Feelings of guilt can be a behavior learned from childhood that prevents you from moving forward in life. Therefore, it is important to know how to identify and fix the origin.
Guilt is an extremely uncomfortable feeling. Anytime you feel insecure, that inner fear will keep coming back to you. But where did this guilt come from? And is guilt an inner fear of punishment?
It is important that you deal with the past of your childhood, the age when most of your trauma and fears formed. How did your parents treat you? What kind of reinforcement did they give you? Was your upbringing based on fear?
While you probably don’t think too much about the upbringing your parents gave you, the way they treated you can make feelings of guilt an integral part of your adult life.
Let’s find out how this happens below.
Inner fear of punishment
When we talk about punishment, we don’t just mean the common punishments like “stay in your room” or “you can’t drive a car for a week.”
There are other types of punishment. These hurt more and leave deep emotional wounds that can only open in adulthood.
One type of punishment is silence. During the Silence Punishment, a child can suddenly no longer interact with their parents. They talk but no one answers. This can make them feel lonely, abandoned, and fearful. Most of all, they feel guilty.
Another type of punishment is a disproportionate reaction from a parent to things like, “Why did you do this to me?” or say “You didn’t deserve this”. All of this creates feelings of guilt that the child will internalize.
However, once you recognize their origin, these feelings can be resolved and eliminated. It is not easy, but it is still possible to put aside the guilt and the inner fear of punishment.
Why do you feel guilty?
To get rid of guilt, it is important to ask yourself what you usually feel guilty about. Here are some possible examples:
- I feel guilty that my friends are mad at me when I don’t do what they want or because they think differently about things.
- My guilt is present when a loved one suddenly doesn’t reply to a message. I guess I said something offensive or that they were mad at me (for no reason to believe).
- I feel guilty because I feel guilty. I also think that I am not worth it, that I deserve nothing and that I am inferior to other people.
As you can see, guilt and low self-esteem are two concepts that go almost hand in hand. You can find uncertainty in many of these examples. This is usually paired with a low tolerance for frustration and a fear of being abandoned.
But the last sentence in particular is extremely curious: “I feel guilty because I feel guilty.”
However, this case happens more often than it seems. People who feel guilty about anything can go through such extremes.
How to get rid of your guilt
To get rid of your guilt, you need to build up your self-esteem first. This will remove the insecurities and fears that make you live with this feeling every day.
Then you should find out the context in which your feelings of guilt arise. Is it a fear that someone will be mad at you? What if someone doesn’t respect your opinion? Asking these questions can give you an idea of how similar the situations are from previous episodes from your childhood that caused your guilt at the time.
The last thing you have to do is be aware of it. Do not blame or blame your parents (if they are). Instead, take responsibility for your guilt and work to control your emotions.
Every time this feeling occurs, ask yourself why it is there. Most of the time, you will find that you have no reason to feel guilty. On the other hand, sometimes you can even foresee things that haven’t even happened when you are already feeling guilty.
Either way, however, it is important to learn how to overcome your guilt in order to live a happier life.
Are you ready to put aside your guilt and fear of punishment?