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  • marlienligtenberg

I feel guilty. But I do it anyway.

I felt guilty that my brother was doing the dishes.

My brother and his girlfriend visited from the Netherlands last week. They stayed at our place. They left this morning. There were still unwashed dishes from last night. And I needed to work. They started washing up. I was working at the kitchen table. And I felt guilty about it.

I feel guilty when someone does something nice for me.

I thought: ''Should I have done the dishes? Are they sure? Isn't it rude that I work here and let them do the work?'' I have this more often. When someone does something kind for me, I feel guilty. For example my boyfriend paying rent whilst I set up a business. My best friend who listens to my rant for 30 minutes. It always feels too much. I find it hard to accept kindness.

I didn't listen to the guilt. I accepted their kind offer.

Because I wanted to work. That was more important to me then doing the dishes. And they offered to do it. So kind. I wanted to accept it. Because I also learned this. If I don't accept these kind gestures, I never have rest. Then I am always the one working hard. Giving all my time, energy and attention to others. Or to work that needs to be done. Then I never have rest because there is always something to fix. And never having a rest drains my battery.

Do you want to feel a choice in moments like this? Here are a few tips.

I am not perfect. I sometimes listen to the guilt before I know it. So to practice this I have a few tips for myself. And if you relate to this can help you!

  • Recognize your feelings. Notice that restlessness. Notice that voice: 'I actually don't want to do this, but I don't feel a choice.' Notice that you feel guilty.

  • Ask yourself: what is my desire? If I feel guilty I often forget to ask myself what I want. So ask yourself: 'What do I desire? Do I really want this, or is it just a sense of duty?'

  • Experiment. What if you follow your desire and do what you want this time for once? Super scary! You are probably afraid other people will not like you anymore. But my tip is: just try it out!

  • Accept the guilt. And yes. If you choose what you want, you will feel guilty. I guarantee that. Accept that feeling. If you are waiting until it feels comfortable, you can wait until you are 85 in a care home.

The good news is that I notice that that guild is temporary. In the moment it sucks, but it fades out. So try to take that hurdle just once and see what happens!

Do you feel no choice in situations like this? Do you often feel powerless about who and what is dictating your time? Coaching helps. Coaching gives you confidence choose how you want to spent your time. Explore more here

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