How To Overcome Guilt – Lighting The Path Toward Forgiveness

“Guilt is the true enemy of happiness.”

Introducing Guilt

Contrary to the title of this intro, guilt needs no introduction. But I still have to write an intro for integrity’s sake so let’s go ahead and introduce our good friend Mr Guilt. Oh, as well as introduce how exactly you are going to overcome guilt.

What I find funny about guilt is that it’s one of those words that we all know what it means but we struggle to put that meaning into words. You can forget about that though because I’m excited to announce that I have come up with my own definition for guilt: Guilt is a feeling of emotional discomfort that stems from the belief that we have gone against our values or societal rules. See, pretty good right?

Let’s get down to business though, we have all felt guilty for something at some point. If that thing is pretty mild then we usually get over it within a couple of days. But there are those mistakes we make that stay with us for longer than a couple of days. Some can even stay with us for years on end, tormenting us and reminding us of our failings. Let’s face it, life wrapped in guilt is nothing more than a prison (damn that quote goes hard). It’s up to you to bail yourself out of that prison, so your mind can be free. And guess who’s here to help you do that? Little old me that’s who.

Now, let’s not waste any more time and dive straight into the first section.

Understanding The Nature of Guilt

The first step in improving or getting over something is always to understand how it operates. That way, you can use the understanding you have to develop better strategies to overcome whatever hardship you may be facing. In your case, that hardship is probably guilt. Why would you be reading this guide in the first place if that wasn’t the case?

Understanding guilt can be complicated since the feeling sometimes just doesn’t go away. For many people, it just stays with them no matter what. This is probably because of how deeply ingrained in the human psyche that guilt is. It’s like it keeps pestering you and just won’t give up. A big contributor to guilt staying around is the cause of it, so let’s talk a little more about the potential causes for guilt.

The Root Causes of Guilt

There’s a huge difference between the causes of guilt and the causes of something like a mental health issue. That difference is that the root cause of your mental health issues can often be pretty hard to determine. For example, many people suffer from anxiety attacks and have no idea why these attacks are happening. You get the idea, many people find it hard to determine why they have mental health issues.

This is not the case with guilt. Most of the time, people know exactly why they feel guilty. Of course, there may be a few exceptions but the majority of people know exactly why they feel guilty. So, to start off this section, let’s go over some of these causes.

Past Mistakes

I decided to start with what is perhaps the most common cause of guilt. Many mistakes that we make stick with us, especially the more serious ones. Those mistakes sticking with us can result in result in heavy feelings of guilt. The worst part about it is that it’s so hard to forget your mistakes, this just makes the guilt and the shame so much worse than what it already is.

What sucks the most about our past mistakes though is how they define us. What do I mean by this? Well, it’s all about judgment. As much as many people try to deny it, we all judge others. While some people do it more than others, we all have done it at some point. A common thing that many people do when judging others is prioritize mistakes over good deeds. One mistake can easily make many people forget about all the good you have done. In some cases, this is understandable since some mistakes can’t just be overlooked. But for other mistakes, it can be unfair.

When constantly being reminded of your mistakes by judgment from others, it feels like your mistakes are following you everywhere you go. This is why so many people say that you can’t escape your past and that your past follows you everywhere. This is what life is like for someone consumed by guilt, and why past mistakes can cause so much guilt.

Societal or Cultural Influences

This one is quite interesting. It refers to the guilt people feel over not complying to societal or cultural expectations. A common example of this is how some cultures view masculinity. Now I know this is a pretty divided subject, but let’s view it from the angle of a growing teenage boy.

As you’re growing up, you’re suddenly being introduced to all these new responsibilities you now have. School is getting harder, you’re being given more work and you may even be looking for jobs too. Growing up can be pretty stressful at times, and many teenage boys are confused and unsure about the future. When you couple this with the societal expectation that men have to be strong and not show many emotions, it can make many men feel guilty for not being as strong as they wish they were.

Of course that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing to want to be stronger. Of course it’s a good thing, but the expectations that come with it can make many feel guilty for not being as strong or as stoic as society wants them to be. Once again though, strength and stoicism are good things to aspire to be. What isn’t a good thing is forcing the expectation that you have to base your entire personality around those qualities and are only allowed to show emotion to a certain degree. Once again though, showing too much emotion is a bad thing, but the opposite can also be just as harmful. You need to find a balance.

