How To Get Off The Guilt Train To Start Living Your Best Life

How To Get Off The Guilt Train To Start Living Your Best Life



SPEAKER_1: You’re listening to She Grabs The Mic, and I’m your host, Cole Baker-Bagwell.

SPEAKER_1: Every week, we’ll explore what it means to be happy, present, and whole.

SPEAKER_1: You’ll hear from courageous women who are kicking ass in their lives, and leave with actionable tips that you can apply to reset from toxicity, tune into your gold, and live powerfully from the bedroom to the boardroom.

SPEAKER_1: Right now, it’s time to grab your headphones, kick back and relax, and get ready to be inspired.

SPEAKER_1: Welcome, Amazing Ones!

SPEAKER_1: I am so happy that you were here.

SPEAKER_1: Welcome, welcome, welcome.

SPEAKER_1: This is the point in your day when you get to have a chance to kick back and relax, and get some good vibes flowing, learn a little bit about yourself, expand, grow, unfold.

SPEAKER_1: Let me ask you this.
SPEAKER_1: What’s bringing you joy this week?
SPEAKER_1: What’s making you smile?
SPEAKER_1: What’s making you feel alive?
SPEAKER_1: What’s making you feel so damn good that you can’t even believe it’s your life?

SPEAKER_1: Okay, here’s another question.
SPEAKER_1: What’s bogging you down?
SPEAKER_1: What’s pulling down your thoughts and your feelings and your energy?

SPEAKER_1: What do you need to shake loose to get into those good vibes?
SPEAKER_1: This week, we’re talking about a very heavy feeling called guilt.
SPEAKER_1: It’s one of the She Beasts that disrupts your energy, your thinking, and your actions.

SPEAKER_1: All of us feel it, or all of us have at least felt it at some time so we’re going to dig into this and explore what guilt really is. We’re going to talk about the impact of guilt on your mindset, mental, physical, and energetic health.

SPEAKER_1: And, we’re going to look at examples of where guilt is most prominent for the women I know, the women I love, the women I coach.

SPEAKER_1: I’ll share three tips with you that will help you understand your guilt tendencies so that you can break the damn guilt cycle and experience more flow, health, and joy, because that, amazing ones, is what life is all about.

SPEAKER_1: Now, I thought this was an important topic because guilt is coming up in nearly every conversation that I have these days with the women I love, know, and coach.

SPEAKER_1: It’s absolutely a part of every initial conversation that I have when I am coaching.

SPEAKER_1: I hear statements like, I feel guilty.
SPEAKER_1: I have so much guilt, Cole.
SPEAKER_1: “I’ll feel guilt if. I feel guilt because. I feel guilt when.”

SPEAKER_1: Here’s what I’ve learned.

SPEAKER_1: Guilt is a big-ass blocker. It just holds us back.

SPEAKER_1: And when we understand where it comes from, when we understand where we’ve learned guilt, we can change our thinking. We can break that damn cycle. We can start living our best lives because mindset is a game changer.

SPEAKER_1: Once we have clarity around some of these patterns of thinking, these patterns of choice that lead us back to the same damn frustrating place over and over again, we can begin to break free from all of that and, quite frankly, just experience a beautiful life.

SPEAKER_1: We can transform everything about ourselves, about our life, and not in a way that we need to be fixed, but in a way that we just get to say, yes, life, I love you, I want to be part of you, I want to feel good, I want to stand up for myself, I want to know that I am here and that I am choosing this life for me.

SPEAKER_1: As we look at guilt, I’ve noticed that we can feel guilt over any number of things, big and small.

SPEAKER_1: We can feel guilt about working too many hours or not working hard enough.

SPEAKER_1: Taking vacation that we have earned, taking a sick day when we’re unwell, leaving a relationship that is unhealthy or simply going nowhere, picking our kids up five minutes late, getting impatient, feeling tired, honking our horn, serving takeout to our guest, lapsing in our journal practice, missing yoga, not cleaning our house, sleeping in late, missing a religious service, failing to put out flowers on a gravesite of someone we’ve lost, missing our best friend’s call, enjoying a piece of cake or a glass of wine, saying no, saying yes, visiting with somebody for 15 minutes instead of an hour, not doing enough, doing too much, choosing ourselves first, speaking up for what we deserve, pursuing what we need to be happy and whole, and the last three are really big ones, because as long as you feel guilt, you will self-sacrifice.

SPEAKER_1: You will stay in a cycle of self-sabotage, and it will rob you of all of that joy and goodness and freedom and happiness and openness that you can feel in your life.

SPEAKER_1: Across any of these examples, let me ask you this.

SPEAKER_1: How the hell is guilt serving you well and adding anything positive to your life?

SPEAKER_1: Here’s the short answer. It’s not.

