Is Guilt (often coupled with fear) the Guilty Culprit Causing your Life or your Business (or professional life) to be less efficient?

Posted on: January 24th, 2012 by Laura Palmer 1 Comment

Many people are quick to deny that guilt (or fear) plays any role in their decisions because it is a stealthy emotion, flying deep below the radar for most of us. Thoughts tied to this negative emotion commonly interfere with our ability to hear our own intuition, which is one’s true internal strategist. By raising our awareness of these thoughts, we can clear a path to our own wisdom and make more efficient decisions. This article will introduce the notion, give an example, with more to come, and provide a tip.

We place a lot of value in what we can do and say, and most of us get anxious, frustrated, annoyed, guilt-ridden, fearful, or some combination, when we can’t do anything or say anything to control a situation. We then begin acting from this negative emotion trying to make it better, only to see it worsen or stay exactly the same. Sometimes we do this without even realizing it because it is a habit for us to tune out whatever we are feeling. But when we tune out our feelings, we tune out our best resource: our intuition.

We forget that there is more at play in the world, in our lives, in our situations than what we are doing or saying, and we ignore the power in our knowing. As I introduced in my Dec. 20 article, we may not be able to explain how or why we know what we know (and either ignore it only to regret or follow it only to be surprised, at each decision point of our day), but we each undeniably have a “knowing” source that, when followed, allows for an efficient, joyful, successful life.

Sometimes, our intuition about a situation is to do nothing or pause but our subconscious habit of doing or someone else’s coax to act (often saddled with guilt) leads us to question our own guidance and often turn against it, only to learn later that we should have followed it. It’s good to remember that there are many resources, options, and ways to deal with many different situations aside from we can do ourselves.

Sometimes these other alternatives are better than what we could do or say, and sometimes something is in the pipeline that we can’t yet see: an introduction to someone new, a new opportunity, a new technology, another situation that we don’t physically see or consciously know the details about yet. In this case, pausing allows for more information.

Thus, there is value in just “being” at times and letting your own silent guide advise you on how to act, waiting for the picture that is bigger than you and your actions to play out before you.

Example: As a labor and employment attorney (and even now as I advise business leaders), I learned of many situations where employees were hired even though the hiring person “knew” or had a feeling that it wasn’t a good option. Two common reasons:

1) Guilt: Maybe they liked the person or knew something about their financial situation and wanted to help them.

  • The applicant’s intuition advises not to take the job but the fear that he/she won’t find the right job drowns out the guidance. Giving into fear of not finding the right job, he/she is not tuned into his/her intuition because intuitive guidance feels good (not scared) and can lead him/her to the perfect opportunity, if followed. We often have trouble letting go of the fear and negative illusion of failure and trusting that things can turn out well, allowing time and attention to allow the positive outcomes. We often look to prevent what we don’t want instead of focusing on and creating what we do want.
  • The employer is buying into this fear and belief that there isn’t anything else for the employee, so the employer feels bad by rejecting them (not alluding to cases where the decision is obvious, of course.) In these cases, the employer doesn’t have anything concrete telling them that it’s a bad decision. Rather, it may look decent on paper and the person may seem nice enough, but the employer “knows” better and ignores it because the guilty/fear thoughts are drowning out the intuitive ones.

2) Fear: The employer is concerned that it won’t find a better employee. Again, the fear is an indication that this belief is an illusion. The intuition to not hire the person so that a better one can be hired is truth, but often this subtle guidance doesn’t come through loud enough because of the negative habitual thinking, the habit of not trusting one’s own instincts.

Create success by: a) becoming aware of your emotions, b) tuning into your intuition to reach for the knowledge that is associated with peace or neutrality and c) trusting that guidance and following it. This leads to far more efficient decisions saving time, money, and often heartache, especially when conflicts (sometimes even lawsuits) emerge.

Quick tip on how to do this: There are many ways, but one quick way is to first, start paying attention to how you feel.

1) When you feel negative, perhaps anxiety or another emotion is lurking in the chest area, place your hands on your heart center (chest or thymus area) and take very deep breaths, filling your self with air slowly from the stomach to the collarbone.

2) With each exhale, allow yourself to breath from the heart. With each one, notice the heart center opening.

3) Notice what it feels like. It may be warmth, contentment, peace, calming, confidence, etc. Write down what you feel so you can remember it.

4) Then, start by asking neutral questions to obtain a sense of what it is like to receive information from your intuition. It may be a whisper. It may be very subtle, yet clear. Questions, such as asking if the guidance is there and then asking if you can trust it are good ones to begin. Write down your answers.

5) When you feel comfortable that you are tuned in, ask about the topic at hand. If you start to feel a negative emotion, go back to breathing from the heart until you feel open and neutral again. Remember the guidance you can trust will feel neutral or positive. It will relate to helping you achieve your big picture.

6) Be sure to focus on breathing and relaxing around the topics that are creating emotion, rather than merely turning away from the topics or ignoring them. By deliberately relaxing around the topics and opening up your heart with this breath, you open yourself up to the wisdom and guidance that your intuition holds, which ultimately will lead you to feel more confident around the topic.

7) Feel free to write down the thoughts that inspire you during this process.

8) Send gratitude to this internal strategist, aka your intuition.

I welcome discussions about this topic, so feel free to comment anonymously or share stories. I also welcome the opportunity to help you become your own expert in this process by helping you to spot and delete the illusions that keep you from believing in and following the advice of your internal strategist. In doing so, you create more efficient and joyful success in your business and in your home.

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  1. […] When one of these songs is playing and you feel bad (fear, anxiety, anger, worry, guilt (see blog on guilt-driven behavior and decisions)), STOP before doing anything. There’s wisdom in the […]

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