief that women can ‘have it all’ and be everything to everyone?

I think this ideal that’s put upon us has a lot to blame when it comes to the constant guilt fest. Because with an ideal comes pressure. Pressure to have it all, do it all, be it all. And guilt when you’re failing to conform to that ideal.

Well here’s the catch…it’s all total, complete and utter bullshit. You can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t be in more than one place at once. All you have is the present moment. And whether that present moment is with your loved ones, at your desk, at the gym or lying under the covers with Ben & Jerry’s – wholeheartedly own that moment, and relish how perfect it is. 

What if we chose to be truly present in everything we did? Guilt cannot exist in that space. 

Own your choice to be where you are right now. And in that owning that choice, own the fact that doing this thing, means you can’t be doing 10 other things. Nor would you want to. Own working hard on your career right now, because it’s work you love, and it allows you the connections, or money, or lifestyle that you enjoy. Own spending quality time with your loved ones, because that’s what life’s all about, and what’s the use in creating that lifestyle for yourself if you can’t sit back and enjoy it with the people that matter?! Own going to yoga, or heading out for drinks, or lying in bed watching Netflix, because that’s what you need in that moment to feel good, and your self care is so important to keep you running at full capacity.

Don’t let guilt come into the equation – and if it does crop up, which it will – I simply say “I choose to do this, and not feel guilty about it”. Acknowledging it in your mind, out loud, in conversation with who you’re with, really helps not only bring that positive affirmation into reality, but also to acknowledge guilt and not allow it to exist inside you – where it has no place!

Has today’s post empowered you to let go of the guilt? If it has, I’d love you to share it on social media – I know the ladies in your life need to hear this message too.

Photography by Holly Wood.