SPEAKER_1: Guilt proves resentment, anger, frustration.

SPEAKER_1: It creates inertia.

SPEAKER_1: And all of that stuff is super heavy and toxic for your mental, physical, and energetic health.

SPEAKER_1: It’s like constantly hitting yourself in the face with boxing gloves.

SPEAKER_1: I don’t think any of us want to do that, but when we stay in these guilt cycles and we say these words, this is where we land.

SPEAKER_1: Now, I’m going to tell you a story about my relationship with guilt, which was very long- standing for a very long time, to help you know that I understand where you’re coming from.

SPEAKER_1: So here’s the story.
SPEAKER_1: I’ve had a lifelong experience of not getting along well with one of my sisters.

SPEAKER_1: I grew up feeling really, really guilty about this.
SPEAKER_1: I was the big sister.
SPEAKER_1: My job was to love on my people, right?

SPEAKER_1: I was told I should find a way to get along no matter what, because after all, we had shared the same uterus.

SPEAKER_1: My dear mother would say things like, one day, girls, I’ll be dead, and all you three will have is each other.

SPEAKER_1: I’ve done the very best I can to raise you all. SPEAKER_1: I don’t know where I failed.
SPEAKER_1: Guilt, guilt, heavy-ass guilt.
SPEAKER_1: I wanted to please my family.

SPEAKER_1: I wanted to please my mom.

SPEAKER_1: I wanted all of us to be oh-so-happy.
SPEAKER_1: So I assumed the burden of getting along because I felt guilty.

SPEAKER_1: I didn’t even understand what guilt was, but I knew that it was this heavy thing that I was supposed to feel because I couldn’t make this thing work with my sister.

SPEAKER_1: I felt so guilty. And I pursued getting along even though it was harmful to me over and over again.

SPEAKER_1: I tried for decades to improve our relationship.
SPEAKER_1: I wanted to help my sister.
SPEAKER_1: I showed up for her time and time again, and I caved on what I needed when she got angry. I desperately wanted to replace this discord that my family was feeling with harmony.

SPEAKER_1: I thought I wasn’t a good person.

SPEAKER_1: I thought I wasn’t a good sister.

SPEAKER_1: I had all of these negative themes running through my head.

SPEAKER_1: The simple truth is I had learned how to feel guilt, and at the end of the day, the outcome same for me.

SPEAKER_1: In spite of my best efforts to appease and please, I wound up feeling compromised and the guilt that drove my self-sacrificing actions caused me to feel frustrated, caused me to feel angry and resentful, and man, I carried that shit around for so long.

SPEAKER_1: It was like a big-ass, old-school Samsonite suitcase, no wheels, no strap, just chocked full of heavy shit that I was lugging around, and it was exhausting.

SPEAKER_1: The relationship was incredibly tough.

SPEAKER_1: It has been incredibly tough my entire life, and every time I gave in to try to please, to try to fix, because I felt this guilt, I abandoned myself.

SPEAKER_1: I was accepting less than I wanted or deserved as a person.

SPEAKER_1: And man, like I said, I carried that around for years until it got so heavy that I couldn’t carry it anymore.

SPEAKER_1: And then I started to, you know, explore who I was, to unfold, to understand how I ticked, to understand what made me tick.

SPEAKER_1: And as I learned and I started to grow, I started to understand that the relationship that my sister and I had was not my responsibility.

SPEAKER_1: Just because we were related, it did not mean that we had to get along as my dear mother had led me to believe.

SPEAKER_1: As I continued to learn and understand myself, I realized I had no reason to feel guilt.

SPEAKER_1: I had not committed a specified crime or offense.
SPEAKER_1: I had done the very best that I could.
SPEAKER_1: And I learned that my sister had done the best that she could too.

SPEAKER_1: At the end of the day, I realized that my sister and I are quite simply two fundamentally different people.

SPEAKER_1: If we were not related, if we had not shared the same uterus, we would never have gotten along. We would not be friends.

SPEAKER_1: When I finally accepted all of those things, I made peace with our differences.

SPEAKER_1: I made peace with the fact that we just didn’t get along.
SPEAKER_1: I was able to drop the anger, the frustration, the resentment.

SPEAKER_1: When I freed up the space where those emotions had lived within me, I created space for positive feelings and thoughts that served me well.

SPEAKER_1: The most beautiful thing happened, I was able to look at my sister in the eye with love. I was able to wish her well.
SPEAKER_1: I was able to feel compassion for her and send her love.
SPEAKER_1: By letting go of all of my guilt, I let both of us off the hook.

SPEAKER_1: I let the whole family off the hook.

SPEAKER_1: The super cool byproduct of that choice is that all of us are happier, because none of us have to carry that shit around anymore.

SPEAKER_1: This was a process of shifting my mindset.