Another example of this is the popular public opinion. If someone likes something or someone that society says you shouldn’t like, then this can result in people feeling guilty over that. Obviously, there are things that you straight up shouldn’t like but you get the idea. It’s why so many people just believe what everyone else believes, they don’t want to feel guilty or be judged so they just like what everyone else does.

Personal Values

Each and every one of us has values that we live our lives by. We all have ideals and beliefs that we stand for, regardless of why we believe them. That’s why when we discover that some of our actions go against these ideals, we are overcome with a sense of guilt.

This one is a slightly less common cause compared to the others so far. That isn’t because people don’t go against their values that much, but because those who do tend to lie to themselves or make excuses for their actions. I am personally guilty of doing this, not anymore though obviously. Back in the day, I used to go against my values all the time and man did I love to make a good excuse along with it.

Trust me when I say this, these lies do not make the situation any better. In fact, they do the opposite and make it so much worse. They simply make it hit a lot harder when you finally realize that you’re going against what you value . It’s never an easy pill to swallow to begin with, but it’s made even worse by the denial and excuses you previously made.

M advice for this? Reflect on your values. Make sure you remind yourself of what you truly believe I and what you stand for as an individual. Once you’ve done that, look over all your recent actions (without skipping any I see you). Then you look for the actions you’re taking that directly contradict your values. Then all you have to do is accept that you’re doing something wrong and get to fixing it.

Comparative Guilt

Comparative guilt is exactly what it sounds like, you feel it when comparing yourself to others. This commonly happens when you see someone excel at something you’re not doing as well at. This can lead to feelings of guilt revolving around the fact that you’re not succeeding as much as the person in question. This is pretty common in the gym, many people often feel guilty and weak when they see someone lifting way more than they can.

What do I say to this? Why bother comparing yourself to others? This will only lead to you becoming spiteful and feeling (yep, you guessed it) even more guilty. Remember this, the only person you should ever compare yourself to is… well yourself of course. You should always strive to be better than the person you were yesterday and forget about everyone else’s progress. I know it’s easier said than done but it’s better than doing nothing at all.

There’s also another form of comparative guilt that I thought I should briefly go over. It’s basically where you feel guilty for being more fortunate than others. This is most commonly seen when someone has a disability or an illness that makes life harder for them. When seeing these people, we often feel guilty that we are able to live normally. To tackle this, I would turn my feelings of guilt into feelings of gratefulness for being able to live normally.

Empathy or Compassion

This particular one hits. While it could technically fall under the ‘past mistakes’ category, I feel like it deserves its own section solely based on how hard it can hit. So what exactly is it? Guilt from empathy and compassion arises when we feel like we have hurt someone’s feelings or let them down, man it’s probably one of the strongest types of guilt you can feel.

Although it’s arguably worse for the other person in that situation, the one who you actually let down. They didn’t do anything wrong, but they still have to suffer the consequences of you breaking their trust. It really hurts when someone you considered a friend goes behind your back and breaks your trust. The worst part about it is that trust is like a glass. Once broken, it will never be the same again. Knowing that you caused this kind of pain is bound to leave a huge feeling of guilt, and for good reason. If you have ever done this, you must atone.

Healthy Guilt vs Unhealthy Guilt

While it is true that guilt sucks, not all guilt is bad for you. I know what it sounds like but just hear me out for a second. Guilt is an extremely complex emotion, there is never just one side to anyone’s guilt. This just makes it suck even more. But just because it sucks, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily bad for you. Let me explain.

