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Good Guilt vs Bad Guilt (How To Overcome Feeling Guilty) | BABH S2Ep111

season 2 Dec 14, 2021

EPISODE 111: Good Guilt vs Bad Guilt (How To Overcome Feeling Guilty)

This episode was inspired by a listener who asked me to cover the topic of Guilt.

As feelings go, guilt is pretty gnarly, and yet so many people live with it day in, day out and sometimes hold on to guilt for decades!

But not all guilt is bad and today I’ll tell you why.

I’m gonna give you a road map for dealing with guilt so you’ll know how to overcome feeling guilty.

We’ll be looking at it through the lens of Good Guilt vs Bad Guilt (the 2 kinds of guilt), plus I’ll talk a little on guilt vs shame…

Now, fair warning, this episode contains some tough love…

But if there’s old guilt you’ve been living with and you want to be free,
or if you truly want to know how to navigate guilt going forward,
hit that play button, buckle up and let’s dive in!

Quick Links from this episode:


Guilt 101

  • Guilt is simply a signal
    It indicates a value boundary has been crossed

  • There are 2 kinds of guilt - good and bad
    It's not actually the guilt that’s bad, it’s the signal settings that define it..

     Identify value then…

  • Defining question:

    Does this value serve you (does it work for you, is it aligned now)… 

    YES - good guilt - take some corrective/repair actions
    NO - bad guilt - shift the value (change the narrative)

    From unconscious (or bullshitting ourselves) to conscious...
    The Internal Value Patrol - like the police it simply follows the laws you set.

Bad Guilt

  • The value is off

  • Shift the narrative (Ep109) - inquire

  • Sometime the realisation is enough - you just didn’t realise and now you see it as a bullshit value…

    a hand-me-down from a parent or teacher
    a self induced survival strategy

    Sometimes not so straight forward…

  • You’re going to need to face the secondary gains

    Sometimes chronic guilt can feel weirdly more comfortable than the freedom you say you want!
    Because… of a bunch of fears…
    what will others think (See Ep93 feeling responsible)
    what if I test my freedom theory and fail - better the devil you know
  • You have to be willing to call yourself out - that’s the hidden positive intent of bad guilt - remember it’s just a signal

    Maybe you just don’t feel guilty enough yet, eh?
    Examine the cost of staying here and the benefit of shifting the narrative.
    It’s your choice! Wallowing is an option.

Good Guilt

  • So you’ve got a value that you actually agree with…
    it’s not disempowering bullshit, you’ve considered it and you’ve crossed it…
    You feel like shit - GOOD!
  • Some say never feel guilt - bollocks - like never feel pain - leprosy!
    Never feel guilt again - er… that’s not human - requires us to either have zero moral values (that’s called being a psychopath) or be super human and static by the way… growth and evolution = changing values and we learn by these mistakes, we grow because of them.
    You feel like shit - GOOD! because that tells you to course correct…

Corrective action…

  • Make amends - make it right - apologise AND do better/change - commit
  • True whether it’s you or another
  • Can’t speak to another?
    What can you do to make it right with yourself - pay it forward?
  • The burden is on YOU

Speaking of the burden - here’s where people get stuck…

  • Owning up, confessing, making it right can be hard!
  • It has lots of risk - humiliation, rejection, punishment etc…
  • And that’s when we tend to back off, bullshit ourselves and start shifting that guilt into shame… that’s bad

Good guilt gone bad…

  • We shift the narrative in order to hide and protect ourselves
    Eg. you get in a fight with your lover, your kid, a parent - whoever…
    Or maybe they kick off at you for something…
    You conveniently delete your part of the equation and focus on their responses…
    But you know what you did, you really know why they kicked off that way - it’s just that admitting it is a burden - the burden empowerment and responsibility 
  • Freedom and wholeness really looks like… humility, radical self honesty, radical confession - light on the shadow…

Guilt vs Shame

  • Guilt relates to actions/behaviours (including inactions)
  • Shame is more about who you are, as a person, intrinsically
    It’s about identification and feeling bad
    Often born out of ongoing rejection, humiliation, neglect, abuse (trauma).

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Episode 109 Goes deeply into the arena of shifting your narrative or story: LISTEN HERE

Episode 93 Will help you with the confusion between feeling responsible and caring for other people's emotions, a common cause of bad guilt: LISTEN HERE


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