--- Anthony Silard_____________________________________________
Deeply rooted in Western culture (stemming from Catholicism and Judaism) is the idea that guilt is an effective way to motivate people.
The conventional thinking instilled in you from childhood that enables others to use guilt to control you is: Feel badly enough about something and you’ll stop doing it.
It only works for a time. Here’s what actually happens: Feel badly enough about something and your self-esteem will decrease—which will in turn decrease your capacity to avoid whatever behavior you’re feeling badly about.
The alternative to guilt: self-love and learning. Self-love enhances your belief in your ability to learn and evolve, which removes the need for guilt.
The next time you say to yourself, “How could I have done that? What’s wrong with me?” recognize you are heading down the intimidate-myself-to-change-through-guilt path and step off it.
Instead, make a sharp turn toward your vision—which hopefully includes loving yourself—and say, “I acted in the past based on the informational, psychological, emotional, and financial resources available to me. I now have new resources at my disposal—including the lessons I’ve learned—and will act differently in the future.”
This week, reflect on how you can choose self-love and learning over guilt, and the effects this decision will have on your life.
Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through Amazon.com purchases, click here.