The Healthy Side

Healthy guilt is guilt that you should be feeling. It’s best described as an internal moral compass and it urges you to fix your mistakes. It’s the type of guilt that you feel when you make a serious mistake. It’s characterised mainly by a few key features, let’s take a look at them:

  • Recognition of Wrongdoing: Healthy remorse tends to arise when you truly recognize that you have that you have gone against your values. That’s right, the cause of your guilty feelings plays a huge part in whether it’s healthy or unhealthy. The reason this is healthy is because you should feel bad for going against your values. You can’t just contradict your beliefs without getting away with no consequences. The shameful feelings you feel are meant to remind you to stick to the right path.
  • Accountability and Responsibility: Shameful feelings that are healthy should push you to take responsibility and accountability for your actions. The bad conscience should be pushing you toward recognizing your mistakes and taking responsibility for those mistakes. They’ll push you to hold yourself accountable so that way you never compromise your values again. By holding yourself accountable and taking responsibility, you’re showing that you are ready to make amends
  • Motivation: The main core aspect, the one that differentiates the healthy and the unhealthy, is the motivation that the healthy side gives you. When your shameful feelings are healthy, they should be motivating you to be better. For me, that is the main difference between the two.
  • Proportional to Actions: This last trait may seem kinda confusing now but it’s actually really simple. It means that it makes sense that you feel remorse toward your actions. So basically, if you committed a certain action, it makes sense that you would feel that way. Here’s an example: if you broke the trust of someone close to you, it makes sense that you’ll end up with a bad conscience.

The Unhealthy Side

Unhealthy feelings of shame are best described as excessive and unnecessary. Unhealthy shame is very different from its healthy counterpart. These unhealthy feelings can easily lead to emotional distress and unwarranted self blame. They’re completely irrational and make no logical sense. However, the person who feels these feelings doesn’t see it this way. That’s why I’m going to do the same as before and go over the healthy and unhealthy side of things, let’s do this:

  • Irrational Self Blame: Unhealthy feelings of remorse frequently involve irrational self blame. This is where someone feels responsible for something they have no fault in whatsoever. It usually arises in a situation that you don’t have much control over, but you still feel shame for what happened. This is why it’s irrational, because you can’t blame yourself for something you have no control over.
  • External Pressure: One of the main driving forces behind unhealthy guilt is external pressure. Manly people feel ashamed if they feel like they aren’t conforming to other people’s standards or ideals. The reality is that you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to other people’s unfair expectations and judgements, you should only be trying to meet your own expectations for yourself. That way you can be who you want to be and not who others want you to be.
  • Perfectionism and Unrealistic Standards: One of the most common places that an unhealthy conscience can stem from is a mindset that revolves around perfectionism. Say for example you have someone who is a perfectionist, and they score a 97% on a test. This person would then feel incredibly guilty and feel like they’re not good enough because they didn’t get 100%. These unrealistic standards can cause people to feel shameful for no reason.
  • Chronic Emotional Distress: The main difference between healthy and unhealthy feelings of remorse is that healthy feelings prompt positive change while unhealthy feelings lead to severe emotional distress. This happens because you have no mistakes, so there are wrongs to right in this situation. But you still feel at fault probably due to other factors such as confidence or self-esteem issues (click on the link to go to my self-esteem guide), which leads to emotional distress, as you try to fix something you never even broke.

The Impact of Lingering Guilt

One of the worst things about guilt is that it gets worse and worse the longer it hangs around. That’s why you must deal with it as fast as possible to avoid it completely consuming you. These lingering impacts can potentially affect you for the rest of your life so you don’t want to end up with a whole load of problems just due to a bad conscience.

To show you how bad it can get, I’m going to go over a few of the most common impacts that an unaddressed conscience can lead to. So in typical fashion, let’s do this.

Low Self-Esteem

I know I just mentioned this but I guess I’m back to do a whole section on it again. Anyways, unaddressed shame can easily lead to a low self-esteem. It’s kind of scary how easy it is for this to happen, with many people falling into this trap and not even realizing before it’s too late.

How does this even happen though? Well, the weight of our wrongdoings is very heavy. If we continuously carry the burden of our past mistakes and errors, then it’s bound to weigh us down in many other areas. One of these areas is self esteem and it’s one of the areas most commonly affected. If you think about this, then it’s not hard to see why. If you’re constantly plagued by your mistakes and wrongdoings, it’ll make you feel like a worse person. This will drastically decrease your self esteem the longer that the shame lingers.

This also gets worse with the severity of your actions. If you have committed a mistake that you deem as unfixable or irredeemable, then that’s gonna ruin your self esteem. Obviously, there are some mistakes that are unforgivable (like ones that break the law), but the majority of mistakes made can be redeemed. However, many people see their mistakes as beyond forgiveness when that simply that isn’t the case. In most cases, you shouldn’t just let one mistake define the rest of your life. Otherwise your self esteem will come crashing down. So seek redemption, and turn it around.

