You know that tiny, nagging feeling holding you back from being your best self? It's guilt. But don't worry; Valorie Burton is here to help with her new book, Let Go of the Guilt.
Let Go of the Guilt is a self-help book that helps you conquer the guilt that eats away at your spirit.
The driving force behind Burton's work in this book was a mundane morning getting her kids ready for school. Her son, a slow eater, normally ate his bag of cereal on the way to the bus. But on this day, he asked to sit at the kitchen table to eat breakfast. And Burton was hit with overwhelming waves of guilt over her duties as a mother: how she failed him in her inability to feed him a proper, warm, well-rounded breakfast, as her mother had done for her. And then she hits us with this line:
I believe guilt is epidemic among today’s women, who are burdened with more expectations than any generation has ever had, brought on by the greatest breakthrough of opportunities any generation has ever experienced. Guilt isn’t going away; it’s coming on stronger than ever.
The general mood of 2020 tbqh
But it doesn't have to be this way. Burton shares her profound method in Let Go of the Guilt that will free you from a sense of false guilt that weighs heavily in your mind. She's a life coach and mentor—and has written a dozen books on personal development—and she uses the skills, questions, and research from her practice to guide others in this book.
So let's dive into a few of the ways Let Go of the Guilt will help you stop feeling guilty and get on with your life.
1. Name the Thing
Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself (thanks, Hermione), am I right or am I right? The first step in letting go of guilt is to get specific and name the problem. Is it your failure to keep a regular exercise routine? Is it your reliance on take-out for family dinners during the week? Name it and create some distance between you and your guilt.
2. Rewire Your Thoughts about Guilt
If you can recognize the triggers for when your feelings of guilt are about to arise, you'll be able to squash them from occurring in the first place. Mentally prepare yourself before heading into situations where you think guilt will arise, like phone calls with your old-fashioned mother.
3. Don't Let Anyone Decide Your Values for You
This is a big one, so I'm repeating it: Don't let anyone else decide what your values are. Don't let anyone else make you feel guilty for something you feel is right and fair. If you and your partner split the chores equally, don't let anyone tell you that you're doing the wrong ones because of your gender.
4. Recalibrate Your Expectations
The world is always changing and the bar is getting set higher and higher. But you can reset the bar for yourself to keep away the guilt. Try a simple mental switch where you expect happiness, joy, and freedom, rather than guilt, stress, anxiety, and obligation.
5. Don't Allow Your Buttons to be Pushed
Manipulative people know how to push buttons to get what they want. But if you don't have buttons or triggers—or you manage to deactivate them—you have the upper hand. Your child shouting they wish they were born into a wealthy family stings, but it doesn't have to be the thing that forces you to give in and buy them a pony.
This only a smattering of the ways Let Go of the Guilt will save your life. Be sure to get yourself a copy wherever books are sold—and don't forget to keep a pen or pencil handy while you read, so you can actively work through the steps toward your own freedom from guilt.
Want to start listening to Let Go of the Guilt? Press play and listen to the audiobook right now (it's narrated by Valorie, so it feels like she a BFF life coach!):
Ashley Holstrom is a book person, designing them and writing about them for Book Riot. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color.