SPEAKER_1: It took a lot of self-awareness, a lot of mindful intention, a lot of courage and vulnerability, because learning about yourself is hard business, amazing ones.

SPEAKER_1: There is nothing easy about it.

SPEAKER_1: So as I was working to understand my guilt, I looked up the definition, which I do pretty often, because I needed to really understand what this word meant.

SPEAKER_1: I mean, I had learned it as a child, but I didn’t really understand what the word itself meant.

SPEAKER_1: Here’s what I learned.

SPEAKER_1: Guilt is the fact of having committed a specified offense or crime.

SPEAKER_1: I’m going to read that one more time.

SPEAKER_1: Guilt is the fact of having committed a specified offense or crime.

SPEAKER_1: Here’s the way I look at it. Unless you’ve committed a specified offense or crime, there is absolutely no reason to use this word or carry it around with you anymore.

SPEAKER_1: You don’t have to.

SPEAKER_1: It’s a choice. SPEAKER_1: You can let it go.

SPEAKER_1: Here’s the thing.

SPEAKER_1: Guilt is learned.

SPEAKER_1: It becomes ingrained in your language and in your mindset, usually at a very early age.

SPEAKER_1: This could have happened, like I said, when you were young, very impressionable as a child.

SPEAKER_1: This pattern of guilt could be something that you inherited and blindly assumed without even realizing that it was happening.

SPEAKER_1: You could have learned guilt when you were in a toxic relationship or when someone was attempting to manipulate you to do something that you really didn’t want to do because it served them well.

SPEAKER_1: Maybe guilt was used as a control lever in your life, some way to take you out of your power.

SPEAKER_1: You could have learned it in your religious or faith-based community.

SPEAKER_1: And once you learned it, guilt became part of your thinking, your feelings, and your energy.

SPEAKER_1: It was like a little fabric that wove in your brain, and it became one of these things that over time, the more that you said it, the more real it became that you were a guilty person.

SPEAKER_1: Now, remember, guilty people commit specified offenses or crimes, and so if that does not fit you, I am here to liberate you from your guilt today.

SPEAKER_1: Here’s what I want you to know.

SPEAKER_1: Guilt is a form of self-sabotage.

SPEAKER_1: Like I said, it’s like hitting yourself in the face with boxing gloves over and over and over again.

SPEAKER_1: It’s a form of manipulation.
SPEAKER_1: It is an absolutely freaking useless emotion. SPEAKER_1: It does not create anything positive in your life.

SPEAKER_1: I want you to think of it like cinder blocks tied around your ankles that just pull you down every single time this feeling bubbles up inside of you.

SPEAKER_1: Every time you use the words, it is an anchor that is keeping you from your best self.

SPEAKER_1: As I mentioned earlier, guilt is also a blocker.

SPEAKER_1: It is a big-ass barrier.

SPEAKER_1: It keeps us small and prevents us from expanding and realizing the best life that we possibly can realize for ourselves.

SPEAKER_1: Guilt is an excuse for not taking positive action or responsibility. You know, you can say, Oh, I feel really guilty about this.

SPEAKER_1: When in reality, if you really felt that bad about something, maybe you could make a change, but guilt becomes the excuse and it becomes very easy to just bow out of doing the thing that you most need to do.

SPEAKER_1: Guilt is total, full-on sludge.

SPEAKER_1: It does nothing for you.

SPEAKER_1: In fact, I’m going to say it’s sludge inside of quicksand.

SPEAKER_1: It just pulls you right in, sucks you in to the lowest vibrational energy that you can experience.

SPEAKER_1: It also time travels.
SPEAKER_1: Guilt can exist in the past, present, or future.

SPEAKER_1: It can cause you to reel and miss the power of this present moment, that you’re in, the beauty, the fullness, the realness of this moment.

SPEAKER_1: It’s really toxic stuff.

SPEAKER_1: It clouds your thinking, it clouds your emotions.

SPEAKER_1: It causes your personal energy to vibrate at a low frequency.

SPEAKER_1: There’s a very famous coach who I love, and his name is Steve Chandler, and he talks about the ladder of energy.

SPEAKER_1: And so the ideal place for us to vibrate, for us to be, for us to live is in the high vibrational energy of love, compassion, kindness, optimism, openness, hope, all of that good stuff that makes us feel alive and well and creates forward movement in our lives.

SPEAKER_1: But when we’re in the guilt zone and we are using this in our language, when we are taking it into our thoughts, into our energetic being, we vibrate on what Steve calls the lower end of the ladder.

SPEAKER_1: So the fear, the stress, the worry, the self-doubt. SPEAKER_1: Guilt is a hotbed for all of these things. SPEAKER_1: It’s a hotbed for depression and anxiety.

SPEAKER_1: There’s nothing good about it.