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and Depression are topics that have sadly become all too common in the modern age. As a result of this, many people are forgetting how serious the issues are because it seems like everyone has depression. However, that doesn’t take away from the severity of the issues and the fact that what starts as a guilty conscience can easily lead to issues way worse.

Now that we’ve established that shame can lead to anxiety and depression, let’s look at why this happens. I think it’s due to the emotional distress that guilt can cause. When you replay the scenarios that you feel shame for in your mind, it can make you feel uncomfortable. A common trait of guilt is that it keeps replaying those scenarios in your mind. This will cause those uncomfortable feelings to turn into emotional distress. Emotional distress can lead to many anxiety attacks due to its uncomfortable nature. This will then result of feelings of hopelessness and despair – trademark symptoms of depression.

This just goes to show how one minor issue can snowball into something a lot worse than what it started out as. Like I said before, it’s almost scary how easy it is for this to happen. All you have to do is ignore addressing your guilt or let it build up. That’s all it takes to generate a serious issue, so make sure that doesn’t happen.

Interpersonal Conflict

Another thing to note about shame is that it can easily damage our relationships with others. This is especially true if the mistake that is causing these feelings has negatively impacted other people. Committing a mistake like this is bound to damage your relationship with the people you hurt, which can easily worsen the burden that you’re carrying around with you.

It gets worse though. Your shameful feelings can also impact your relationships with those that have nothing to do with your mistakes. Let me explain. When carrying a guilty conscience, you may start to become afraid that those you care about will find out about the mistakes you feel so ashamed of. This may lead to you becoming defensive or distant to minimize the chances of them discovering your wrongdoings. You may feel that they’ll judge you or won’t want to be around you anymore if they find out, so you become defensive.

However, this won’t solve anything. It’ll just weaken your bonds with the people in question and create many communication barriers that will further weaken those bonds. It’ll make you distance yourself further and further from those you care about, and all because of a guilty conscience. Even if you become a little more reserved, your friends will notice it and it will impact your relationships. So it’s up to you to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

Inhibition of Personal Growth

Aside from ruining your mental health and most of your personal relationships, guilt can also wreck any attempts you make to improve yourself. Let’s see why. Ok so imagine you’re trying your hardest to improve upon yourself. You’re trying to get stronger, you’re trying to fix your mistakes, and you’re trying to make amends. But there’s one thing that’s always waiting around every corner to mess up all these attempts. And what is that thing you ask? Well you should know by now, it’s guilt of course!

It can be extremely hard to improve upon yourself when constantly being reminded of your mistakes. Your mistakes tend to follow you around and stick to you like a magnet. Because you’re constantly being reminded of your wrongdoings, you’re constantly being fed negative thoughts about yourself. These thoughts will directly confront any attempts you make to improve yourself, since they’ll make you feel so worthless that any attempts to improve will be crushed.

To Sum it Up

As you can see, a guilty conscience is never just a guilty conscience. It’s like a parasite that latches onto you and affects almost every single aspect of your life. The cause that makes this guilt affect these aspects of your life is almost always the same thing. That cause is the haunting memory of your mistakes. These memories will case you to distance yourself from people, become depressed and it will also destroy any attempts you make to improve. All of those potential issues due to one memory, that just isn’t worth it.

The memory is what drives that guilt, which in turn drives your actions. That guilt won’t magically go away, so to start getting rid of this guilt, you have to change your actions. So let’s do exactly that and go over how you can change your actions.

Strategies To Overcome Guilt

That’s right, it’s time to go over some strategies to help you out. There’s no better way to change your actions than to introduce some new strategies to help deal with your issues. Remember that the results won’t show immediately when using any new strategy, this is natural of course since many issues have so much control over our lives. There’s simply no way that something that has so much control over your life will go away quickly.

That’s why persistence is the key. Think about it, going to the gym just once will not do much. However, if you go to the gym consistently for months or years on end, you will see results. It’s the same with applying new strategies to overcome mental issues, doing it once or twice or even three times won’t do much, but doing it consistently every day will. With that being said, let’s dive in.

