Why is it that we are feeling guilty and like a fraud when success shows up?
Are you feeling guilty when you’ve worked so hard for something and finally can see the fruits of your labor?
That feeling when the success actually happens. When we show ourselves our greatness and it’s evident both to ourselves and the world.
What a great feeling of being recognized and seen when family, friends, and our tribe cheer us on and give us compliments.
BUT it’s like we don’t believe we deserve all this after all, we get worried it’s not going to last, and then the emotional doors close.
We all want to feel seen and heard.
Everyone has this need and is seeking it constantly.
So why are we feeling guilty and shutting down when we finally get the attention we want, have the success we’ve worked so hard for, or manifest exactly what we’d asked for?
The reason is that we are actually afraid of our greatness and for being judged for our success. When we get a taste of our own greatness, the emotional doors close, we stop taking action.
And… the ego is in full play.
I experienced this recently in relation to my own business. After a period of great success where everything was flowing, I felt unstoppable in the pursuit of a very important business goal.
As soon as I reached the goal and I felt on top of the world, immediately the rain clouds were coming in and dimmed my light. It was a heavy feeling, like trying to move forward in syrup and it was my inner voice that said “Oh no, it can’t be that good.”
I had done nothing different, but the feeling was different. I was feeling guilty.
When we are evolving, going through personal growth and expanding our perception of life, our emotional ceiling needs to be stretched as well, not just what we are able to produce.
But all too well we know this inner voice who says “You don’t have what it takes”, “Who are you to think you can up-level your life experience and expand beyond what you are today?”.
In the moment when we reach a new peak, when we indeed reach the expansion we have asked for, the ego is immediately trying to make us question this success, ourselves and our own greatness.
This is the time where so many are listening to the ego (because it’s so familiar) and they back down.
Because I’ll teach you some tools to help you stay and celebrate the peak of greatness you just created, instead of backing down and feeling guilty for it during your best times.
When you are feeling guilty for your success, practice these simple steps:
1. Keep the momentum of success by taking a step back.
This may sound counteractive, but it’s necessary. As you hit your emotional ceiling (that’s why you’re feeling guilty) you need to slow down, take a step back and sit with this feeling and simply learn from it.
This is a golden opportunity to find out where your guilt is stemming from.
So if you have made a breakthrough in your life, your business, at work, in your relationships, or anything that you’re considering a great success of yours, you are also positioned to grow personally on the inside.
This is where potential comes from. By growing on the inside. Not what you do, but who you are being.
2. Feeling guilty? Look at its relevance today.
The feeling of guilt that comes up now, is likely a similar feeling as in a situation in your life that happened in the past.
The situation may not look the same on the surface, but your feeling is the same. Go back in time and try to identify the earliest memory of this feeling.
Use your journal to capture the situation. Write it down.
Who were you with?
What were you doing?
Did other people react to you and, if so, what were the reactions at the time?
The past often travels with us through feelings that once were created, but have no relevance in today’s situation.
Ask yourself- How is this feeling of guilt still relevant in my life today? Likely you’ll find out that that this feeling of guilt is no longer relevant, but you’ve been carrying it forward with you.
3) Replace the feeling of guilt with the feeling of trust and expansion.
Today, you don’t need more validation from family, friends and the world (which is a need that our ego is telling us that we need).
You are strong enough to be successful all by yourself, without the validation. Through your recent success you got to experience your greatness and you can keep it that way. It won’t go away.
Here’s to the opportunity to stretch your emotional ceiling and replace the feeling of guilt with trust and expansion.
Enjoy this simple but powerful practice to release the sense of feeling guilty:
- Find a quiet space.
- Sit down somewhere comfortable and commit to sit still for the next few minutes.
- Notice your surroundings, notice how you feel right now (no judgement, just notice).
- Close your eyes.
- Take a deep inhale through your nose.
- Hold this breath for 10 seconds and feel everything that’s up for you.
- Release the breath through your mouth.
Releasing feelings of guilt:
- Experience yourself last time when you were feeling guilty for your success with all the worries it comes with.
- Envision yourself putting that guilt in a box and close the lid. (this can be done with a physical box as well, putting your journal paper inside and closing the lid).
Expand your success with trust:
- Bring in a vision of your success you just created. See your face as you celebrate.
- Think about all the reasons you created this success. Why you did it.
- See yourself totally immersed in that success and extend beyond today.
- Feel the feeling you want to feel in this moment.
- Open your mouth and tell yourself out loud: “I deserve success and greatness, I’m enough.”
- Write down your own sentence that represents that feeling of success to you and put it up in a visible space so that you can return to it when guilt comes up.
Repeat the centering.
This release-expand exercise can be repeated as often as you need to. It’s going to put you back in a place of trust and expansion so that you can truly enjoy the success you have created and deserve.
You are created to feel joy and evolve.
Take a hold of your greatness today and bring it out to the world!
In summary, if you’ve had great success recently but are wondering why you’re feeling guilty, practice these simple steps to replace your guilt with trust.
- Keep the momentum of success by taking a step back.
- Look at your feeling of guilt and its relevance today.
- Replace the feeling of guilt with the feeling of trust and expansion.
How are you limiting yourself from success in your life?