SPEAKER_1: But we use this word over and over and over again.

SPEAKER_1: I’m hoping that today, after this episode, if you’re one of those people, if you said today, oh my God, I felt so guilty when or I will feel so guilty if that up until now, that is a statement that you have used, and you will not choose to use those statements moving forward because they are not serving you well.

SPEAKER_1: No matter how guilty you have felt your entire life, you can break the guilt cycle.

SPEAKER_1: You can live lighter.
SPEAKER_1: You can live freer.
SPEAKER_1: You can be happier.
SPEAKER_1: You can feel that joy, that aliveness, and that’s what you’re here for.

SPEAKER_1: You’re not here to suffer.

SPEAKER_1: You’re here to live.

SPEAKER_1: You’re here to soar.

SPEAKER_1: You’re here to say, World, I am showing up for myself!

SPEAKER_1: And by the way, raising your hand and speaking up for what you need, want and deserve is no reason for you to ever feel badly about that at all.

SPEAKER_1: I have so many women that I’ve coached, and like I said in those initial conversations, when guilt comes up, when we really get to the root of it, they’re able to identify that as something else.

SPEAKER_1: Maybe it was a fear of being vulnerable, or fear of being hurt, or not realizing that they are enough exactly as they are.

SPEAKER_1: Guilt kind of masquerades as these different things, and once you get to the root of it and you understand it, you understand yourself better, you can do something about it, and that is powerful as shit.

SPEAKER_1: I’m going to give you three tips to help you break the guilt cycle, as I promised.

SPEAKER_1: Grab your pen and your paper, because here they come.
SPEAKER_1: Number one, ask yourself, where did I learn how to feel guilt?
SPEAKER_1: Where did it come from?

SPEAKER_1: Number two, ask yourself, does that thing that I learned still belong here?

SPEAKER_1: And how is it adding to my life?
SPEAKER_1: Get really clear on that.
SPEAKER_1: How is guilt adding something good to your life?

SPEAKER_1: Where is it weighing you down?

SPEAKER_1: Get super clear, where did you learn it?

SPEAKER_1: Does it belong here?
SPEAKER_1: And how is it adding to your life?

SPEAKER_1: That last question, if you come up with a good answer about how guilt is helping you, I want you to send me a note, and I want to talk with you because I have never met a single person yet who has said, yeah, guilt is super additive in my life.

SPEAKER_1: It does all sorts of positive things.

SPEAKER_1: So if I’m seeing this wrong, if you’re an outlier and you can change my mind, I want to know, I want to meet you.

SPEAKER_1: All right, here’s the last one.
SPEAKER_1: We’ve talked about this before.
SPEAKER_1: The acronym PBA.
SPEAKER_1: It stands for pause, breathe, and assess.
SPEAKER_1: When the She Beast named Guilt comes to visit you and knocks on your door,  pause.

SPEAKER_1: Take a few breaths- easy breaths in and out. Then, assess.

SPEAKER_1: What am I really feeling right now?

SPEAKER_1: And as you understand that feeling, I invite you to change your language.

SPEAKER_1: Replace “I feel guilty” with the actual emotion that you are feeling.

SPEAKER_1: So maybe it’s, I feel tired, I feel frustrated, I feel like I didn’t quite get the things done that I wanted to do today, but that’s okay because there’s tomorrow and today I did enough.

SPEAKER_1: So that last one is really important to pause, breathe, and assess, and get in touch with what you’re really feeling because I can guarantee you that there’s something to replace that guilt.

SPEAKER_1: When you understand what it is, then change the language, swap the words, and begin to say that instead.

SPEAKER_1: Begin to say what you’re really feeling instead of just defaulting to the guilt button because it’s going to bite you in the ass every single time.

SPEAKER_1: If you’re ready to travel lighter and replace guilt with more joy, freedom, and self- love and you don’t know where to start, I would absolutely love to meet you.

SPEAKER_1: Head on over to my website,, and send me a note through my contact page:

SPEAKER_1: Let’s talk about what’s possible for your life.

SPEAKER_1: Let’s start traveling lighter, amazing ones.

SPEAKER_1: Until next week, be kind to yourself, travel light, and I’m sending you big, big, big love.

SPEAKER_1: Thanks for tuning in.

SPEAKER_1: And that’s the end of the show today, everybody.

SPEAKER_1: I hope it has served you well.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you so much for tuning in.

SPEAKER_1: If you’ve liked what you’ve heard, please drop a review wherever you grab your favorite podcast.

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SPEAKER_1: And please be sure to share this podcast with another woman that you love.

SPEAKER_1: If you’d like to learn more about me or my work, check out my website,

SPEAKER_1: Until next time, remember to be super kind to yourself and do your very best to leave everyone and everything just a little bit better.