Acknowledge and Accept Guilt

Yeah, it is true that I’m kind of bending the definition of a strategy here, but I believe that this is too important to overlook. If you have read some of my guides before then you would know that the first step that you need to take in order to solve any internal issue you’re facing, you have to acknowledge it. I know I say it every time but it’s such an important point that it’s worth saying every time.

Many people with serious issues tend to lie to themselves about having that issue (this doesn’t apply to every person with a serious issue of course). I mean who can blame these people? It sucks to admit that you have an anxiety disorder or an addiction. And it especially sucks to admit that you feel guilt or shame over something you did, since doing so reminds you of the mistakes that made you feel that way in the first place. As established in the previous section, memories of these mistakes are very uncomfortable memories to face and this may explain why so many people want to avoid them.

Regardless of this though, you have to face your shame. It’s the only way to push forward. You can just turn a blind eye to your guilt and expect it to go away. Doing that will only make it grow worse and worse. Instead, you have to be ready to swallow your pride and admit your weakness, no matter how hard it is to do this. After all, if you never admit to having a problem, then you’ll never be able to start solving it. I know it’s not an easy thing to do, but remember that choosing to ignore your problems is an even harder choice.

Take Responsibility

Yes, this also counts as a strategy. I know when people think of strategies they usually think of quick and easy methods to deal with a problem. With mental issues though, this simply isn’t the case. Sure there are many methods I will be mentioning later that do fall more under this category but they’re not exactly a fast remedy. When it comes to mental issues, there’s simply no fast cure to this kind of thing. They sure are scary to face too, but you’ll be ok, it’s the right thing to do after all. Now, let’s get onto taking responsibility.

If you think that by accepting and acknowledging your guilt it will magically disappear then you’re wrong, very wrong. I mentioned in the last section that acceptance is always the first step, not the solution to the entire problem. Now that I’ve established that, the next step is taking responsibility. If your guilt is healthy and genuine, then you have to start making amends. This may involve stepping outside your comfort zone and doing some things that you probably will not feel like doing.

What exactly are these things though? Well, you already know the answer deep down. We all do, but it’s such a hard thing to do. That answer is apologizing to those you affected, admitting you’re wrong, and making amends. You should also confess the whole truth to them, which includes any facts you may have omitted. I know how hard it is to do this, trust me we’ve all been there. If you really want to improve though, then you’ll do it regardless. You may believe that you’re weak for doing this but that isn’t true at all. In fact, those who are willing to admit they’re wrong and fix their actions are truly strong people.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Yes, I’m aware that mindfulness is a form of meditation. And yes, I’m aware that I listed both of them when I could’ve just put meditation down. But guess what? I still put both. Alright, enough fooling around. While it is true that mindfulness is a form of meditation, I feel that it’s important to talk about the two separately when it comes to this subject. Especially since mindfulness is really good for addressing guilt. Why don’t we dive a bit deeper into mindfulness then?


Mindfulness is all about bringing your mind to the present and letting go of any thoughts of the past or the future that may be tormenting you. The main goal of mindfulness is essentially to achieve a peaceful state of mind that is 100% focused on the present moment. This is great for healing guilt, especially unhealthy guilt. It also leads to a greater enjoyment of life due to the peace of mind gained.

Of course it would be kind of useless to tell you this without actually providing a few mindfulness techniques, so here you go:

