WHY DO WE FEEL GUILTY FOR WANTING MORE?
Move past the guilt and find supportive friends who get you
Can you still be grateful for everything you’ve worked for, accomplished, and created in your life and still want more?
The answer is a resounding ‘yes!’ Yet many of us feel guilty for wanting more for our lives. Maybe you have everything you need and more, maybe other people would say you’re greedy for wanting more, or maybe you have trouble defining what “more” really means, but you can’t shake the feeling that something important is missing.
“From a cognitive point of view, guilt is an emotion that people experience because they’re convinced they’ve caused harm. In cognitive theory, the thoughts cause the emotions,” says Susan Krauss Whitbourne, author of The Definitive Guide to Guilt. Even though your desires aren’t causing anyone harm, you perceive that those desires are taking something away from someone else.
Can you relate? If you can, you’re not alone. I’ve been right where you are, wanting more, but I didn’t know what that meant, nor could I explain this strong desire to others.
About 18 years ago, I was chatting with a dear friend and decided to share something from my heart that was very tender and vulnerable at the time. I told her I wanted more for my life, something more fulfilling. She was the only person other than my husband who I shared this with.
Keep in mind that this was a close friend who knew me longer than my husband did, so I felt safe sharing this insight with her. But her response wasn’t the supportive sentiment I was looking for.
She quickly said, “…what are you talking about? You have a beautiful house, husband, a son, and you just returned from an amazing vacation in Italy… You have it all!” Ouch. The guilt came rushing in right then. I was utterly dumbfounded, attempting to fight back the tears at the sudden rush of judgment coming my way from such a close friend.
She had to have misunderstood me, right? Although I didn’t know how to express this then, I wasn’t looking for more or more “boxes to check” because I was grateful for everything I had. I was looking for more fulfillment in life but didn’t know how to articulate or understand what that might look like.
If I had known what that ‘more’ was, I would have gone after it in a heartbeat, but because I wasn’t clear and couldn’t put it into words, I didn’t know how to find this fulfillment.
Unfortunately, after my conversation with my friend, I didn’t mention this to anyone again for a long time because being judged made me feel less than. I knew what I yearned for wasn’t a life-or-death situation because I had everything I needed, but should I be judged for that? Does that make me unworthy of my heart-felt desires?
Because of this incident with my friend, I buried these desires deep down and kept them to myself. This quickly made me feel misunderstood, alone, and unworthy of my yearning for more in my life.
I felt a profound feeling of unworthiness that eventually led me down a path of investigation and self-discovery. My research showed me that this unworthiness was nothing new. It’s been around for centuries being felt by women, men, and children alike.
These feelings of unworthiness were taught to us through society. Afterall, babies are born knowing they are worthy. Being a mother of two, I experienced how babies cry to communicate their needs and coos to ask for more of what they want. But we begin to unlearn these inherent feelings of worthiness and stop communicating our desires.
Unworthiness isn’t healthy, helpful, or necessary. So I learned to release these feelings and began embracing worthiness as my birthright. Once I was able to do that, I could move past these judgments without allowing them to tear me down.
Thankfully, I eventually found people in my life who were supportive of my desires without judgment. People who lifted me up, allowed me to be me in every way, and added to a fulfilling life. And the good news is that YOU can have that too!
Because here’s the truth, you were never meant to be held back or tied down. You are a unique person who was never designed for a one-size-fits-all anything, and no one has authority over you.
You deserve the freedom to be yourself, to express your truths and desires, and share your gifts with the world!
There will be people who don’t understand your deepest desires and might even judge you for it, but the more you live life on your terms, the more you attract the right people into your life who will support you. You just need to trust that they will appear once you follow what fuels you.
Need additional help figuring out your ‘more?’ Schedule a call with me, and I’ll help you discover how to find and follow those desires.