Everyone wants to succeed at something. Most of the time being successful in anything is achieved by the achievement of a goal. It's the reason for working hard, day in and day out. Unfortunately, not everyone feels great about their achievements to the degree that they could. For some, success in a task can induce feelings of guilt.
Is that you? Do you feel guilty when things are working well in your life?
Feeling guilty is actually a natural tendency when earning an achievement. One of the reasons is our inbuilt ‘herd mentality' wherein you feel the need to stay equal with the rest of your social group, the need to blend in with the crowd. Success can make you stand out, and that could often mean leaving the pack and becoming a lone wolf. For some, it can be lonely at the top.
Sometimes you feel guilty because you don't want your achievements to make the people around to feel uncomfortable. At some level we almost all have a need to be accepted, and you may feel that your success can will result in discrimination. Some people may stay away from you or exclude you from their circles because they feel inferior, so you feel guilty.
Natural or not, this is an unhealthy guilt, which could lead to self-sabotage. Will you let it overpower you just so you don't offend the alpha in your pack, or will you embrace your success and live the life you deserve?
Here are some tips on how you can overcome feeling guilty for your achievements.
Redefine What Success Means For You
The definition of success differs for everyone, but there are often times that someone else's definition influences you. You might have been told that success means this and that, and so it affects how you perceive the value of your achievements.
Now, if you're feeling guilty when things are going well in your life, stop for a moment and think about what success really means to you. When success has a personal meaning for you, it takes away your vulnerability to feeling guilty about your achievements.
Unlock Your Full Potential: Explore our Personal Development Checklists
Remember Your Reason – Your ‘Why'
Your success should be personal to you. Ask yourself why you want to be successful. What is your "why." Think about this – if only you know about your achievements, would it still feel successful for you? Would you still be proud of yourself?
If you answer otherwise, then you're possibly doing it to please the people around you or make yourself look good. That's why there's a feeling of guilt inside you. So, you must change your perspective and treat success as if no one's keeping an eye on you.
Stop Caring As Much What Other People Think
You can't control what other people are thinking about you. So, stop worrying about what they're going to say against you or in favor of you, whatever is happening in your life. Whether things are going well in your life, don't feel guilty about it just to make your tribe feel good about themselves.
Do what makes you happy and fulfilled, and know that there's nothing wrong with achieving success while others are failing. You've worked hard for it, and you deserve it. The time for others will come. You are just probably ahead of them.
There's a right time for feeling guilty, and that's when you truly did something wrong. However, if you're feeling bad for no reason at all, it will greatly diminish your happiness, not only now but in the future as well. You may be giving away money not out of gratitude but because you're feeling guilty for being financially well-off.
Worse, you may be undervaluing yourself, so you offer products or services at the minimum or even below the standard rates. You may be in a lower-paying job than you could be – not because of your lack of skills or experience, but because you don't want others to be threatened or slighted by your success. You are sabotaging your own success just because you want to conform to the average achievements of your group.
If this describes you, then it's time you changed your view. Strive to do your best performance for yourself and not for other people's tender feelings. Remain true to your true self and know your self-worth.