  • Body Scan: The body scan technique is exactly what it sounds like. To do it, you go through your entire body either from head to toe or toe to head and you focus on how each individual part feels. Along the way, you should try and notice any physical sensations that could be related to your guilt. Once you find them, you can use the relaxed state you’re in to slowly release those sensations and ease your mind as a result. A body scan is a great way to relax yourself and relieve any stress you may be feeling. I know it sounds tedious but you should seriously give it a go. Also don’t rush it, I see you.
  • Going On Daily Walks: It’s no surprise that going on a walk is therapeutic. There’s simply nothing quite like going on a peaceful walk and embracing the beauty of nature don’t you agree? All corniness aside, going on daily walks is great for achieving a mindful state of mind (hence why I included it here). This is because by going on a walk and paying attention the your surroundings, you’re bringing your mind into the present and you’re not focusing on your worries as much. While you’re out, try not to listen to music. This isn’t really ideal for mindfulness. You should instead be focusing on the sights and sounds of the world around you. That’s more ideal for a mindful state of mind.
  • 5 Senses Exercise: This one is a great little exercise that can help you achieve a mindful state when you’re in almost any different situation. What I like about this one is that it’s very simple and self explanatory. You simply do exactly as the name describes: you look around the area you’re in and name a few things you notice with each of the 5 senses. It can be in any order you like, just make sure not to rush it and to do it properly. I know it may seem boring to some of you, but trust me when I say that it’s worth it. This technique can put you into a mindful state in almost any situation. It’s also a great technique because you can combine it with other techniques, like going on a walk.
  • Mindful Journaling: I’ve talked in length about how great having a journal or a diary is in multiple other guides, so If you’ve ever seen one then you know what to expect. Journaling is great because it allows you to let all of your feelings out on a piece of paper, especially those related to guilt. By writing your feelings down, you can sort through them with ease and even gain a new perspective on them. You can take a fresh look at your guilt and analyze it, looking for any potential triggers or habits that may be formed from your guilt. Sometimes a new perspective can help you out a lot. How does this relate to mindfulness? When journaling, you’re completely absorbed in the activity, you’re not distracted by any other thoughts and you’re only focused on letting your feelings out.


Now we’re onto normal meditation. For this, I’ll mainly be going over a few breathing strategies you can do to help release guilt and ease your conscience. Just note that if you’re not very good at mindfulness, you won’t be good at meditation. You need to incorporate mindfulness into pretty much every single meditation technique as otherwise you won’t be able to focus enough. With that out of the way, let’s get into it.

  • Breath Awareness Meditation: I decided to start out with the most basic of basics when it comes to meditation exercises. There is no simpler form of meditation than breath awareness meditation and you’ll need to get pretty good at it if you want to do well in other exercises. To do it, you first need to find a quiet place, close your eyes, and bring your attention to your breath. Make sure you stay focused to the natural rhythm of your breath as it enters and leaves your body. If your mind begins to wonder, then gently push your focus back onto your breathing. Make sure to continue this for at least 10 minutes. Afterwards, you’ll notice how calm you are, take this time to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgement. You may notice some new insights related to your guilt.
  • Loving-Kindness Meditation: This is a meditation technique that’s great for cultivating self-compassion and easing guilt. To do it, you’ll first need to do a bit of breath awareness meditation to achieve a relaxed state. Once you’re in this state, you need to focus on generating feelings of love and compassion. If you’re not sure how to do this then I have a way to help you. You should start by guiding these feelings toward you by repeating thoughts like “May I be free from suffering. May I forgive myself.”. You don’t have to copy these exact thoughts, so feel free to put your own spin on it. You should then start visualizing sending these feelings to others. Just imagine yourself sending love and forgiveness to everyone in your life, even your enemies. You’ll notice how much more compassionate this makes you, which will be a great help when it comes to treating guilt.
  • Self-Forgiveness Meditation: Alright, this one starts the same as last time. Find a quiet place where no one can disturb you and start some good old breath awareness meditation to achieve a relaxed state. Once you’re in a relaxed state, you need to put all your focus on your guilty feelings as well as the actions and behaviours associated with it. Make sure to reflect well upon those feelings. Then, I want you to visualize a forgiving presence or figure. This can be someone you admire or just a more compassionate version of yourself, or just anyone you want really. What you should then do is speak to this figure and state your sincere intentions to forgive yourself and make amends. Then imagine them forgiving you, and giving you words of love and acceptance. This is a great way to ease your guilt and start moving toward a better future.

SOMETHING TO NOTE: The best thing about meditation is that when you’re in that relaxed and focused state, you can pretty much visualize anything you want and focus on any thought you want. You can use it to generate new ideas, heal trauma, reinforce your ideals and so much more. So don’t be afraid to branch out a little, especially since you can get so much more out of it than just healing guilt (which it is very good at doing).

Change Your View

The final strategy I’m offering is so important and useful that I’m willing to call it a necessary strategy. As you may know, your mindset shapes your reality. Almost every single person is limited by what they believe they can do. So if you believe that you can’t do somethings the guess what? You probably won’t be able to do it. The only thinking making it that way is your mind. So much can change with just a simple belief.

What does this have to do with guilt though? Well I know some of you have already pieced it together. It’s simple, you have to change your view on your guilt and your mistakes. Let’s start with your guilt. You probably view it as some kind of disease and something that you don’t want to have to deal with anymore. If your guilt is healthy, then you should view it as the cure. Why though? Well because it is the cure, it’ll steer you on the right path and push you to make amends.

If you guilt is unhealthy, then you have to realize that it’s unnecessary and start letting go. You have to recognize it in your mind first though, that’s the most important step.

How should you view your mistakes though? If you have read some of my older guides, then you probably know. Your mistakes are not the end of everything, they’re the start of something new and better. This is because they are a learning opportunity, they’re a chance to grow as a person. I know it sucks think about them but wouldn’t it be awesome if you could look back on them and think “Woah, I’ve come so far.” By embracing what I call a growth mindset, where you use your mistakes as fuel for growth, then you will think this one day.

The Importance of Forgiveness

For the final section, I’ve decided to go over what may well be the most important step you must take to overcome guilt. That step is forgiveness. If you’re struggling to let go of your guilt, forgiveness may very well be the solution. Yes, it’s that important. You probably noticed that many of the meditation techniques I previously mentioned were centered around forgiveness and that’s because it is the key. Without forgiveness, you’ll never truly move on.

You’re probably wondering “Who am I meant to forgive?” and the answer is obvious. Yourself, you have to forgive yourself for your mistakes. If you don’t do that, then you’ll never move on and you’ll never let go. You also need to understand that in order to make amends, you have to forgive yourself. Speaking of amends, it’s important to note that others may not be willing to forgive you. You should understand that and not hold it against them. Now, let’s get into why forgiveness is so important.

Emotional Liberation

If I was asked to describe what guilt feels like, I would say that it feels like a big chain that keeps you tied to the past. Guilt is like an anchor that weighs you down and keeps you from moving forward. Because of this feeling, it’s not hard to start feeling trapped and chained down by your guilt, which only makes you remember your mistakes even more. The chains of guilt can easily hold you back in life and keep you from reaching your fullest potential.

It’s for this reason that it’s so liberating when you finally manage to forgive yourself. It feels like you’re breaking all those chains that have been holding you down. It feels like all the weight you have been carrying around has finally been dropped. It feels… free. When you forgive yourself, you can finally start moving toward fixing your mistakes, you’re finally leaving everything behind.

Reduction of Negative Emotions

When you hold onto guilt, you’re also holding onto all the negative emotions that come with it. These emotions are usually emotions like anger, resentment, and uneasiness. Maybe even hate too. These emotions will build up over time, getting stronger and stronger the longer you hold onto your guilt. Do you know what these emotions will turn into if your shame is left unaddressed? Despair. They’ll result in complete and utter despair.

However, it’s like I said previously. When you forgive yourself, you’ll find that all these emotions will disappear. They’ll be replaced with more positive emotions. You’ll feel happy and a peace with yourself, instead of constantly being tormented by your emotions. You’ll notice the change pretty quickly too, you’ll finally be free from the constant wrath of negative emotions. Ofg course, you’ll still feel some negative emotions every now and then but you won’t be constantly tormented by them.

A Path to Closure

This will be the last reason I list off here. I would do more but I would just be saying the same thing over and over again. So for the final point, I’m going to talk about the closure that forgiving yourself can provide you. So we all know by now that forgiving yourself feels like a huge weight off your shoulders. It makes you feel at peace with yourself.

There’s also one more benefit that forgiving yourself offers. It provides you with a sense of closure. It feels like you’ve come full circle since first committing the mistake. However, instead of it being just a regular circle loop, you went above and beyond it. You broke out of the cycle of guilt and managed to move toward a new future. You’re finally able to leave your mistakes behind and close the book on them. You can finally move on.


We have finally made it to the end. I’m pretty sure we all understand how bad of a problem guilt can become if left unaddressed. It can destroy your life with relative ease and make you feel miserable. That’s why you have to address it, you have to face it. You have to confront your mistakes or you’ll never be able to move on.

You have to acknowledge your guilt, accept it, and do whatever you can to fix your mistakes and forgive yourself. I believe you can do it, all that’s left is for you to believe the same.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *